Monday, January 30, 2012

Black Heart Loa.

Title/Author: Black Heart Loa by Adrian Phoenix.

Genre: Urban Fantasy. 

Publisher: Pocket Books.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite character: Kallie.

Synopsis“An eye for an eye is never enough.”
Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.
My Thoughts: Black Heart Loa starts at the exact moment that Black Dust Mambo ends. There are many problems that the main character Kallie Riviera and her friends and family experience in the first book and they have to deal with the aftermath of those original issues along with some new ones:  Finding her cousin Jackson, taking care of her love interest Layne, dealing with secrets and a hurricane that is on it's way to Louisiana.

I feel that this book is a bit more focused than the first and the points of view didn't overlap, which I liked better.  Also, a lot of the banter that I feel is distracting in the first book is not present, but there is still snappy one liners and sarcastic teasing.  The dialogue is more focused on the story and the problems at hand.  There are several points of view, but not as much in the first book, or maybe I'm just more used to it and it didn't throw me off as much.  However, there are a lot of characters in certain scenes and I had trouble keeping a few of them straight, but the point of their feelings came across and this didn't interfere with the plot.  Also, their physical characteristics are described well and I feel this is not only the author's style, but it helped me a little more in keeping track of certain people.

I love Kallie.  What's that saying? "Women want to be her..." Well I certainly do.  She is a gorgeous young lady with violet eyes ala Liz Taylor, studying to be a Hoodoo practitioner who has a very hunky, hot, self possessed, protective and caring Nomad named Layne interested (okay, more than interested) in her.  And she lives near New Orleans (a city I love).  So yeah, I'd like to walk in her shoes, which reading these books allows me to do.  Like in Black Dust Mambo the setting of the Bayou and the swamps are rich and detailed.  The magic, the danger and the beauty of that area are prevalent.

I love the main plot device that has to do with Kallie's past and her mother.  It is so intriguing and I'm so impressed with the author's ideas on that.  There are also several surprises in Black Heart Loa that are directly related to the aforementioned secret making the characters pull together, even Layne's ex-wife McKenna, who really dislikes Kallie, joins in to help.  McKenna wasn't featured a whole lot in this book, but I just want to point out that I love this triangle between Layne, Kallie and McKenna.  It's not a typical love triangle since Layne and McKenna still care about each other yet Layne and Kallie have an attraction that to me is akin to being soulmates.  I also love the out and out friction between Kallie and McKenna. There is also quite a detailed intimate scene and some people have complained that it is just a plot device for them to engage in sex, but it read believable to me and I just went with it.  I'm not into erotic fiction, but the love scene is well done and steamy without being vulgar.

This is a fun, fast read with non stop action and I want to find out what happens next and discover the secrets of Kallie's past.



Karen said...

I've read this author's Maker's Song series but I haven't gotten to this one yet. I'm going to try for the AAD reader's challenge.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I have these books in my TBr pile...i really need to read them...great review!

La Toya said...

Great review as always! I love books/movies/anything that takes place in the bayou!!

La Toya (La Toya, Literally)

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

Yikes! I still have to read book one of this series, but I love that it takes place in New Orleans! And I don't know Kallie yet, but from the way you've described her, I want to be her too.

Penelope Sanchez said...

This series is incredible and if Black Heart Loa is any indication of how the series will grow, you will really miss out by not picking this up. For me, this book was perfection in Dark Urban Fantasy. Start with Black Dust Mambo, this book should not be read stand-alone, and you will thank me. I promise!

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