Shadows in the Mist (Booke of the Hidden #3) by Jeri Westerson
Read: 1st – 6th April 2019
Publication Date: 14th May 2019
Quote from Deadly Rising
White church steeple and village green. Check. Quaint little houses on sleepy streets. Check. A pumpkin on every porch with beautiful fall colors in surrounding woods. Double check. And friendly people… for the most part. If you don’t count the demons. What’s not to like?
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 4/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
Shadows in the Mist is the third novel (approx 296 pages) in a new adult urban fantasy series – Booke of the Hidden – by award winning author, Jeri Westerson.
The series is set in the beautiful, rural village of Moody Bog, Maine, USA. Our key human characters include; our heroine, Kylie Strange, a local coven of Wiccans – retired doctor and part-time plasterer, Doc Boone, middle aged Seraphina, a bohemian free-spirit and ‘sensitive’, Nick Riley barista and Goth and sixteen year old Jolene Ayrs, researching whiz kid and budding Wiccan – Moody Bog’s Sheriff and hotty, Ed Bradbury, his criminal brother and leader of the Ordo – a coven of biker witches into black magic – Doug Bradbury and Ruth Russell, a descendent of Moody Bog’s founding families who is firmly at the top of society’s hierarchy.
There is no set mythology (e.g. Norse, Christian, Egyptian, etc) to the paranormal elements of the tale, so the non-human species that we encounter, which includes the elusive and enigmatic demon, Mr Erasmus Dark, can be found from any known folklore rather than from a specific belief system.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers or reveal plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Small town tea shop proprietor Kylie Strange already has a lot on her plate. The last thing she needs is more trouble to spring up from the mystical Booke of the Hidden.
Keeping one step ahead of a scheming demon, supernatural assassins, and Baphomet—an angry god hellbent on stealing the Booke—it’s all more than enough for one person to handle. And that’s without mentioning her competing affections for the handsome and human Sheriff Ed and the demon Erasmus Dark.
But soon enough, Kylie and her coven hear whispers of new disturbances in Moody Bog. Strange creatures have been stalking the townsfolk through the fog and rumors of violent encounters confirm their deadly intent. Worst of all, the Booke of the Hidden is not to blame, and no one is sure who is.
Kylie and her coven of wiccans need to prioritize. Which is worse? The mysterious and lethal figures in the mist, or Baphomet, who—if he gets his way—will unleash Hell on Earth onto oblivious little Moody Bog.
So far, Kylie and her coven friends have had to deal with different Booke escapees in each book while the story-line of Kylie’s destiny/curse, the origins of the Booke and her romantic relationships continue in the background. Although Ms Westerson eloquently weaves any pertinent facts regarding previous adventures into this tale, I do feel that as the series grows, you’d likely miss the nuances of knowing re-occurring characters and understanding the dynamics of those relationships meaning that I don’t feel the books in this series should be read as standalones or out of order.
This series has turned me into a fan of Jeri Westerson; I find her writing style engaging, intelligent and easy to read. I love the way Ms Westerson weaves her plots; they are complex enough to keep me intrigued without being convoluted. I feel that there is always a good balance of humour, action, tension, mystery and romance in her tales and the pace that they develop just feels right.
I loved the way Ms Westerson continued to craft her world, building on the previous books; I found myself back in the village of Moody Bog instantaneously, how she described the location, surrounded by wilderness and Moody Bog itself with its collection of small town, village style businesses just brought the place to life in my imagination once again.
I really like our heroine, Kylie; she’s intelligent and has heaps of gumption (even if she does find herself in a quandary on the romantic front during this book) and I like how she’s evolving, becoming more self-assured and comfortable in her Chosen Host shoes. She has grown since the first book and she continued to do so during this adventure in both her skills and knowledge.
I love the fact that the secondary characters that Ms Westerson created to populate her world, feel just as real as our leads and all have strong, memorable personalities, they aren’t just filling the page; kind old Doc Boone who’s turning into quite the mage, teen Jolene who’s definitely comes into her own and who out there doesn’t know a person like Ruth Russell with her self-important air and closely guarded secrets! I loved that Ms Westerson wrote her characters with the complexities that we’d see in those around us, that they had a good balance of strengths and insecurities to make them feel real, even the supernatural ones. Who knew I’d end up really liking Kylie’s scummy ex-boyfriend, Jeff?!
I love the fact that Shadows in the Mist kept me guessing; I was holding my breath at times, on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next – I admit I was scared a few times, waiting to see what horrors would come out of that damn mist. I loved the shocking revelations, tense stand-offs and action-packed fight scenes. But fear not, good readers it’s not all tension and scares there are giggles and a good sprinkling of tummy tingling passion to balance it all out too.
As my regular followers will know, I am not a fan of cliffhanger endings and although Shadows in the Mist doesn’t end in an obvious life or death situation, it does kinda just stop right after an exhilarating fight scene with very little time for the adrenaline to come down (for me or the characters) which I found too abrupt and jarring.
I’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that as the third in a new four book series, not all of our questions or mysteries are resolved within these pages, although the monster escapees are satisfactorily dealt with before the end of this book.
I really enjoyed this book; I couldn’t stop reading. I love it when a story keeps me guessing, makes me chuckle, puts a lump in my throat, warms my old romantic heart and sends tingles of titillation to my nether regions. The final book in this series – The Darkest Gateway – is due to be released later this year and I can’t wait to see how Ms Westerson ties everything together for Kylie and her friends.
Due to the graphic violence, sexual content and disturbing nature of some of the scenes in this book, I would recommend Shadows in the Mist to adults who are not offended with this type of content and love reading well written tales of magic, curses, mystery and horror with a bit of passion and romance thrown in the mix.
So, has my review of SHADOWS IN THE MIST (BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN #3) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope so. Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author.
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