Flora Reviews… Deadly Rising by Jeri Westerson. Book 2 in her urban fantasy series, Booke of the Hidden.
Quote from Deadly Rising
Strange Herbs & Teas was carved in gold letters above the door. That didn’t begin to describe what went down here these days.
Read: 2nd – 9th February 2019
Publication Date: 23rd October 2018
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
Deadly Rising is the second novel (approx 248 pages) in a new adult urban fantasy series – Booke of the Hidden – by award winning author, Jeri Westerson.
The series is set in the fictional but 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’s no set mythology (e.g. Norse, Christian, Egyptian, etc) to the paranormal elements of the tale. Therefore the non-human species that we encounter,are more of a generic amalgam from folklore rather than from a specific belief system. Which includes the elusive and enigmatic demon, Mr Erasmus Dark.
I focus my reviews on how the story was told rather than the plot itself. I’m looking at the author’s writing style, how they paced their plots and how well they constructed their characters and setting. Therefore, my reviews don’t contain spoilers or reveal plot twists.
Here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story.
Things were quiet in Strange Herbs & Teas. For about a week.
Our crossbow slinging hero and her ragtag gang of Wiccans have earned some rest. But when Kylie learns that the Booke may have released not one, but two creatures of horror out into the world, it’s up to her to save Moody Bog.
Calling upon the devilishly handsome demon Erasmus once more for help, Kylie’s determined to handle the mischief of the Booke and go back to a normal life. But when digging through Moody Bog’s history leads her to the ghost of her grandfather, the past she once knew is turned upside down. Can Kylie save the town and her grandfather, or will the horrors of the Booke be too much to handle?
I was given a digital version of this book for free from the author (Jeri Westerson) in exchange for an honest review.
The expected publication date is 23rd October 2018.
Thanks for the advance copy.
Jeri gave me Deadly Rising as an ebook for free by the author. However I bought the audio version myself using my free monthly credit. I alternated between reading during the day and listening to the narration before bed, which is becoming my favourite way to “read” a book.
Jeri’s still a fairly new-to-me author. However I find her writing style engaging, intelligent and easy to read. I love the way she weaves her plots; they’re complex enough to keep me intrigued without being convoluted. Plus there’s always a good balance of humour, action, tension, mystery and romance in her tales. The pace that they develop and when things are revealed just feels right.
As a narrated book, I was impressed with Suzanne Elise Freeman’s performance; loving the pace at which she read the story and her tonal adjustments for the dialogue. I’d definitely buy books narrated by her in the future.
I loved the way Jeri crafted her world, building on the first book and its history. Finding myself back in the village of Moody Bog almost instantly. Her descriptions 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, looking at less supernatural sources to help solve the mysteries. She has grown since the first book and she continued to do so during this adventure; both her skills and knowledge have grown and developed.
I love the fact that the secondary characters that Jeri created to populate her world, feel just as real as our leads. All have strong, memorable personalities and weren’t just filling the page. Kind old Doc Boone who’s turning into quite the mage. Teen Jolene who definitely comes into her own in this story and who out there doesn’t know a person like Ruth Russell with her self-important air! I loved that Jeri’s characters have the complexities that we’d see in those around us. They have a good balance of strengths and insecurities to make them feel real, even the supernatural ones.
Deadly Rising kept me guessing and had me holding my breath at times. I was on the edge of my seat with shocking revelations, tense standoffs 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.
As you can tell, I did really enjoy this book but I feel I should explain why I rated it 4 stars rather than 5. In other words, what took the shine off for me?
As my regular followers will know, I’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings. Although Deadly Rising doesn’t end in a life or death situation for our heroine, Kylie Strange, it does for one of the supporting characters. PLUS we have a new threat from a big bad burst onto the scene in the final few pages! That did it for me.
I’ll also take this opportunity to remind you that as the second in a new four book series, not all of our questions or mysteries are resolved within these pages. However the monster escapees are satisfactorily dealt with before the end of this book.
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. Jeri eloquently weaves any pertinent facts regarding previous adventures into this tale. However, I 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.
I really enjoyed this book and couldn’t stop reading until I found out how it ended. 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. Book 3 “Shadows in the Mist” is due to be released in May and I can’t wait to see what happens to Kylie and her friends next.
There are scenes of an explicit sexual nature and graphic violence within these pages. Therefore, I’d only recommend this book to adults who aren’t offended with this type of content.
I’d recommend Deadly Rising to lovers of well-written tales of magic, curses, mystery and horror. Not forgetting the sprinkling of romance. It’s a perfect mix of scary, paranormal, mystery and adventure.
Has my review of DEADLY RISING (BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN #2) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope so. Click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself. Keep reading to find out more about Jeri and this amazing series.
A girl. A mysterious book. Misfit Wiccans. A Baphomet biker gang. And a handsome demon. What could possibly go wrong?
This quirky-humorous yet edgy-romantic urban fantasy series is set in a small town in Maine. Booke of the Hidden is a completed urban fantasy series. Click on the titles to find out more and read my review.
- Booke of the Hidden (Booke of the Hidden #1) (2018)
- Deadly Rising (Booke of the Hidden #2) (2019)
- Shadows in the Mist (Booke of the Hidden #3) (2019)
- The Darkest Gateway (Booke of the Hidden #4) (2019)
The Booke of the Hidden titles are available in print, eBook and audio formats through the usual sources, including:
Los Angeles native JERI WESTERSON is the author of fourteen Crispin Guest Medieval Noir novels, a series nominated for 13 national awards from the Agatha to the Shamus. Her first in the series, Veil of Lies was named Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society Review, her third The Demon’s Parchment received a coveted starred review by Library Journal, and her sixth, Shadow of the Alchemist, was named Best of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. Also in 2013, her fifth novel Blood Lance was named one of the Ten Hot Crime Novels for Colder Days by Kirkus Reviews.
Booke of the Hidden, Jeri’s urban fantasy series released in 2017, Romantic Times Magazine gave it Five Stars and called it “…A flawless tale of adventure, mystery and saucy romance. The page reverberates with passion, and absolutely no wrong can come from vivid characters and a hero to die for.” It finaled for the Seal of Excellence from RT Reviews. Her second, DEADLY RISING was released in 2018, her third, SHADOWS IN THE MIST was released in May 2019, and the final book, THE DARKEST GATEWAY, was released October 2019.
Her historical fantasy/steampunk novel, THE DAEMON DEVICE—in her Enchanter Chronicles trilogy—released October 2019 as well. And the first in her other paranormal werewolf mystery series–MOONRISERS–released March 2020.
To find out more about Jeri and her books visit:
Thank you for taking the time to read this review of Deadly Rising. To see what else I’ve been saying about this addictive series, click HERE.