Flora Reviews… Shadows in the Mist by Jeri Westerson. Book 3 in her urban fantasy series, Booke of the Hidden.
Read: 1st – 6th April 2019
Publication Date: 14th May 2019
My Overall Rating: 4/5
Plot: 5/5 – Flow: 4/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
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?
Shadows in the Mist is the third novel (approx 296 pages) in adult urban fantasy series, Booke of the Hidden.
Booke of the Hidden is set in the beautiful but fictional, 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 researching whiz kid and budding Wiccan Jolene Ayrs. 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. Plus 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 to the paranormal elements of the tale (e.g. Norse, Christian, Egyptian, etc). Therefore the non-human species that we encounter can be found in any folklore rather than from a specific belief system. This 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.
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.
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 Jeri weaves her plots; they are complex enough to keep me intrigued without being convoluted. I feel that 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.
I loved the way Jeri continued to craft her world, building on the previous books. As the series has progressed, the characters have evolved too. I like Kylie more and more with each book. She’s intelligent and has heaps of gumption (even if she does find herself in a quandary on the romantic front). I like how she’s evolving, becoming more self-assured and comfortable in her Chosen Host shoes. She’s grown since the first book and continues to do so during this adventure in both her skills and knowledge.
The secondary characters that Jeri created to populate her world, feel just as real as our lead. All have strong, memorable personalities and aren’t just filling the page. For example kind old Doc Boone has turned into quite the mage and a wonderful patriarch. Teenager Jolene has also come into her own as the series has progressed and has become pivotal to the group. I love that Jeri writes her characters with 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. Who knew I’d end up really liking Kylie’s scummy ex-boyfriend, Jeff?!
Shadows in the Mist definitely kept me guessing. I was holding my breath at times, on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. And I admit, I was scared a few times too, 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. However, don’t worry 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’m not a fan of cliffhanger endings. Shadows in the Mist doesn’t end in an obvious life or death situation. However, the book does kinda just stop right after an exhilarating fight scene. I’d prefer a scene or two to allow the adrenaline to come down (for me and the characters). I found it ended too abruptly and jarringly.
So far, Kylie and her coven friends have had to deal with different Booke escapees in each book. By the end of the book the escaped monsters are duly captured and dealt with. While certain continuing storylines have been running in the background of the whole series. For example Kylie’s destiny/curse, the origins of the Booke and her romantic relationships. Jeri eloquently weaves any pertinent facts regarding previous adventures into this tale. However you’ll lack many little details reading the series out of order or this one as a standalone. For example knowing re-occurring characters and understanding the dynamics of those relationships.
I really enjoyed this book; I couldn’t stop reading it. It kept me guessing, made me chuckle and put a lump in my throat. However it also warmed my old romantic heart and sent tingles of titillation to my nether regions. The final book in this series – The Darkest Gateway – is due to be released later this year. I can’t wait to see how Jeri ties everything together for Kylie and her friends.
Shadows in the Mist contains scenes of graphic violence, sexual content and disturbing nature. Therefore I’d only recommend it to adults who aren’t offended by this type of content.
If you love reading well-written tales of magic, curses, mystery and horror. Stories with a bit of passion and romance thrown in the mix, then Shadows in the Mist is for you.
Has my review of SHADOWS IN THE MIST (BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN #3) 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 this amazing series and Jeri herself.
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. I really love this series. To read everything I’ve written about the books, click HERE.