"Passion without joy is so draining." -David, Kindling Moon
"My dear, if the good Lord has helped me resist temptation this long, I assure you that your Mrs. Marsh would not be the thing to send me over the edge." -Father Carrow, Kindling Moon
"Tell Foxglove 'Squirrel'. That's her command to attack. Don't feed her, and stay out of Cady's underwear." -Lon to Bob, Summoning The Night"I will take from you what you took from me. An eye for an eye... A heart for a heart." -Enola Duval, Binding The Shadows"Screw you." [Arcadia Bell]"You have no idea how much I'd love to." -Lon, Binding The Shadows"You might have trouble believing this, but I spend most of my time being grateful you're near me or counting the minutes until you will be again." -Lon, Binding The ShadowsDad had gone all Hellboy, Cady had turned into a black and white reptile. -Jupe, Binding The Shadows
Yet another great series that's ended *cue It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday by Boyz II Men*. I had another bout of a series binge read and my time was right on target with Jenn Bennett's ARCADIA BELL series. It was a good week just getting lost in Cady's curse and redemption and I loved how JBennett ended it on a high note instead of selling-out and dragging the story way past its expiration date. Just one solid arc which ended nice and tight, can't get better than that.
THE GIST: Arcadia Bell's the embodiment of a prophesy. Thanks to a ritual done by her lunatic magician parents, Cady is the fated Moonchild, destined to do great things one of which is bridging the world of demons with ours. Only problem is, Cady's great powers came late and as soon as she got them, her cray-cray mother is on her ass, wanting the powers for herself. This ensued a bitter battle between mother and child and it's a bloody one.
THE URBAN FANTASY: One of the best myth building I've ever read. I've had the pleasure of reading "good" demons but JBennett's Aether and Earthbounds are very memorable in it's unique simplicity. She didn't riddle her world with italicized jargon and complicated cosmology and rather interspersed her growing world with the superb character development. I love how Earthbounds or demons are distinguished based on auras and though her sorcerers are called magicians, they are far from the hat and the bunny kind. They're more of a cross between Dumbledore and Voldemort sans the wands, ceremonial robes is a must though.
THE ROMANCE: was angst-free! Cady is such a normal girl... errr... even if she transforms into this thing... her personal troubles are enough excitement for her and she didn't allow it to carry over her relationship with Lon even if the latter is also her partner in terms of vanquishing her evil mother. They kept it drama free as much as they can with the occasional lovers spat because no relationship is perfect right? Banishing The Dark was a little hard to read though because something happened here that had Cady and Lon freezing things in the romance department all for the greater good. I know I'm being cryptic but trust me, you don't want any spoilers at this point anyway because what I'm referring to is VERY CRUCIAL to the resolution of the story as a whole. Wonderful love fest aside, I love that Lon is much older than Cady with a teen son to boot! The modern family vibe did wonders in terms of bringing the human element into the story and how the three of them slowly became their own family is such an amazing side story. There's nothing like kids to bring a couple closer together!
HEROES: For a heroine whose greatest nemesis is her mother, Cady didn't throw a huge pity party, she remained focused on her mission without being numb and really knew her priorities and what mattered to her the most. Lon not only is a great romantic interest for Cady, he's also an awesome mission partner. Even if their relationship and other personal stuff got in the way of their working relationship, his loyalty to Cady was unquestionable. Lon never wavered when it comes to Cady and Jupe, he'd sacrifice himself without hesitating for the woman he loves. Awww!!
Special mention goes to Jupe, Lon's tenacious son. This boy is a scene stealer! For a secondary character, he sure can command a scene with his unfiltered observations, charming meddling, funny quips, and daredevil actions. I think Cady fell in love with him first before she did Lon which is no surprise because anybody would want Jupe to be their stepson. He can be a pain sometimes though but he gets really sweet especially when he knows he's in trouble.
The rest of the characters are just as great and memorable even if a lot of them only made short appearances. Cady's mom is a wonderful villain, she's so affecting you'd want to reach through the pages and strangle her yourself.
Again, I'm sad to say goodbye to ARCADIA BELL, this is one of the best UF series out there. Everything is solid from the plot, character development down to the conflict and resolution. JBennett is a great storyteller and I hope that she has something new in the works because I sure love getting lost in her world. It's a unique experience you won't want to miss.