Jul 12, 2011

Review--Black Heart Loa by Adrian Phoenix

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.

Adrian Phoenix's Black Heart Loa was a great followup to Black Dust Mambo. I'll admit to be a tad lost for the first few pages. Having read read Black Dust Mambo so many books ago, but I was quickly brought back up to speed. For Black Heart Loa takes place mere hours after the ending of the previous book.

There's no true villain this time like we had previously, Doctor Heron is dead and gone, but problems for Kallie are still at large. Her cousin is still missing, she still has a loa trapped inside of her and still doesn't know the whole why of it, and she's still dealing with learning about who her aunt really is. And that's just where we left off, Kallie is about to gain a whole new set of problems.

The action starts off with a bang as Kallie, her aunt, her best friend, and Gabrielle are ambushed by two gun-totting masked men looking for her cousin. And that's where the chaos takes off and doesn't stop til the end.

Black Heart Loa has some external issues going, but there's also a lot of internal issues Kallie must deal with that are effected by the outer ones. Complicated yes, but once you start reading it becomes clear what I mean. For awhile Kallie is set on finding her cousin and having to avoid enemies galore while doing so. 

We also get to learn more of Jackson's past and what he's going through, which was a whopping secret reveal if you ask me! Definitely hope more develops there, and likely that it will. But amidst the personal problems for Kallie there's also another storm brewing and it's headed right for Bayou Cypres Noir.

At times I felt the pacing was a tad slow, but the plot developments it led to made up for it. There's a lot to learn in this book and still more to come by its end. With fascinating characters and a rich, flavorful language, this is one series you do not want to miss out on!

Overall rating 4/5 stars

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