Review: To Kill a Warlock by H.P. Mallory

Title: To Kill A Warlock
Series: Dulcie O'Neil, #1
Author: H.P. Mallory

Quick Take:
This book is pure fun. The characters were perhaps the most enjoyable aspect, with protagonist Dulcie being the main draw. Intriguing but tempered world building whet my appetite enough to want to see what's to follow in the series.

Book Description (partial, from author's website):
     Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world.  
      When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim. 
Review:
One of the first things that struck me whilst reading this book was the general "vibe." The tone of this piece was very…comfortable, and the first-person narration had a light, conversational style. For a book that focuses primarily on supes and unnatural elements, I found it rather familiar (and not just because the book takes place in California ^_^). This might be due to the world-building; the more large-scale aspects--the Netherworld, the supernatural community at large--seemed to be tempered in favor of specific character development.

…which is great, since the heart of my affection for this book rests with Dulcie herself. She's such a likable character: smart, funny, badass…but also vulnerable. She possesses an insecurity or two that would be identifiable to the average person. I very much enjoyed the small quirks about her; for instance, she's a tough cop by day but is an aspiring romance writer by night (her first piece is an historical entitled "Captain Slade's Bounty." Heheheh…). Those details went a long way toward endearing the character in my mind.

In fact, the whole cast was fun. They made the book, in my opinion. The individual personalities were quirky and amusing, and the interactions between them provided laughs aplenty. I see Dulcie and her crew (mainly consisting of her co-workers) as a humorously dysfunctional yet loving family.

It was the affection for the characters that kept my enjoyment levels high even as I at times wondered in what direction the story was heading, or what the plot was supposed to be focused on. There's was a "main" mystery involved and Dulcie did do some sleuthing, but it wasn't a straight-line type of thread, in my view. But anywho.

All told, this book is an easy, breezy read that should bring a smile to the face of most urban fantasy fans out there. It's amusing, not goofy. The protagonist is quirky, but not TSTL. The next book, A Tale of Two Goblins (did you pick up on the Dickens nod?), certainly has a solid basis to jump from. I say, bring it on.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

2 comments:

  1. I would love to read these. I had my guest reviewer read them as I haven't a reader yet. but I sure felt like I was missing out ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh great review! :) I've seen this authors series on a few blogs and it does sound like a great and fun read. :) Thanks for the review. I'm thinking it should be a journey I want to take. ;D

    ReplyDelete

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