Reading level: Adult
e-book: 60 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release date: December 17, 2012
Series: Arcadia Bell #2.5
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed by: Jenn
Dating a demon, defeating evil, running a tiki bar: Arcadia Bell is a great occult mage in many respects. But then there’s the challenge of her boyfriend’s precocious teenage son…
Arcadia “Cady” Bell may have saved the Hellfire Club’s children from a local bogeyman, but she and her Earthbound demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, now face a more disturbing problem: his teenage son’s new demonic abilities. Jupe Butler can persuade you to do anything—or so he thinks.
To test the limits of his newfound power, Cady invites the co-owner of Tambuku Tiki Lounge to be the teen’s guinea pig during an afternoon boat cruise. But when an angry storm whips the Pacific into a frenzy and Jupe puts them all in serious danger, will Cady’s magick trump a teenager’s excess confidence?
Jenn Bennett leapt onto my radar in 2012 with KINDLING THE MOON, the first book in the Cady Bell series and also her debut novel. It's a wonderful series, filled with awesome world building, ribald humour, not-so-ribald-but-equally-entertaining humour, strong relationships, and one very dashing moustache, which is nicely referenced in this mini-novella.
When I first heard about the premise of LEASHING THE TEMPEST, my brain immediately starting singing The Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat". And then I started picturing Jupe and Cady singing it...It's a slippery tangential slope so I'm going to get back to the matter at hand: the awesomeness that is Jenn Bennett and the world and characters she's created! And then I saw this after writing my post and realized that I wasn't the only one. :D
But back to the matter at hand. LEASHING THE TEMPEST has everything I love in a Cady Bell story in a very nice 60-page package. It's the perfect read to tide you over until May, when BINDING THE SHADOWS is released. And even though LEASHING THE TEMPEST is only 60 pages long, it's a very satisfying story. I sometimes have length complaints with novellas because they feel unfinished but LEASHING A TEMPEST is like a cake pop: small but extremely delicious. And it's suitable for existing fans and new readers because Jenn Bennett does an excellent job of explaining the world Cady and co. live in, and because the characters come alive and you can see their bonds quite clearly.
The story itself is a lot of fun, too. Cady, Lon, Jupe, and Kar Yee are going on a private boat ride so that Lon can take pictures and Jupe can test his demonic knack on Kar Yee is a safe environment. Of course, these guys can't go anywhere without something unfortunate happening so they quickly find themselves threatened by an unnatural storm, thanks to some bad decisions made by certain characters who will remain unnamed to keep things interesting for those of you who haven't tried this novella yet. There are some shocking moments and I loved the way the story ended.
For me, the best part of the novella was getting more Kar Yee time. She's one of my favourite characters in the series and her interactions with Jupe, who is completely infatuated, are absolutely hysterical. I would totally read a spin-off story featuring the two of them on some sort of madcap adventure. It would be like Batman and Robin, if Batman had a sense of humour and a sense of entitlement, and if Robin upped his slavish devotion just a touch.
If you're looking for a last-minute present that's a definite winner (and quite affordable for you at only $0.99 US), gift your loved one (or passing acquaintance) a copy of LEASHING THE TEMPEST. It has moustaches and romance and yachts, oh my!
P.S. I love how the cover of LEASHING THE TEMPEST echoes the colours in the first Cady novel.
P.P.S. In case you didn't get my earlier reference, here is the very NWFW version of The Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat":