Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding


May Contain Spoilers

I am forever in search of new Urban Fantasy to read, so when I saw Stray Magic, I decided to give it a shot. Kelly Meding is a new to me author, and I am always game for the start of a new series. This looked interesting, and I thought that Shiloh being a Federal Marshall in the Paranormal Investigations Unit could be fun. I’m always up for a good case to crack, especially if it involves missing vampires and werewolves.

Shiloh is half-djinn, and she has just gotten home from a trying case. She’s eager to blow off some steam with her lover, Vincent, but when they are interrupted by a call from the office, Shiloh has no choice but to report for duty. When she discovers that a Master vampire has had his children take over a trailer park, and take all of the humans living there hostage, she realizes the urgency of the situation. If the responding cops get trigger happy, there will be a blood bath.

With her boss missing, Shiloh is the de facto leader of her little squad of Federal Marshalls. Feeling the pressure, she reluctantly agrees to help Tennyson, the Master vampire, discover who has kidnapped some of his clan. As they are drawn further in to the case, they learn that werewolves have also gone missing, and no one knows why. With the help of her mother, her earth djinn father, and her teammates, Shiloh is determined to catch the bad guys before all hell breaks loose. Literally.

Overall I liked the setup and the worldbuilding. Shiloh is a tough nut to crack, and she can usually take care of herself. Being half djinn, she is more resilient than a normal human, and that makes her harder to kill. Unfortunately, she only inherited a few of her father’s powers, one being the ability to grant three wishes if the wisher speaks the words that will bind her to them. I thought that was really interesting, as well as the rules of wishing. I don’t remember the concept of a djinn’s wishes being presented in a similar fashion, so this was really unique.

Tennyson is a pretty awesome guy, for a vampire. I think my biggest disappointment with the story was that Shiloh and Tennyson’s relationship didn’t really go anywhere. Not that it had to, but I thought that they made a great team, and after Shiloh started to trust him a little more, that there was a lot of chemistry between them. I might have been mistaken, though, what with all of the nasty magic spiders that kept trying to kill everyone. Bleh! I hate spiders.

I thought the reanimated head was also unique, and I don’t think I will ever look at a cake carrier again the same way. A WTF was up with the lettuce bed the poor head was resting on. I mean, really? Yuck.

Stray Magic is a promising start to the series, though I was disappointed with the complete lack of closure at the end. One scrap of the mystery was solved, but there were still so many unanswered questions. Book 2 releases in November, and I have already added it to my wish list.

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.
Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.
Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.
Unless she can stop it.