Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix

BOB Blurb (Taken from

Kallie Rivière, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival: her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed. And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching—the darkest of dark juju, soul-eating juju—a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.
Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer—even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends. But Kallie’s search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated—back home to Bayou Cyprés Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie’s aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor . . . who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.

Lets start with the good. This book is a fun romp through a hoodoo drenched Louisiana, where a carnival of all sorts of magically inclined folks get together and party right under the noses of the "switched off" non-magical folks.The plot is tight and fast moving and the world building is subtle, but rich.

A few down points.

Some of the dialogue in Black Dust Mambo gets a little forced and cutesey. At times I almost expected to here a laugh track come in behind the "See, we are sassy women!" banter.

The big twist (I won't ruin it) left me with a big question mark. It doesn't really make sense and is confusing.

The MOST confusing thing about this book is the **love** angle here. It seems like Ms. Phoenix wrote an excellent thriller and then someone said to her "Yo, Adrian! You'se can't write no Urban Fantasy without a love story! You need sexy people to sell UF!" ( Sorry, nothing could stop me from making a Rocky joke)

So, everyone thinks everyone else in this book is sexy as hell. Everyone is sexy as hell. Everyone. The Main Male Love Interest (cuz it gets a little confusing toward the middle who the love interest actually is) isn't in the drivers seat in his own body--which makes it a little hard to connect with him as a character.

Oh, and nobody has sex.

Usually I would just label this a Baby Doll Nightie-- but, I can't. There wasn't any two people between the sheets--but, strangely, there is graphic male masturbation. At the start of the book the dirty thoughts of the characters and the language led me to believe it was Erotica--imagine my surprise when NO ONE ACTUALLY HAS SEX!!!!
All in all a good read. Sure, it is flawed-- but it is also fun, exciting, and interesting and Adrian Phoenix writes well -- Black Dust Mambo is well worth picking up at the library.

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