J. P. Jackson will be interviewed by WROTE in the very near future. In the meantime, I received an ARC of his new novel, Summoned, in return for an honest and fair review.
Is it wrong to say my favourite character was a twig? Bear with me…
This was a fun story which grips from the first page. Full of sexy times, gory bits and terrific world building, I’d go so far to say this is his best book yet. Daimonion and Magic or Die were fun, deliciously dark reads, but this is on another level.
The main character, Dev, has had a lifelong wish to join the Shadow Realm and become a witch, but he gets more than he bargains for when he buys a summoning board and persuades his best friend, Cam, to have a go with him. The moral to take from this story is a) be careful what you wish for and b) never meet your heroes. I could also add c) don’t fall head over heels in love with a friendly, sexy redhead who seems perfect. He won’t be. And d) don’t rely on your best friend not to say something stupid. They will.
I made the mistake of picking this up ahead of every other book I’m supposed to review, just to have a peek and see what I was letting myself in for. Of course, I ended up reading the whole damned thing.
There are some great spell-casting scenes, a lovely burgeoning relationship between Cam and a grumpy werewolf after they find themselves trapped in the same dungeon, and some sexy, hairy scenes between husky Dev and the ginger bear-ish man of his dreams. Or is he? On a side note – these aren’t ripped, model-gorgeous, no-hair, twinky guys but normal men with hair and bellies and morning breath. They felt real.
I also loved Byron and Addas, his partner, who he is trying to save from being infected with werewolf venom. The methods an increasingly desperate Byron resorts to in order to save him are disturbing to say the least, made more so by their early domestic scenes, which are lovely.
Top marks for world-building and great side characters, including Cam’s mum, who is hilarious even though she only has a small part to play. And the twig. If you don’t have a lump in your throat after discovering the fate of the Spriggan, you’re a psychopath. End of.
All the dialogue runs smoothly and feels natural, and the characters are convincing to the max, with all their human frailties and foibles, as well as their strengths. The story didn’t end on too much of a cliffhanger, although there is another book to come. It could be read as a standalone, I guess, but my bet is no one will be happy with just one helping of these great characters.
It was a great read and I can’t wait for the next one!
Devid Khandelwal desperately wants to experience the supernatural. After years of studying everything from crystals to tarot to spellcasting, nothing has happened that would tell him the Shadow Realm is real. And that kills Dev. As a last-ditch resort, he purchases a summoning board, an occult tool that will grant him his ultimate desires.
Cameron Habersham is Dev’s best friend. Cam loves Dev like a brother and will do anything for him, as long as he looks good doing it. So when Dev asks him to perform the summoning board’s ritual, he reluctantly agrees, but he knows nothing will come of it. Nothing ever does.
However, within a day, Dev and Cam’s lives are turned upside down as wishes begin to come true. They discover the existence of a supernatural world beyond their imagination, but peace between the species is tenuous at best.
Dev finally gets to see the Shadow Realm, meets the man of his dreams, and is inducted into the local male coven. But for all the desires that were summoned into existence, Dev soon realizes the magical community dances the line between good and evil, and Cam ends up on the wrong side of everything.
The old adage is true: Be careful what you wish for.