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    Continued worldbuilding in this urban fantasy series

    In book three the team is still looking for O’Brien, the sadistic murderer who was slaughtering adepts to steal their magic in book one. Last we heard, he had been seen in Toronto and he keeps evading the police. The team is also still working on the child trafficking case. While I understand not wanting to get involved in the shark infested politics of the Council, Kavon now has a responsibility to the community. This is where Darren has to step up: in the way he used to act as the bridge between mundanes and those with talent, or help facilitate between law enforcement on their cases, he now needs to help Kavon balance his shamanic duties with their law enforcement duties, while being the diplomat to everyone involved. With the Egyptians wanting access to the ifrit, they are willing to serve Kavon because they think his spirit animal is one. We know, this protects Darren and Bennu. One of the main issues between Kavon/Darren and the Egyptians is the fundamentally different beliefs regarding the magic community and how it should be arranged/treated. The politics here, and the navigation through and around them, are some of the best parts of the book. We also hear about the Vatican having influence and magical knowledge, yet have seen no evidence of that so I hope we get that in future books. Salma, the adept from the Egyptian embassy comes to help them with the shamanic aspects of the case, to act as a liason between Kevon and the other council, and to help with adminstration. In Toronto, we get to see some of the problems with localized power in the shamanic community and the affects of segregation. I like that the author takes time out of the politics to show the emotions and ramifications this battle has on Darren. Just like any officer or soldier who has to kill in the line of duty--just because it was on the spirit plane makes it no less real. He also has a bit of an epiphany about everything that changes his attitude and focus. At this point, the basic world building should be complete, so I'm a little disappointed at the repetition in places it shouldn't be. The addition of Agent Ahtisham Boyd to the team allows the author to give us recaps and helps us learn about things as he does, but he could have been better utilized. Coretta and Darren shouldn't be having these types of conversations about things they both already know. They seem to be giving Boyd way more information, immediately, than they did to Darren the whole four years before. While having him be Muslim is great for diversity, it's a shame that wasn't more of a plot point considering what is happening. It's good to finally know more about Rima and I agreed with her take on what happen in the last book as opposed to Les or Coretta. The ideas in this series continue to be interesting and keep me engaged. Once the O'Brien case is wrapped up, the focus turns towards the child trafficking case. Coretta has been working on that with Cyber Crimes trying to undo the damage caused by sabotage and counter the magical spells of the criminals with her crystals. Coretta being snarky was my comedic relief. We need more of her. Darren starts to train with Bennu to use his magic in a real world law enforcement scenario for investigation rather than just reacting when they come under fire. It's nice to see another type of magic as Coretta and Darren work together. The child trafficking case heats up when they go to El Paso and try to work with local law enforcement and the Mexican authorities. Here we get a glimpse of what Native Peoples magic looks like in this world and how insular they are. A hummingbird ifrit starts hanging around and helps take down the traffickers. This is where we get introduced to a shaman, Detective Arturo Lammas, and his mundane partner both on and off the force is Zach Johnson. Art and Zach get the choice Darren and Kavon didn't and we will see more of them in the future. Kavon doesn't want to get involved in local politics, although he will investigate any crimes, but Darren is the one who sees the bigger picture here. In fact, we are all starting to see the dangers coming and the need to consolidate power. There was a lot happening in this book: in the law enforcement cases, the spiritual realm, the relationships, new characters, and the development of the overarching storyline. It was ambitious and some parts worked better than others, but I am actually enjoying this series more the second time around. I would rate this 4 stars and I am on to book four.
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