Wicked Misery is the first book in the new Miss Misery series and what an opener it was, I loved it!
In a very different world, the supernatural is commonplace, filled with humans that can be used for the pleasure of various supernaturals known as Predators (preds) of which there are a few species. Jessica Moore is human with magic in her bloodstream, which usually means that you get a chance to become a Gryphon, the police of her world. Jess was on her way to becoming one, only her magic didn’t develop as hoped, no, Jess’s magic is something else and made this way because she was cursed by an unknown. So ten years after being kicked out of the Gryphon program, Jess has made her own semi hidden identity as the Soul Swapper – when a good person is left with no other choice than to bargain with a ‘pred’ for their soul, without fully understanding the consequences…Jess finds a soul from the dregs of society to swap and return the soul of the person who hired her. Only now, someone has worked out who she is and she is unwittingly dragged into a serial murder case. Finding herself accused of the murders & with no one to turn to, she turns to the one man who was there for her when her world came crashing down – a satyr named Lucen- she has always tried to keep him at arms-length for fear of becoming a ‘lust addict’ – hooked on a satyrs magical power – but he makes a big stand on her behalf and now Jess must join up with the satyr people to clear her name, she has 5 days…..
So, I really enjoyed this book. The author has created quite a different scenario to the usual paranormal UF I have read and although at times it was puzzling, it was a great read. Jess was a good character, easy to connect too and feel for. I always like a strong heroine with a bit of attitude and Jess fit the bill nicely. In the beginning, I found it hard to get a grasp on her powers, how they worked etc. but that got easier as the book went on. I liked her relationship with Lucan, you could tell from the get go that they had feelings for each other and could feel the sexual tension between them. I totally got why Jess was apprehensive and doubted her own feelings incase they were ‘lust magic’ induced so it’s understandable how she behaves around him. It’s hard to know whether she was in fact being lured or if they were really her feelings, I think they are hers but will enjoy reading about it unfolding some more. Lucan was great too, I can’t say I like his magic and what he has to do for the addicts he has, I can see problems arising because of this but I’m willing to see where it will go.
The storyline was good, who doesn’t like a good old whodunit? Especially when our leading lady is put in the frame and needs to prove her innocence to everyone, including the authorities. I like the whole set up with different areas of the city being for either humans or different supernaturals, sort of segregated because of the humans fear of the Preds and the preds distrust of the other species. We have a few Pred species like Satyrs, Sylphs, Harpies, goblins, Magus, Furies… all of course have their own kind of magic which brings human addicts and all lead by a Dom & their council. I had a little trouble grasping their power, I didn’t get the whole ‘addict/master’ scenario, the same with Jess’s power but it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book and I guess as the series goes on, I will understand it more. I liked the pacing and how everything unfolded, it was definitely one of those books where it keeps you on your toes and guessing who actually committed the crimes right up until the reveal and I loved the who, what & why when we eventually get the answers. I’m left curious about a few things - I would like to find out more about Jess & her powers, would love to see what develops between Jess & Lucen and wondering what’s next for her too but I thought it was an excellent beginning to a new series, full of potential and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel.