Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: Never Again by Michele Bardsley

Welcome to Nevermore, Texas, population 503, where witches and wizards live side by side with humans.  Small towns like Nevermore are vanishing in America--and in this case, that could be the work of a freelancing witch...


Lucinda Rackmore never would have been caught dead in a town like Nevermore.  Of course, that was before the "great reckoning" drained the family finances and her former lover, ruthless master wizard Bernard Franco, snuffed out Lucy's magical abilities.

But can Lucy really expect protection from the Guardian of Nevermore, her ex-brother-in-law, Gray Calhoun?  Gray wants nothing to do with her--and Lucy can't blame him.  Not after her sister sacrificed him to a demon lord.  Still, with everyone in town looking to settle a score with the Rackmores and Bernard bent on dragging Lucy back into his clutches, Gray might be her only hope for survival...

What first attracted me to this book was the cover.  Yes, I'm shallow, and I can admit it.  Then I read the back cover -- wizards, dragons, magical beings; okay, I'm pleasantly intrigued!  I've never been a big fan of fantasy, but stick some magic in a small town and apparently I cannot look away.  (See On The Edge by Ilona Andrews.) 

The initial issue between Gray and Lucy is that they're ex-in-laws, and Gray was wronged -- horribly wronged -- by Lucy's sister, so to say Lucy showing up at his door unannounced is a happy time is a lie.  Gray turns Lucy away, then feels instantly bad.  Because she's got a bit of a head start, he has to "chase" her around town in order to tell her he acted rashly.  All the while, he gets a good look at the town of Nevermore, surprised and horrified that he, as Guardian, has let the town fall to ruin.  When townspeople start dropping like flies, Gray understands there's a serious problem.

Attempting to summarize any further would make a convoluted mess.  That's not to say the plot is intricate or confusing; there's just a lot happening.  And A LOT happens in a short time.  Never Again is a fast-paced book, one I enjoyed, but a book nonetheless that left me with questions once I reached the end.  As it's the first in a trilogy, I hope we're able to pick up the story immediately in Now or Never.

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