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Mill Avenue Vexations by Kyt Dotson

Gothic style, taxi driving, and magick after dark 

If you walk the streets of Phoenix during the day, you see a city, built by strong hands and strong minds. Her spires of glass and steel pierce the blue skies and scintillate in the blazing Arizona sun. Cars rush through the streets, billowing dust and desert scents. And once and a while you’ll notice a black and silver cab ferrying citizens from place to place.

At night, the city is a different place for most. Behind the hush of burnt out buildings, buried by the sound of booming bass from night clubs, and lurking in the young stone edifices of a city still growing up the restless ambitions of occultists and spirits writhe against the shadows.

As with all rising stars, Phoenix’s cometary coat-tails are more than long enough to ride on—and the shadows she casts longer.

Meet Vex Harrow, taxicab driver and occult investigator. A girl with a dark past and possibly a darker future; in a city that sometimes feels like it has no past, and expects a lot from its future.

Note: Mill Avenue Vexations is unfinished, and will likely remain so.

An abandoned series

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Listed: Jul 17, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

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By Donna Sirianni, editor

Jan 3, 2009: I can definitely put this up there as one of the more well-written web serials out there. Despite some missing words and statements that appeared to be added after the fact (as if the author forgot to put them in so added them as an after thought without editing them back to where they should be), the story was compelling and damn interesting.

It reminded me of the series Wicked but, I think, much better. From what I’ve read so far, the magic in this story, while front and center, isn’t all Hollywood and fireballs, which is what Wicked is. It looks at magic much more realistically (at least from what I’ve read thus far) as opposed to supping it up to appease readers’ expectations of what a story with magic should read like.

I’m not fond of the stereotypical gypsy woman that people have a tendency of using as a sort of consort in their works. I know it’s an easy cliche to fall back on because it’s portrayed so often but all it is is an outdated stereotype. I know people practicing the arts and they certainly don’t sound like they put their grammar through a blender. Their actions and practices are mystical, not their speech. I can somewhat understand if the gypsy is foreign and English isn’t her first language, but I didn’t get that from this character. I felt the language she used was just to play up the mysticism she wanted around her (not in a fraudulent way, but just sort of unnecessary).

Other than that, I’m definitely anxious to read more. The story starts straight from action but not too much that it’s a jolt to the face. I found the juxtaposition of Vex and the college students a little confusing at first but quickly settled into the rhythm of the story and am very much looking forward to seeing these two sets of lives intersecting.

Kyt has succeeded in writing a compelling story that conveys rich characters, an enchanting plot and doesn’t sacrifice tact or, really, originality for the sake of what’s "popular" in the world of fantasy literature today. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading more.

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Far from run of the mill…

By Stormy, editor, author of Require: Cookie

Aug 22, 2008: (Review written after reading volumes 1-4).

Mill Avenue Vexations is brilliant. There. I said it.

Instead of reading the first few chapters, keeping a track of what I liked and what I didn’t, I was caught up in the story and was already at volume four by the time I looked up.

The story starts with a bang, but doesn’t fizzle out from [more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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Urban Magick and Mayhem

By Palladian, author of Super

Jul 15, 2012: One of the things that originally captured my interest in Mill Avenue Vexations was the strength and depth of the characters. The lead, Vex, seems to be a bit of an anti-hero at first and indeed is a person that some seem to look down on or fear, due to her gruff manner and gothic dress, but she’s also the sort of person who seems to like to hide a lot of her good stuff inside, and only show it to the people she really values. Her love interest, Patrick [more . . .]

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Sucked in

By Shutsumon, author of Tales of the First

Jun 8, 2010: I just spent my entire afternoon reading Mill Avenue Vexations, and this evening I find that I can’t wait until tomorrow to review it. Which is good because I’ve missed more than a few Wednesdays recently.

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love a good Urban Fantasy, and this is a good Urban Fantasy.

So without spoiling anything what can you expect? Magic and mayhem in the modern world obviously, [more . . .]

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By Algorythm, member

Jul 23, 2008: As a follower of Kyt Dotson’s for a couple years now, I find that the more I read of Kyt’s work, the better I like it, the more interesting it is and the more richly layered the world of Vex Harrow becomes.

Vex, the understated hero, part goth taxi driver, part detective, part potent magik-weilding mage, part Phoenix historian and part hard-bitten right-hook-throwing butt- kicking babe. Plus she’s beautiful and she’s got enough attitude to power a small city.

[more . . .]

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