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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 is similarly a study of contrasts in innocence and experience, and the other characters, both friends and foes, are also wonderfully eccentric, with motives that are not always easy to discern at first.

Along with the characters I found myself drawn in by something that almost functions like a character in its own right in this story – the setting. Kyt Dotson does an amazing job of describing the world of Phoenix and Tempe Arizona, as well as some of the surroundings, enough so that I could imagine things to the point that it felt as if I’d visited.

The plot of the story is equally compelling, and the author does a good job of taking you into a dangerous supernatural mystery one step at a time. She also seems to excel at plot twists along with the revelation of the mystery, so that each time you get one step further along, you also feel like the whole picture you’re trying to understand has gotten bigger, so that you’ve actually slipped backwards as far as where you need to be.

Unfortunately, I almost nearly missed all of this great stuff because of the story Prologue, which places you in the middle of the story somewhere. It’s definitely interesting, I suppose, but I found myself more jarred than anything reading it, to the point where I almost didn’t continue on to the rest of the story. Maybe this is something that works well with some stories, but it didn’t work so well for me here . . . I think I find it more interesting as I re-read it now, since I have some sense of the characters and territory that’s being talked about, and a sense of why I should care about them. My other disappointment with the story is that I can’t tell when the author is going to update it again (if ever), given that she’s said that it updates sporadically. However, despite these things, I definitely recommend this story because of the strength of its characters (human and otherwise) and intricate storyline, especially to anyone interested in tales of magick, urban fantasy, and adventure.

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