Monday, October 13, 2014

Bookish Thoughts: A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain

The interview was a catastrophe. ~ Opening of A Fistful of Evil


A Fistful of Evil by Rebecca Chastain
Mind Your Muse Books, 2014
Fantasy; 273 pgs

As I sometimes do after reading a blurb for a book that sounds interesting, I downloaded a free sample of A Fistful of Evil to my Kindle to give it a try.  By the time I got to the end of the sample, I did not hesitate in hitting the "Buy" button.  I was already invested in the story and the characters.

From GoodReads: 
Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. 
On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm. 
When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life. 
If Stephanie Plum fought evil with magic, it’d look a lot like this.

It doesn't take much to connect with and like the character Madison Fox.  At least not for me.  She is not exactly your typical strong-out-of-the-gate and edgy female heroine, but rather is a somewhat awkward but determined woman who believes in doing the right thing. Madison can be quite stubborn as a result--and yeah, she does walk into a few situations on her own without back-up, making me want to shake her and ask her what she was thinking but also cheer her on.  Anyhow, Madison has a love for animals that I could totally relate to.  She also has a special gift. She calls it soul-sight. Madison has long done her best to hide it and avoid using it. When she applies for a job with a bumper sticker company, however, that changes quickly.

The bumper sticker agency is a front for the Collaborative Illumination Alliance (C.I.A.), an agency that fights evil, much of which the average person has no idea exists.  Completely untrained and not sure she is up for the job (by both herself and her coworkers), Madison finds herself in one difficult situation after another.  She comes across imps and hounds and a rather nasty demon.

Madison isn't the only character worth reading this novel for.  There is a great cast of characters from her boss, Brad Pitt (not to be confused with the actor), her babysitter, Rose, and the ever gorgeous Dark and Deadly, Niko, Doris the retired Illuminant Enforcer, among others.  I would love to know more about the Illuminea. I admit to suspecting the sexy veterinarian Dr. Love of being one himself at times.  Mr. Bonds, of course, was a favorite of mine.  For those who worry about talking cats in books--don't worry.  Mr. Bonds is very much a cat.

Besides the great characters was the mystery and story itself. I like the world Chastain has created and the story she built around it. Evil saw a weakness in the region and took full advantage of it. It got creepy at times, the way evil attached itself to ordinary people--how easily it spread.

The setting!  Having spent a good part of my growing up years in the Sacramento area in California, I was excited to find Madison lives in Roseville.  The mention of towns and cities in that area made me bounce in my seat a little as I read.  She mentioned Fair Oaks!  Nobody ever does that!  If it isn't obvious by now, I enjoy reading about places I have been or lived before.

I love books about magic and the supernatural, and so this book was right up my alley. It is a light read, but not overly so. There are some funny moments, and plenty of suspense.  A hint of romance to come maybe? While I knew early on who the big evil was (certain behavior by Madison was a dead give away), it did not hurt my enjoyment of the book. I found A Fistful of Evil to be an entertaining read, and I definitely will be looking for more by this author in the future.

Rating: * (Good +)

To learn more about author Rebecca Chastain and her work, please visit the author's website

Source: I purchased a copy of this book for my own reading pleasure.


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

12 comments:

  1. I find magic and supernatural themes hard to resist. I'm glad you enjoyed reading this book. Thanks for the lovely review, Wendy! :)

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  2. I'm a fan of magic and the supernatural, too, and this one sounds like fun!

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    1. Jenclair - It is fun and different in all the right places. :-)

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  3. It's fun finding references to places you know, you can take a break from descriptions and they can unintentionally hook you into the story. Here's hoping there are more books in future :)

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    1. Charlie - I love reading about places I am familiar with. Visualizing locations comes so much more naturally. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens to Madison next.

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  4. Thank you for the lovely review, Wendy! I'm so glad you liked the book! And yes, there are more in the series already underway.

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    1. Rebecca - Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Madison is such a great character, and I can't wait to see what happens to her next.

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  5. You know I've never gotten a sample of a book on amazon. For some reason I just never think of it! I'm impressed how quickly the author managed to hook you on the characters! This definitely sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Katherine - I have been downloading samples more and more. Okay, so not as often as that last statement makes it sound, but I've found it helpful in my decision to read a book or not. The samples usually offer just enough too to let me know whether the book is for me.

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  6. I love it when reading a sample leads you to getting the book for yourself. Can hurt my wallet sometimes but it would be so worth it!

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    1. Athira - It can be dangerous to the bank account, that's for sure. Fortunately this one wasn't too costly--although sometimes that's bad too because it makes it easier to hit that "Buy" button and those little costs add up.

      It was worth it in this case though. I had such a good time reading this book.

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