Jun 082012

The Department of Magic by Rod Kirkegaard Jr
Source: Review copy from Curiosity Quills Press via Netgalley
Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Book on Facebook

It’s hate at first sight.

Jasmine Farah and Rocco di Angelo are competing for the same job in a dusty office in a secret Federal agency run by the mysterious, menacing Jefferson Davis Crawley – “Creepy” Crawley, as he’s known.

When Crawley is murdered in front of them after their first day on the job, Jasmine and Rocco are left to figure out who killed their new boss, and exactly what a job in the so-called Department of Magic entails. And magic, it seems, is nothing like it seems in children’s books; it’s dark and bloody and sexual.

What follows is a nightmare gallop through a world of ghosts, spooks, vampires, demons, and the minions of South American and Voodoo gods hell-bent on destroying the world and subjugating all America in the year 2012.

Only Rock and Jazz, in the company of a ragtag team of urhobos – homeless guardians of the District of Columbia– can prevent it by resurrecting “Goddess America” in a mystical ceremony on the Fourth of July, as the story reaches its bittersweet and unforeseen climax.

This book is nonstop action. There is something happening all the time. Unfortunately, it seems like everything that happens involves a new type of paranormal element. I’m not sure there was anything paranormal left out. Everything made an appearance, usually only once. This made it impossible to predict what would happen next.

Rocky and Jazz were very interesting in the beginning. They clashed so much that I was anticipating a great sparking and sizzling relationship to progress. Instead, the emotions seemed to die away. It was hard to connect with either character past the first chapter. They went from being normal people to being ninja killer thiefs very quickly, without seeming to have any objections. They didn’t even seem to notice the change to robotic like super villians, until they did notice and even remark on it. Their reactions were to just shrug and continue on. This complete emotionless personality made the characters seem distant and remote.

The ending left a bit to be desired. This doesn’t appear to be the start of a series, and yet the story doesn’t seem quite finished. There were a lot of threads left hanging.

Overall, I think the story had great potential, but fell flat. There was lots of action, but it was done by characters that I could get attached to at all. So I didn’t really care what happened in the end, but I do wish I knew how it all came together and wrapped up.

Challenges read for:

Speculative Fiction Challenge 2012

2012 Ebook Challenge

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