Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

Scarlett Bernard is back! It’s been three peaceful years since we’ve seen her last, and she’s grown up a lot. Now she’s thrown into a plot to frame her former roommate, Molly, with the murder of twelve human women and overturn the fragile peace of the Old Word in LA.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

midnight-curseTitleMidnight Curse
AuthorMelissa F. Olson
SeriesDisrupted Magic, Book 01/Old World Chronology
Publish Date: February 7, 2017 by 47North
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Source: ARC from NetGalley/Audio purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionScarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Midnight Curse is the fourth book featuring magical null, Scarlett Bernard and the tenth work of Olson’s set in the “Old Word,” yet it is the start of a new series called Disrupted Magic. I’m not yet sure where this new series is going, but I sure enjoyed the first book.

It’s been three years since the end of Hunter’s Trail, and I’m not sure how long since the end of Boundary Born. Scarlett and Eli have been living together as a couple, along with the dog-like bargest, Shadow. Jesse Cruz has quit the police force, married and divorced, and is living a depressed life out of his one-room apartment. The mystery of who is framing Molly, Scarlett’s former roommate pulls Scarlett and Jesse back into the dangerous side of the Old World in LA.

I’m impressed at where this series has taken Scarlett and Jesse. In the previous books, Scarlett had feelings for both Eli and Jesse, but Jesse saw Scarlet as someone who needed saving and protecting–from her enemies and her own choices. Though Scarlett goes to Jesse for help, their romantic relationship is not immediately rekindled, even when Scarlett’s relationship with Eli is in jeopardy. In fact, NOT having romantic feelings help each of them see the other more clearly, which is the strength of their newfound partnership. I don’t know if they’ll become involved in future books, but it was refreshing to see them just be friends.

One of the big themes of this book is accepting yourself and others for who they are–not who they were or could be. Ultimately, Scarlett likes who she is and her role in the Old World in LA. When being her fullest self conflicts with her relationship with Eli, she chooses no relationship over one that forces her to be something she’s not. I think this is a great message. No relationship, no matter how loving, will be successful if you can’t be yourself. Love isn’t always enough. It’s a very modern and mature message and I appreciate it being played out in my fiction.

And can I just say how much I LOVE Shadow. In fact, I love how big a role animals play in Olson’s work in general. She is obviously an animal lover and supporter of animal welfare.

badge5v5Amy McFadden is the voice actor for all four Scarlett Bernard books. I listened to the three original books in preparation for Midnight Curse and enjoyed them thoroughly. I remember the first time I listened to Dead Spots, I felt like Amy’s voice didn’t fit Scarlett and it took me a while to get used to her. Maybe it’s because I’ve just listened to her for about 42 hours over the last week, but she is now firmly Scarlett in my mind. Her voice is clear and expressive and I really enjoy her interpretation.

I’m excited about this new series and the return to Scarlett’s world. I’m very curious to see what happens next for Scarlett.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you haven’t yet, check out all of Melissa F. Olson’s work–the Scarlet Bernard series, the Boundary Magic series, the Old Word shorts, Nightshades (paranormal but not related to the Old World), and her non-paranormal Lena Dane mysteries.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.


About Invested Ivana

I'm currently a freelance line editor, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Red Adept Editing or any of my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on February 15, 2017, in Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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