by Lorie Lewis Ham
& Jeri Westerson
This week we have a review of the second Booke of the Hidden novel by Jeri Westerson, a perfect book for Halloween! We also have a fun guest post by Jeri about demons. Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Deadly Rising, along with a link to purchase the book from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL. Jeri will also be having a book signing for Deadly Rising at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego on October 28 at 2 p.m.-more info can be found on the Mysterious Galaxy website.
Deadly Rising: A Booke of the Hidden Novel by Jeri Westerson
Review by Lorie Ham
Deadly Rising is the second book in Jeri Westerson’s new fantasy Booke of the Hidden series featuring tea and herb shop owner Kylie Strange. The series takes place in Moody Bog, Maine.
In the first book in this series, Booke of the Hidden, Kylie leaves California to move to Moody Bog and start a new life. She thinks it will be a simpler and quieter life, but she quickly finds out she is very mistaken when she discovers “The Booke” hidden in one of her walls. The Booke contains many paranormal and dangerous creatures, which she accidentally releases into the world. It is her destiny to capture and return them with the help of a badass crossbow. She teams up with a local group of Wiccans, and with a mysterious demon named Erasmus, who is somehow tied to the Booke.
In Deadly Rising, things have been quiet for Kylie for about a week and she has almost been able to forget about the Booke and get back to running her shop just in time for Halloween. But of course things don’t stay that way and she learns that another creature has been released, this one is a kelpie who looks like a beautiful horse but lures people to water to kill them—women are especially susceptible. So much for a normal Halloween. Things get even worse when she learns that the Booke has actually released two creatures for her to catch. As if all of that weren’t enough, she discovers the ghost of her grandfather and learns more about the curse that her family is unable to escape, and she gets a very unexpected visitor from California. Kylie tries to get back to a normal life, one that includes beginning to date the handsome Sheriff Ed Bradbury, but she realizes a normal life is no longer a possibility for her. She also continues to be drawn to the devilishly handsome Erasmus and knows she must choose between them–or will her destiny take that choice away from her?
While I really enjoyed the first book in this series, I loved Deadly Rising even more! I feel like Kylie has grown a lot over this short period of time and is settling into her role as a demon hunter with more confidence, even if she does long for a normal life. The Wiccans were again a delightful part of the story and I enjoyed getting to know a little more about them. We also learn more about Erasmus and Ed–I honestly don’t know whom I want her to end up with. The lore that Jeri has woven in to this series is interesting and full of surprises, and I really am enjoying the magical world that she has created.
If you love fantasy with a touch of romance and mystery, great characters, and a great plot, don’t miss Deadly Rising. This book left me on the edge of my seat and desperately wanting more! I can’t wait for the next book in the series! If you have not read the first book, be sure to start with that one.
The Fascination with Demons
By Jeri Westerson
We are enthralled by the supernatural. Maybe because our own lives are so mundane, and not just in the general sense of the word. But in the sense that we cannot perform magic or move from world to world as paranormal creatures seem to do. There is also a fascination with the bad boy; the guy who might have the air of danger about him but he doesn’t seem to care. Take those elements, roll them together, and you come out with a demon.
In my paranormal romance series, Booke of the Hidden, demons play a major role. Indeed, a demon is one of two protagonists. Or is that…antagonist? Now a demon can be a really bad guy. A really bad one. But—if you don’t subscribe to the Judeo-Christian norm and reinvent your take on it, as I have done, taking the idea of “demons” from many different cultural beliefs—demons can be of every stripe, both bad, good, and indifferent.
There was a plethora of angels in paranormals for a few years, and they still show up in various novels. Fallen angels sometimes, not knowing where they fit in. But I prefer to cut right to the chase. My demon, Erasmus Dark, was created thousands of years ago to serve one purpose; he is the guardian of the Booke of the Hidden, and when it gets opened, he’s right there helping the “Chosen Host,” the person who opened the book, to capture the creatures and monsters that got released. But as you will see in the second book of the series to be released on October 23, Deadly Rising, he also has a price to collect. And once that’s done and the book is closed, he essentially goes to sleep, like a genie in a bottle, until the next Chosen Host opens it again.
And this life didn’t bother him. It was all he knew, after all. Until Kylie Strange, the woman who opens the book this time, pointed out to him what a miserable existence it might be, especially when hundreds of years pass between the times he can “awaken.” He has no past, he has no future. No wonder he’s brooding and sarcastic. And he doesn’t expect that he’d be interested in a human beyond a casual acquaintance or random sexual encounter. But therein lies the fascination. Not only is Kylie interested in the enigmatic Erasmus, but he seems to be equally entranced with her, and he’s not sure that he likes it.
Demons, creatures of mystery and magic, can have a world of intriguing hierarchy and culture. It was a blast researching them, and I included several other demons in the series, some of my own devising, and some from ancient beliefs. One is called Shabiri, who, in Jewish demon mythology, will strike anyone blind who drinks water at night. (Yes, I love my research.) I use her as a dangerous spoiled demon, who has her own agenda.
I also bring the demon Andras into play. He comes from the Ars Goetia, a seventeenth century grimoire or book of magic written by an unknown dabbler in the supernatural. Andras was said to be a demon who is summoned to sow misery and discord, but he can also serve as an assassin. He has the body of a winged angel and the head of an owl and rides on a big black dog, and was said to lead legions of demons in Hell.
And later, in the Netherworld, Focalor makes an appearance, also from the Ars Goetia. He was a great duke of Hell, having a specific hierarchy according to the research, and looks like a man with griffin’s wings (now I don’t know how you can tell they are a griffin’s wings as opposed to any number of other kinds of wings, but there you are). He has power over wind and sea, and likes to drown men. How can you not love that?
It’s always interesting taking these creations from the past and twisting their history to suit my needs. I feel that their press wasn’t all that factual anyway, and they are likely a little different from the writings about them, just like anyone. At least that’s the conceit I go with in fantasy. Ground the reader in the familiar before you introduce your world-building on them. In fantasy, you have the freedom to do that.
I think that demons will always frighten and fascinate, even for a person like Kylie, a kick-ass gal from California, who won’t take any guff from any demon or god. That’s the fun of such a book, anyway.
To enter to win a copy of Deadly Rising, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “deadly rising,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 3, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
You can also enjoy listening to the first chapter of the latest book in Jeri’s other series, the Crispin Guest series, on our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! You can find all of the episodes on Podbean, iTunes and Google Play. Our October episodes are especially perfect for Halloween!
Use this link to purchase the book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.