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I Belong

Review: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

Banishing the DarkTitle: Banishing the Dark

Author: Jenn Bennett

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Arcadia Bell (Book #4)

Publication Date: May 27, 2014

Format: Paperback, 376 Pages

ISBN-10: 1451695098 (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN-13: 978-1451695090 (Simon & Schuster)

Reviewed by: Steph


The fourth and final installment of a “riveting” (RT Book reviews) urban fantasy series about a renegade mage and the demons who love her.

Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell’s life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who’s not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady’s body.

Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, Cady must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. Fast.

As she and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon’s teenage son Jupe sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list.

Quick & Dirty: It’s time for the final showdown between Cady and her mother in this satisfying conclusion to the Arcadia Bell series.

Opening Sentence: Jupe crouched in the shadows, watching a pair of nurses stroll down the hall.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Arcadia Bells wakes up in the hospital after surviving a brutal attack to find that her mother is still trying to reach her in the Aethyr in order to take possession of her body. Obviously, Arcadia and Lon are determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, that “whatever it takes” includes a memory spell that goes very awry and takes away pretty much all of Cady’s memories of her relationship with Lon. Now, Lon and Cady have to figure out a way to stop Cady’s mother, while Lon simultaneously works to jog Cady’s memory of him, so that he can ask her a very important question. Will Cady remember that Lon is the love of her life? Will they be able to stop Cady’s mom from wiping Cady out entirely?

I have found this series to be very addicting, so I was completely stoked to have a chance to read and review this final book in the series. And, while it often felt like not much was at stake, this book was very entertaining and fast-paced and left me feeling utterly satisfied with how everything was resolved.

As I mentioned, it often felt as if there wasn’t a whole lot at stake throughout the course of the book, which is surprising considering it’s the last book in the series, and we are after all talking about Cady’s mom trying to take possession of her body. Most of the book though focused on Cady’s memory loss, and the stuff surrounding her mother all faded to the background. It was still interesting and entertaining, but I wasn’t on the edge of my seat like I expected to be. When the showdown with Cady’s mother finally did occur, it seemed to end rather abruptly, and I was left wishing it had lasted just a bit longer.

As far as the characters go, Lon really stole the show for me. I can only imagine what he was going through internally as he dealt with Cady’s memory loss. He handled it so bravely, but you could tell (even without having any chapters from his point of view) that it was killing him inside. I really wish we could have gotten some of his inner monologue in some scenes, but even without it, he really stood out. Cady is her usual charming and witty self. I greatly enjoy her voice as a narrator. Her personality really comes leaping off the page. She made the ride through this book a fun one even when it felt like nothing was happening.

All in all, while I was surprised at the lack of action in this final book in the series, I still very much enjoyed my time saying goodbye to Cady, Lon, and Jupe. Fans of the series should really pick this one up! I’m looking forward to the next offering from Jenn Bennett!

Notable Scene:

“Buck up,” I said. “It’ll be okay.”

He gave me a unnervingly grave look. “Will it?”

I stared into his bright green eyes, with all those dark, fanning lashes. His uncertainty and worry were almost palpable – almost something I could hear as clear as his voice – and it had nothing to do with whatever punishment he feared from his dad. He was scared for me. Me. And for us, and the future. And I wanted more than anything to assure him that he was worried for no reason, that everything was fine, and nothing ever went so horribly wrong that it couldn’t be fixed. That life was easy, and if you worked hard enough, you’d get everything you wanted. If you did right by others, they’d do right by you. That both humankind and demonkind were intrinsically good, and people you respected didn’t disappoint you, and no one would ever break your heart.

None of that was true.

But unlike him, I was an excellent liar.

“Trust. Me,” I enunciated firmly, pressing my forehead to his. “Everything will be fine.”

Arcadia Bell Series:

1. Kindling the Moon

2. Summoning the Night

2.5 Leashing the Tempest

3. Binding the Shadows

4. Banishing the Dark


FTC Advisory: Simon and Schuster/Pocket provided me with a copy of Banishing the Dark. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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