Book Review: A Kiss Before Doomsday by Laurence MacNaughton
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Book 2 of Dru Jasper
Publisher: Pyr (July 11, 2017)
Length: 290 pages
A Kiss Before Doomsday is the second novel in an urban fantasy series starring Dru Jasper, a bookish sorceress whose power allows her to unleash the magical properties of precious stones and crystals. Pretty cool, right? Now Dru and the whole gang are back in another madcap adventure to prevent the end of the world, and once again the results are as entertaining and fun as you would expect.
Since the story begins in the immediate aftermath of the first book, I would highly recommend reading It Happened One Doomsday before tackling this one if you haven’t yet. I won’t spoil any of the details, but suffice it to say that our protagonist did not exactly come out of the previous ordeal unscathed. Dru’s store The Crystal Connection has been left completely destroyed, and her new boyfriend Greyson is missing after he and his demonic muscle car Hellbringer were blown up in the Netherworld. Dru doesn’t know what’s worse: the idea that Greyson is dead, or that he is still alive but still afflicted by the curse that transformed him into one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
In the meantime though, the city of Denver is facing other problems. Despite our characters’ efforts in the previous book, the world is still heading towards Doomsday, with signs that someone is still trying to fulfill the prophecy of the apocalypse scroll. The latest disaster is a plague of undead, and for some reason, they seem to be targeting all of the area’s magic users, including Dru and her friends.
If you’ve read my review of It Happened One Doomsday, then you’re probably aware already that I’m all over this fantastic series. With a flood of new urban fantasy titles coming out every year, it’s always refreshing to come across something that immediately leaps out at me, even if it’s because of seemingly minor things like a twist in the usual story formula or a really cool magic system. Little details like that are just as likely to catch my attention, and that’s exactly what happened when I read the first book last year and fell in love with the idea of crystal magic. Laurence MacNaughton did a great job taking off with the concept, allowing Dru to harness a crystal’s power depending on its properties (and there’s just something so charming about the idea of our main character running around with an arsenal of different crystals stuffed in her purse, so that she’ll be ready for any situation). The best part is, now that Dru’s magic is even stronger in this sequel, we get to see even more of her in action.
Then there are the characters. I love them all so much! Rane, my favorite Amazonian metal woman from the first book is back, and this time around she even has a mini-side plot involving her and a former flame, a jerkwad sorcerer named Salem. Opal also returns with a bigger role in this novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the three friends working together to figure out why the dead are rising from the grave to attack sorcerers.
On the other hand, there was not as much of Greyson. This also meant less of Hellbringer, which was a shame since I am a big fan of that demon car. Still, Greyson and his hot rod taking a step back also meant the story got to really focus on our three ladies and their mission to kick some ass and rescue the guy for a change, so this was definitely a silver lining. That said, a part of me still wishes we could have seen more development into Dru’s relationship with Greyson, because while theirs was a whirlwind romance from the start, I wasn’t quite convinced that our protagonist would be the kind of girl to turn into a weeping mess over someone she’s only known for a couple weeks.
Apart from those minor quibbles though, I really have no complaints. With this solidly written sequel, Laurence MacNaughton really seems to be hitting his stride, giving readers more of his quirky characters and their action-packed adventures. Indeed, if the series continues in this exciting and lighthearted vein, it is sure to become smashing hit and be warmly welcomed by myself and other urban fantasy fans. A Kiss Before Doomsday was another excellent, fun-filled read, and I can’t wait for more.
More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of It Happened One Doomsday (Book 1)
Guest Post: “Creating Crystal Magic” by Laurence MacNaughton