Review Wicked Misery by Tracey Martin ★★★★

18101288Wicked Misery by Tracey Martin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Miss Misery #1
Publication Date: October 8th 2013
ISBN: 9781619218079
Page Count: 384
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Buy Link: AMAZON
Synopsis: It's all quasi-legal fun until somebody gets framed for murder.

Jessica Moore thrives on misery. Literally. Thanks to a goblin s curse, she gets a magical high from humanity s suffering. A shameful talent like that could bury a girl in guilt, so to atone, she uses her dark power to hunt murderers, rapists and other scumbags until one of them frames her for his crimes.

In desperation, Jessica seeks refuge with the one person she trusts to not turn her in a satyr named Lucen. Like every member of his race, Lucen uses his lusty magic to control Boston s human population, and Jessica isn t immune to his power. But the murder victims belonged to a rival race, and when they discover Lucen is harboring Jessica, dodging the cops becomes the least of her problems.

With only five days to find the real killer, Jessica faces a danger far more serious than the brewing magical war. The danger of succumbing to Lucen s molten seduction.

Warning: Contains a heroine with a lust for misery, creepy murders, and creepier goblins, satyrs so hot you'd sell your soul for one, and scaly sewer rats masquerading as dragons. Who said magic was all sparkles and tiaras?


Wicked Good

There were many, many things I liked about WICKED MISERY. Of them all, I think the worldbuilding was my favourite.

Imagine a world filled with all manner of supernatural creatures living out in the open for all to see (albeit confined, mostly, to their own shadowy little corner of the city). Each race has a particular human energy/emotion it needs to feed on. In this book, the secondary character and love interest, Lucen, was a Satyr, for example. As you sly sleuths might have already guessed, that means the emotion he needs to feeds from is lust. Others races feed from rage, doubt, vanity, that kind of thing. In order to feed, however, the supernatural races - or "Preds" as they're called here - have to first turn the humans into addicts. This basically means the humans give their life energy to the Pred in exchange for the feel-good factor they receive in return, which they become addicted to and therefore keep coming back for more. So, it's kind of a two-way street, except an unscrupulous Pred could easily take that feeding too far and then you'd be left with only a husk of a person remaining; a ghoul with nothing left to give. So it's a risky business for the human. But, as we all know, the world is never short on fools willing to do stupid shit for a quick thrill.

Now, this is all very good, and while I thought this concept was awesome and really clever and interesting, it brought with it a slight problem for me. Okay, make that a HUGE problem. Because Lucen, being a Satyr, has to feed from his addicts, and from time to time, engage in sex with them to keep them all happy and hunky dory. Thus making it simultaneously my favorite and least favourite thing about the whole book all in one. Because I, as a reader, will never ever be okay with my love interest sleeping with other people. Of both sexes. It's just not in my nature to share. So unless the author has something amazing up her sleeve to "fix" this situation, maybe by giving him another way to get what he needs, I'm always going to be unhappy about it. Given the twists and turns in the plot towards the end of the novel, it has to be said that that last statement is well within the realm of possibility. So I'm not without hope. Yet.

Aside from that, there were a lot of other things I liked too. I liked the protagonist, Jessica, for example, who, by the way, also feeds on people, though she is not a Pred, only a magical human. She feeds on their misery (hence the title). So anyone feeling miserable will do; the crappier the better. Also, she's currently using her ability to sense negative emotions to track down would-be rapists, killers etc., and swap their soul contracts for some quick cash. Earning her the nickname Soul Swapper. Though Jessica was a bit judgy where the Preds were concerned in the beginning, I enjoyed watching her growth and acceptance.

Other things of note - Jessica's cross-dressing friend Steph was a riot. The plotting was good and the mystery well set up. I liked the mix of races and the fact that they were mostly mythical creatures as opposed to more modern supernatural beings like vamps, werewolves, etc. Martin's worldbuilding does perhaps rely on a bit of familiarity with these kinds of creatures, however, since there isn't much exposition provided aside from her own new spin on them. Surely you've heard of Satyrs, Sylphs, Goblins, Harpies, Furies and Magi, though? I mean, what self-respecting UF nut hasn't? Pft.

All together, this book had a lot of good, and really just one major personal roadblock that I am willing to overlook for now in the hopes that it just... goes away in the next instalment. Go on, away with you! Shoo! Shoo!

4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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