Monday, November 12, 2018

Spring's Calling (Seasons of Magic #1), by Sarah Bigelow

Sarah Bigelow, November 2018

Ezri Trenton is a cop, a still-new detective with the Boston Police Department.

Ezri is also a witch.

Her relationship with both things is--complicated.

Ezri is the descendant of witches who died in the Salem Witch Trials. Prophecy says that she is the Savior, destined to defeat a plot by evil practitioners who will strike on the day that there is an eclipse of the sun and a meteor shower, on the Vernal Equinox. And Ezri is committed, personally, to doing her duty. Unfortunately, she's not on speaking terms with any of the other witches she should be collaborating with when the time comes--which is very, very soon.

Ezri's mother died on Ezri's fifteenth birthday. She found her mother's body, knife in her chest--and the Authority, the governing body of witches who seek to be law-abiding good citizens, covered it up and did nothing to find the killer. Ezri has cut ties with everyone who went along with this, which was everyone important in her life.

Her complicated relationship with her police career comes from the fact that she still basically seeks to follow the rules and ethics of the Authority, and that means, sometimes, often, not telling the whole truth about how she gets things done.

And it's now March 2017, and this vernal equinox is the one during which she's destined to be a hero.

But right now, she and her partner, Jacquie DeWitt, are hunting for a serial killer. Or killers. What Ezri can't tell her older, more experienced, and increasingly concerned partner is why she's so sure the seemingly random victims are actually random, and that the real pattern is geographical. She can't even tell Jacquie that she's pretty sure the pattern is a pentagram, or that the specific locations are places where dark practitioners were hanged, because how could she explain that without revealing entirely too much?

Jacquie is a dedicated cop, and trying to be a responsible partner and mentor for Ezri, but Ezri really isn't making it easy. Meanwhile, the Authority, and Ezri's cousins and father, are trying to bring her back into the fold for the sake of everyone.

This is very well written, with good characters and good plotting. It's an added bonus for me that it's set in Boston--and Bigelow knows the city. I honestly noticed exactly one error--at one point, the swan pond in the Public Garden is referred to as a "lake." I mean, shudder, for sure, but that's the kind of tiny, unnoticeable error that can happen and not be caught when the writer is using a good editor whom they trust, and who doesn't have the same level of knowledge of the city. I forgive them both. There's one more possible mistake--Ezri makes a U turn at a spot where I'm really not sure it's possible. Storrow is a divided road for much of its length. On the other hand, without going to take a ride and checking, I'm not sure. So I don't think I can complain about that.

And, honestly, look at how picky those two thing are. Meanwhile, the feel of the city is very real, and I've spent a lot more time on those two things than I did while reading, when they didn't cause more than a momentary "huh?" while reading, not wanting to pause in my enjoyment of the story.

So, seriously, hearts and flowers for a good job on my favorite city.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley from the author, and am reviewing it voluntarily.