Keys to the Coven: Demonic Intervention Series, Book 1 (Unabridged)
by Vicky Loebel
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The Road to Hell is Paved with Bad Intentions. Get ready for Keys to the Coven, a witty, tightly plotted, (adult) urban-fantasy/romance set in an original universe where karma is power, sex is karma, and it's not who you know but whose soul you own that matters.* To become a demon, you must die in complete and utter despair. Three hundred years ago, Max passed that test with flying colors and joined the afterlife resolving never again to have innocent blood on his hands. Now Max has been given the job of breaking a young witch's family curse. But what she doesn't know, what Max can't bring himself to tell her, is that completing his mission almost certainly means her death. When Felicity Woodsen inherits her mother's coven, she learns each firstborn Woodsen daughter must become the consort of an evil-arch demon. Felicity's only hope is to ally with the mysteriously charming Max. But is saving her body from one demon worth risking her soul with another? Roxashael became a demon when his Roman captors sent his family, one by one to be devoured by lions. The lesson was clear: power is good; lots of power is better. Two-thousand years later, Rocky has power. He's purchased hundreds of souls, and he's created the Minsk Homunculus, a magic artifact that, by binding a human witch as his consort, turns him into an arch-demon and places him above the goody-two-shoes laws of karma. Unfortunately, Rocky made a mistake. He fell in love with Felicity's mother and in a moment of weakness promised to give up his demon-consort charm. Now Felicity's mother is dead, the Minsk Homunculus is slated for destruction, and Rocky's power as an arch-demon is about to end. No demon can break a promise. If Rocky refuses to give up the Minsk Homunculus, he'll become the lowest, most abject slave in Hell. But then, why break promises when they're so easy to corrupt? **Caution: This book contains violence, strong sexual themes, moderately explicit sex between consenting adults, (unfulfilled) threats against children, and one completely gratuitous reference to unicorns.
a complex and dark magical structure
Keys to the Coven by Vicky Loebel is an urban fantasy novel with a touch of romance set in current time. Max is a demon. Hundreds of years ago when he died in utter despair, instead of his soul leaving in the beyond, he became the demon that he is today. As a demon, his job is to intervene in magical cases to prevent situations from breaking the rules of the underworld. His latest task is to break a curse on the Woodsen family. The heir, currently Felicity, inherits the sorcery that is present in their family, but a curse ties the heirs of the family for generations seemingly inextricably to the arch-demon, Roxashael. Max must help Felicity, who has only recently become aware that magic exists and that she has power, by finding the artifact that connects her family to the arch-demon. If he doesn’t complete his task to the best of his ability, his soul will be foresworn, but if he does, he may end up losing Felicity forever.
Loebel has created a complex and dark magical structure in Keys to the Coven. There is not only the political hierarchy amongst demons and also angels, but also the rules are well defined. The structure and rules are slowly introduced as the some of the characters learn about them. All the relationships, sibling, romance, or parental, in this novel are complicated and changing, which makes the story engrossing. There is a bit of romance and sex, which seemed to come at inopportune times and is heavy with responsibilities. The plot moves along at a fast clip with lots of action, betrayals, and stubbornness driven drama. There are a lot of little revelations about characters’ motivations that I didn’t see coming, which was a pleasant surprise. While I loved the end of the novel, it did seem a bit too convenient and tidy. But at the end, it’s uplifting.
The narration by Emily Beresford and Nick Podehl were well done. It helped to have female and male narration for the two main characters. And it was nice to hear the voices of all the characters as heard by Max or Felicity. Both did a good job with distinguishing voices for the different characters. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy, a little bit of romance, and a lot of drama.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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