Today I have a very special treat. If you've been here for at least a year then you know that this blog has played host to a very special author, Christine Amsden, as I was given the honor of reading her series about Cassie Scot, a paranormal detective. Links to all those reviews are on my Bookshelf so you can revisit those or check them out if you haven't yet read that series.
I mention this because today I have the pleasure of reviewing yet another book by Mrs. Amdsen, but this time it is a spin-off novel focusing on Cassie Scot's friend Madison Carter!
Author: Christine Amsden
Publication: October 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery. Paranormal
I should begin by saying that this book takes place AFTER the Cassie Scot books, which establish several of the characters that are in this book and brings back conflicts that were present in them. You could go in blind and probably still enjoy it, but you will get the most out of it if you read the entire series.
The cover is beautiful, as always, which is not at all a surprise to me. The artwork never ceases to amaze me and catch my attention. I like the greenish tones and the piano at the bottom. I also love the way that the music notes fade into the backgorund and cover the lower right angle of the moon. The moon is also a nice detail to include! Again, brilliant work as far as cover's go. The title font is also catching and quite elegant on the "M" and "S".
The characters in the story are all very fleshed out and realistic feeling. This is another aspect that is never lax in Mrs. Amsden's novels. All her characters are well-rounded and each one has a purpose. There is never anyone around just because, no frivolity. Madison and Scott are the main two characters and the stakes are clearly shown with no question as to what they want and need, even if they themselves don't always realize it for themselves. They are both likable and very different, making them a great juxtaposition. The conflicts between them are apparent and make for a lot of fun and highly suspenseful conversations and interactions. I enjoyed them both and I also enjoyed the return of other characters, such as Evan Blackwood (who was my favorite character in the Cassie Scot series), as well as mentions of others like Madison's father...or ex-father.
The plot is very straightforward from the get go, although there are plenty of twists, turns, and conflicts to keep things suspenseful and to keep the tension rising. Basically, Scott is a werewolf and Madison's brother Clinton is bitten by a werewolf, hence why Madison needs Scott's help to find Clinton and help him get successfully through his first transformations. However, this gets a bit difficult since Clinton disappears and no one really knows where he's gone and things keep getting in the way. Not to mention that Scott and Madison's relationship is a bit rocky and it isn't always comfortable being around a werewolf who has killed people and who Madison has seen kill people before. Add into the mix inner demons and fear and you have a wonderful time ahead of you. The payoff is fantastic and each situation they face causes you to know more and more about each character. The character development as it unfurls through various plot points is just remarkable.
Overall, Madison's Song is a great read and is a wonderful addition to the Eagle Rock collection as I'm going to begin to call it. I'm hoping that there will be more to add in the future because I'm not ready to let these characters go yet, I"m so attached. This book takes a slightly different angle at werewolves, throwing in magic and intrigue, while pulling in romantic elements and dynamic, lovable characters. I give Madison's Song a 5 out of 5. It only took me a few days to read it and that is because I was forced to set it down because I had to do a bit of reading for my college classes, but otherwise I definitely would've spent a whole day or two reading straight through if that had been an option. I carried it everywhere and took every opportunity I could to read it, hating when I had to put it down to do homework or eat dinner. Come back in another week or two because the fun doesn't stop here! Madison herself will be visiting The Real World According To Sam in an exclusive interview post!
Also, Madison's Song is currently on a Book Tour that started July 15th and is going until October 15th. This review just marks one stop made along the way so be sure to check out the other reviews that other bloggers have had going up over the past few months and come back soon to meet Madison. Thank you for reading!!!