the meske review: THE CURSE SERVANT by JP Sloan

Title: The Curse Servantcover2500
Author: JP Sloan
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: February 26, 2015
Cover Artist: Conzpiracy Digital Arts
978-1-62007-822-8 (ebook);
978-1-62007-823-5 (paperback);
978-1-62007-824-2 (hardcover)

“The one person standing between Hell…and an innocent girl…
is a man without a soul.”

The second book in this series definitely does not disappoint! I was more than happy to read and review THE CURSE SERVANT, the second in the Dorian Lake series…the first of the series had surprisingly stayed in my hand from start until finish, as did this one.

Admittedly, I was invited to review the book by its publisher in exchange for a free e-copy, but I would have been thrilled to review it in any case. I never thought I would enjoy a book from the urban fantasy genre, let alone a series. But I guess you could say I’ve been hexed…

At just a bit over 300 pages, this book is a really easy, quick read. Don’t think for a minute however that each page isn’t full from top to bottom of attention-worthy text. It truly is well worth adding to your library.

In this second novel, Dorian Lake continues his work as a seller of “hexes and charms for select clientele” throughout the Baltimore area. He’s working closely with the incumbent mayor’s campaign manager to see that he is re-elected. Dorian’s job is to protect the mayor’s karma, but in the end he invests much more than a few bits of magic. Dorian’s encounters with McCarthy, a major challenge to Mayor Sullivan’s incumbency, are a welcome added spin to the storyline, as are Dorian’s intertwined interactions with his tenants.

Still jaded by the soul-sacrificing love he experienced in this book’s prequel (The Curse Merchant), Dorian is hesitant to fall for the barista who catches his eye and captures his attention as she serves his coffee each morning. As with any relationship, trust has to be earned, and Francesca, aka Ches, has a very difficult path to follow to gain Dorian’s trust and win his heart.

The hurdles Ches throws up herself along the way really don’t help any. In the end, however, it is agreed that the only way to keep her trustworthy is as a lifelong student…with Dorian as her teacher.

I found myself experiencing very real feelings of relief, happiness, anger, anxiety, sadness and hope while reading THE CURSE SERVANT. I was angry when the servitor would not relinquish Elle…she’s just a little girl! I was sad that Dorian’s soul remained influx, but happy that he was willing to once again sacrifice his very soul to save someone else. I was anxious about Dorian’s relationship with Ches, and hoping in the end that it doesn’t turn into just exactly what is feared it might become.

As I said with his Sloan’s first book of the series, magic and its environment is not easily believable to most. Yet again, Sloan presents this story with characters, settings, and a language that makes every part you read seem as though it was really happening right in that moment in the world around you.

THE CURSE SERVANT is well-written, with a modern appeal to a much broader audience, including a crossover of die-hard fans of the sci-fi fiction and historical fiction genres. Just my second full read of the year, but I still give it 4 ½ stars out of 5.

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Melissa Crockett Meske is an author, writer, reviewer, and editor. Formerly from the Midwest and now based in the Washington DC metro area, you can follow all of her work here, including the meske review. (c) Melissa Crockett Meske 2015. For reproduction authorization, contact Melissa.