Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell, #4)

Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell, #4)Author: Jenn Bennett
Series: Arcadia Bell, #4
Published: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Pocket
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

In this new installment in a beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and a new future she desperately wants: herself.
After surviving a supernatural battle with Hellfire Club leader Ambrose Dare, Cady and her demon boyfriend, Lon Butler, journey across California to find the source of her mysterious Moonchild origins. But the further they travel, the stranger the revelations about her parents’ past occult lives. Can Cady keep what's rightfully hers, or will she have make the ultimate sacrifice to stop her murderous mother from crossing the planes?
Guess what? Finding out that you’re holding the last book in a beloved series just as you finish reading the epilogue pretty much sucks. Banishing the Dark is our good bye to Cady and Lon, and I didn’t even realize it until I reached the ending, after which I frantically tweeted at Jenn asking for confirmation. I was blindsided, unprepared to part ways with these characters! I was not ready to let go.

And yet, with this spectacular series finale, Jenn Bennett turned saying goodbye into a wonderfully gentle experience, a tiny bit painful, sure, but satisfying and exciting, too. A part of me is glad she didn’t allow the series to drag and die a slow and painful death. It takes a whole lot of courage to end something when it’s at its peak, while the interest is still sky high and the fans are a million miles from any sort of disappointment. Jenn Bennett is that courageous, my friends, and while I can still taste the disappointment, I can’t help but admire her as well.

A few short chapters from Jupe’s point of view were added to this novel. Urban Fantasy authors seem to be doing this a lot lately, and while I’d normally object since dual POV goes against the rules and confines of the genre, when it’s Jupe we’re talking about, all the rules in the world go right down the drain. I’d never dare to write from a teen boy’s perspective, especially one as hyperactive and talkative as Jupe, but Jenn Bennett knows her characters well, and the whole thing went rather smoothly.

Lon and Cady are their usual brave and loyal selves, even when facing the worst enemy of them all, Cady’s horrible, murderous mother. Their relationship is a thing of beauty and they always do things together and rely on each other, even when facing insurmountable odds. I’ll admit I wasn’t Lon’s biggest fan in the first book, but it quickly became clear that there’s a lot more to the silent photographer than it first seemed. As for Cady, one can’t help but admire her, and I’ll miss her terribly.

Here’s to hoping that we’ll revisit these guys somewhere down the line – perhaps with a novella, or better yet, a spin-off centered around Jupe.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I'm going to miss them terrible too, Maja! I am, however, in many ways glad that Bennett ended this series while the going was good. With Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson and even Downside Ghosts there are evident installments I've enjoyed significantly more than previous ones, but with this short series every book has been excellent and as a whole, the series flows remarkably well. Unlike most UF, every book isn't a separate mystery but I especially love that all the loose ends, particularly the relationship ones, are dealt so realistically with in this conclusion. It really is such a fantastic ending and I desperately hope Jupe gets his own spin-off series soon enough. *fingers and toes crossed*

  2. Oh no! I can't even imagine how heartbroken you must be. To know is one thing but to be blindsided is a whole other story. :( That bites Maja! I need to start this series, if you love it this much then I just know I will too.

  3. Oh I hate when I don't know a book is the last in a series! I wasn't sure about reading this series but I've been hearing good things so maybe I should give them a try. Sorry the series is over for you though. :(

  4. Oh I'll read this one in a few days, I so can't wait, I love the series. But I confess I'm anxious as it's the last book. Thanks for the review!

  5. Oh holy crap is this the same Bennett who writes the Roaring twenties series? I feel your pain regarding a series ending and you nit realizing. It happen to me with Carr's Virgin River series and I cried. I have added this series to my must read list thanks to your wonderful review

  6. I do give up so easily sometimes

  7. This is the last one?!? Boo! Interesting that she included Jupe's POV in this one. I have seen that a lot more recently...sometimes good, sometimes not.

  8. You didn't know it was the last one? I would be completely really panicked and unprepared to, Maja! I haven't read anything by Jean Bennett, but I've been hearing nothing but good things about her writing. I'm so glad to hear that this was a satisfying series ending for you, Maja. Those are very rare these days.
    Lovely review!

  9. Reading the last book in a series is always like the end of an era, and it never fails to break my heart! I haven't started this series, but to hear that it progressed well throughout the series with a strong finish like this is definitely a testament to its quality. Clearly I need to meet these characters and read this story, Maja! Lovely review!

  10. I always feel a bit sad when I read the last book in a series I love and when it's unexpected, that's even worse!

  11. Oh my gosh, going into this not knowing it was the end would have been heartbreaking!!! Fortunately I knew in advance or there would have no doubt been tears. lol A spin-off surrounding Jupe would be the best thing ever. So sad to see this series end but am glad it didn't get stretched past its breaking point. It's funny though, didn't we read this first installment together? I never would have guessed from the first story that this would end up being a favorite. :)

  12. I am finishing up book three and headed into this one. I am glad I knew up front going in that this was the end. I am liking the series so far and thrilled that you loved the end. I can't wait for more Jupe, and I totally agree we need a spin off series with Jupe. I see you are reading Mead and Darynda! I am finishing Mead today and hoping to start Darynda this weekend :)

  13. Goodness, that's kind of the worst sort of shock to get! You're reading the last book and you don't know it! I'm sort of glad this is a short series, only 4 books long, so it isn't as daunting as a longer one to start!
    Great review, Maja!

  14. I was worried about the Jupe POV, but you are right, I mean it's Jupe! We need more Jupe in our lives. I'm so bummed that this series has ended as I told the author, but I'm excited to see what she comes up with next. I also really enjoyed this one and felt that it really completed the series. Not that I wouldn't mind a novella or two with the whole family in it. :) We so agree on that and I think I said the same thing on my upcoming review. Great minds and all. ;)

  15. Oh wow, it would be a shock to not go in and know that a series you enjoy is ending...

  16. I bought a copy of the first of this series and then snagged this off of Netgalley after I finished and LOVED Bitter Spirits. I think I'm going to do a marathon read through. It's sad to say goodbye to a beloved series but I think it's better to do that rather than continue and wait until the readers wished it was over. Lovely review, Maja! I'm even more excited to read this knowing you loved it. :)

  17. Oh wow the end? I didn't realize that. I have the first one here and need to get to it.

  18. I'm glad you liked this one, even if it ended up as an end. This series sounds very interesting, so thank you for sharing!

  19. AAAHHHH You are the third person I know who has raved about this series and these characters. I need to see if I can get the set and binge read them! I don't do well with endless UF series so I'm actually glad this one ends at a settled place. YAY for a satisfying series conclusion.

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