Book Review: Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (The Guild Codex: Spellbound Book 2) by Annette Marie

When a young girl goes missing and Tori's guild starts looking into it, Tori agrees to be the bait to draw the known kidnapper and wanted criminal out so they can finally nab him. But the setup quickly goes wrong, and Tori will have to figure some things out on her own if she wants to save the teen.

Book Review: Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (The Guild Codex Spellbound Book 2) by Annette Marie | reading, books, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy
Title: Dark Arts and a Daiquiri
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 264
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

This was another fun, quick read in a magic-filled urban fantasy series that managed to keep me on my toes with some surprising twists and a very different plot from the first book.

I think Tori’s past was touched upon in the previous book, but it was confronted more in this one. Oftentimes authors go to the extreme when including abuse in a story, so I liked the acknowledgement that abuse isn’t always physical, that mental and emotional abuse can be just as damaging and disparaging.

As I mentioned above, the story in this one managed to be totally different from the first, which was great because it kept things interesting. It had Tori doing more on her own, without the help of her three new sexy mage friends. There were some… not really twists, but rather some surprising elements. And I’m still not sure where certain subplots and clues are going to go, so that unpredictability is fun.

And of course there was some humor! Tori is feisty and sassy and can be very entertaining at times.

The magic was also great, but that’s no surprise as Annette Marie always does a great job of writing really interesting magic and magic systems.

Unfortunately, despite all the good things about it, and despite loving other series by this author, this series isn’t really clicking with me. Clearly I don’t think it’s bad—it’s fun! But this particular kind of sassy humor just isn’t really my thing. And although I liked Tori in the first book, this time her rash decisions seemed like forced plot points, and her attitude during times when it literally could have gotten her killed was frustrating. I had also hoped I’d get to know the characters more, but they still felt stereotypical.

Overall, even though I had some issues, I thought this was an entertaining story. And although it might not be quite for me, this is a type of humor and types of characters that I know a lot of people love. So if you’re looking for something fun and fast-paced with a sassy heroine and lots of sexy magic-users, you might love it!


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  1. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    KRISTEN!!!!!!!!!! I’m SOOOOO sorry to hear about your ongoing teeth issues but I’m so glad to see your review up today! I just posted mine as well.

    THANK-YOU for our chats about this one – I love that this online bookish community has become what I always dreamed it could be – me chatting with like minded people about books that we have in common!

    I’m sorry that this series just isn’t clicking for you, but you know that I loved this one even more than the first book. I do see your points though and I think you’ve presented a really fabulous review – I enjoyed reading it!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yep, the blogging continues even though my teeth are a mess.

      I love our chats too!

      Thank you! I’m glad that you’re loving it so much, even though it’s not quite for me 🙂 you’ll have to keep me informed!

  2. Lola

    I also enjoyed this one. I was in the right kind of mood for this book, so that made it even better. I liked how this one was different than the first book and there were some surprising twists indeed. It also was interesting to see her handle some things on her own in this book. I also agree that it’s good to see how abuse can be mental and emotional instead of physical. And I liked that we got to see more of the magic and classes that we hand’t seen in book 1.

    I think because of the way this switched things up there was less attention for the characters we already knew from book 1. I did feel like we got to know Tori a bit better and some of the new side characters, but less so with the three mages. I haven’t read any of this author’s other series, so if you say those are even better I have to check those out eventually. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s awesome when you read the right book at just the right time! It was nice that this one was so different and showed us some different things, I agree.

      We did get to know Tori a little better, but I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t get to know the mages more. I mean, I guess it’s a matter of taste whether the other series are better, but I love her Steel and Stone books!

  3. Daniela Ark

    The covers of the books you read have the most luminous covers! You can almost TOUCH the magic LOL
    And of course there was some humor! Tori is feisty and sassy and can be very entertaining at times.

    And this one seems to do justice to hoe the magic and magic systems are portrait in the story 🙂

    too bad is not clicking with you. I think I would love that kinda humor 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      LOL I know, right? It’s an urban fantasy thing.

      I do like interesting magic systems, and this author really does a good job with that.

      It’s definitely a personal taste kind of thing!

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    Aw, sorry you aren’t really loving this series. So many people seem to enjoy it, but I like seeing different sides/thoughts; it’s what makes blogging awesome! I like humor in books, and I don’t mind sassy/sarcastic characters, but it has to work within the story too.


  5. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m glad this wasn’t a total waste of time, Kristen, but I hate that it didn’t really work for you since you’ve enjoyed AMarie before. I can see where Tori’s decision making and attitude in times of crisis would be aggravating though. Feisty I like. But when you’re making do or die decisions, or in situations where your life is on the line, I want a heroine who’s a little more serious about things. Your review is awesome though!

  6. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    That’s a shame the humor is making the story a little less enjoyable for me, but I’m still glad you liked it overall. I tend to like sassy humor so I’m looking forward to trying this series. I bought the first book on sale a month or so ago but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

  7. Olivia Roach

    I absolutely love sassy banter in reading. At the moment I’ve been reading a lot of Shakespeare and he has the best insults in there that have me cracking up a lot xD Sometimes we just don’t match up exactly with books. Not that they are bad, per se, but they just aren’t for us. So don’t feel guilty for that at all! I hope you enjoy your next read more. Oh, and I really like how it handles emotional abuse as well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Sassy banter can be fun! Humor is just such a subjective thing though, you know? And definitely, just because a book is not right for me, that doesn’t mean it’s bad! Thanks 🙂

  8. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I do like an urban fantasy which develops a characters backstory over the series rather than having an info dump in book one which slows the story down (I’ve had it happen before and it’s the worst). It sucks it’s not clicking for you, though. I know the feeling. It sounds like a fun read and I’m sure many folks won’t have the same issues as you.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is nice to be able to get to know a character better and better as the series goes on. And yeah, plenty of people are loving this series! It’s just personal taste 🙂