Mini Reviews: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy – Banshee Blues, Treasures … Black Magic, Shadows … Ancient Magic


In Banshee Blues, a banshee PI gets hired for a missing persons case but quickly finds herself and her allies in danger. In Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic, Jade, Candy, and Kett set out to track down Sienna to try and stop her once and for all. In Shadows, Maps, and Other Ancient Magic, Jade is given a dangerous mission from the Treasure Keeper and sets out with Candy and a new ally. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three paranormal/urban fantasy books!

Banshee Blues by Bilinda Sheehan

Title: Banshee Blues
Author: Bilinda Sheehan
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 258
Rating: 4 stars

Solid urban fantasy with a banshee main character! Something I found kinda cool was that she didn't operate entirely alone---she had quite a few allies as well some enemies and complicated relationships from her many years alive (she's one of the fae, so she lives a long time). In this book, there are some fae, a witch, and even a demon. The audiobook narrator was good too, gave the MC a kind of subdued vibe that seemed to fit her well. Overall the book wasn't groundbreaking, but it was enjoyable, and I always enjoy an uncommon supernatural.


Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Book Reviews: Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge | reading, books, urban fantasy, witches
Title: Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic
Series: Dowser
Book Number: Book 3
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 stars

This was the book in the series that really hooked me. Obviously I was enjoying the series or I wouldn't have continued reading/listening, but this was the one where it went from good to great for me. So far, every book in this series has had a great plot, building intensity, a bit of humor, and a really cool world and magic system involving all sorts of supernatural creatures. But the characters have grown on me more and more with each book. I love that Jade is feminine and emotional yet still kickass when she needs to be (even if I still have a couple issues with her). I love the friendships she's formed with Candy and Kett. And gosh I love Kett. I know I'm always partial to vampires, but he's been the most interesting character to me from the start, and he's only gotten more interesting as he's gotten more human. I've also gotten more used to the audio narration, so that doesn't bother me much anymore. To be honest, I do wonder if I might enjoy these books even more if I were to read them instead of listen to the audio. Anyway, this is a great urban fantasy series that I'm really enjoying!


Shadows, Maps, and Other Ancient Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Book Review: Shadows, Maps, and Other Ancient Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge | reading, books, book reviews, urban fantasy
Title: Shadows, Maps, and Other Ancient Magic
Series: Dowser
Book Number: Book 4
Pages: 280
Rating: 3.5 stars

I must admit, I was having a hard time concentrating on anything at the time of listening to this audiobook, so that may have affected my enjoyment, but I didn't like it quite as much as the previous three books. Jade's whinging about having gone too long without sex was tiresome. Kett wasn't in this one, and I missed him. The new storyline (the books in the series function kind of like trilogies) didn't grip me as much. That being said, I did still enjoy it. I loved the friendship between Jade and Candy. I liked the new character, Warner, a displaced-in-time but sexy and seemingly good-hearted dragon. The plot wasn't bad. And I'm definitely still looking forward to continuing the series!


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these paranormal/urban fantasy books?
Have you ever read about a banshee?
Does it ever take multiple books for a series to really grip you?
Has your favorite character in a series ever disappeared for a book or two? (The perils of loving side characters.)


Your Thoughts


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  1. Greg

    A banshee PI- that’s kinda cool. and banshees in general- you seem to be finding some of the banshee books that are clearly out there! I like this trend (if it is a trend- either way, we need banshee tales). 🙂

  2. Olivia Roach

    I haven’t read a book featuring banshees before, but Banshee Blues sounds like it does a good job of the story and was enjoyable! And I think so far I have only seen positive reviews from you when it comes to the Shadows, Maps and Other Ancient Magics series. I am glad you continue to love them <3 Sometimes it does take multiple books to grip me but lately I am quitting series when I lose interest. It's the author's job to grip me within the first two books! Otherwise I am out!

    1. Kristen Burns

      There aren’t a lot of banshee books out there, so it’s cool to find some! And yeah, I’ve really been enjoying the other series 🙂 Oh, I’ve reached the point where I also will usually just quit a series if I lose interest, but it wasn’t like that with this one. I was enjoying it already, just that the 3rd book really stepped it up for me!