Review: Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Posted May 29th, 2012 in book review / 8 comments

Dime Store Magic

Book #3 of the Women of the Otherworld Series

by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Spectra (May 2004)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback (414 pages)
Source: Personal Library (Bought)
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)

Paige Winterbourne was always either too young or too rebellious to succeed her mother as leader of one of the world’s most powerful elite organizations- the American Coven of Witches. Now that she is twenty-three and her mother is dead, the Elders can no longer deny her. But even Paige’s wildest antics can’t hold a candle to those of her new charge- an orphan who is all too willing to use her budding powers for evil… and evil is all too willing to claim her. For this girl is being pursued by a dark faction of the supernatural underworld. They are a vicious group who will do anything to woo the young, malleable, and extremely powerful neophyte, including commit murder- and frame Paige for the crime. It’s an initiation into adulthood, womanhood, and the brutal side of magic that Paige will have to do everything within her power to make sure they both survive. ~ Goodreads

This is what I consider a short review. I will do these from time to time when I don’t have too much to say about a book, no matter its rating.

The Good
I enjoyed watching Paige’s life slowly spiral down hill (I’m not a sadist, I just thought the drama was funny). Nothing seemed to go right and everyone was pretty much against her. Add a reckless and powerful teenager into the mix, and things only get worse. Savannah was an interesting character. Naive, audacious, but trying to be good despite her history and familial connections.  She was also the main reason for Paige’s new disastrous life. Leah, supposedly Savannah’s father, wants full custody of his daughter, but Paige knows something is wrong with him. And she’s right. Leah and his many underlings were pretty frightening. They could do real damage with just one phone call or flick of a finger. I was anxious most of the time to see how Paige was going to win against such an evil, powerful opponent.

Watching Paige and Lucas butt heads was pretty fun. I like how Lucas just inserts himself into Paige’s life with little explanation. Their back and forth and constant bickering was hilarious. I found their relationship adorable overall.

Armstrong really went all out with the history and background of magic, witches, and sorcery. I always find an author’s unique version of supernatural things captivating to read. I think Armstrong did a good job with her rich and descriptive writing. Her world building was impeccable and easily digested. She doesn’t make things more difficult than they have to be. She knows what she’s doing.

The Bad
The first half of the book barely held my attention. Getting to the real action and supernatural happenings took forever. I don’t care for reading about mundane, everyday proceedings. I found myself able to put the book down very easily.

Paige was a somewhat weak character. She was naive, rude, and annoying. I didn’t care much for what happened to her. Savannah may have been a brat, but at least she had the excuse of being thirteen years old.

The Snuggly
We get one sex scene that is more about foreplay than actual intercourse. The romance between Paige and Lucas was slow building but lacked the passion I was hoping for.

If it wasn’t for Armstrong’s amazing first two books, Bitten and Stolen, maybe I would have liked this book more. But when comparing them to Dime Store Magic, this book just didn’t hit the mark. But I can’t deny the book got substantially better halfway through. Recommended for those who want to continue this series and need to be introduced to Savannah to understand the rest of the series.

“Mind if I give you hiccups?” I asked Cortez.


“Hiccups. I need to give you a case of hiccups. Is that okay?”

“I can’t say I’ve ever had a girl offer to give me that.”

Women of the Otherworld Series:
Book#1: Bitten
Book #2: Stolen
Book #3: Dime Store Magic
Book #4: Industrial Magic
Book #5: Haunted
Book #6: Broken
Book #7: No Humans Involved
Book #8: Personal Demon
Book #9: Living with the Dead
Book #10: Frostbitten
Book #11: Waking the Witch
Book #12: Spell Bound
Book #13: Thirteen

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8 Responses to “Review: Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. Sarah Elizabeth

    I agree with you, it took absolutely ages to get to the supernatural part – it was like why am I reading a book about a possible custody battle, and a lawyer chatting Paige up and then hitting her car when she wasn’t interested?! This isn’t what I was expecting?!
    I’m totally in the same boat, if I hadn’t read Bitten and liked it, this book would probably have put me off continuing with the rest of the series.

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      I knoooooowwww. The custody battle and the lawyers, it was just too much of the mundane. Luckiy some of us stuck it out and realized that the series is really good, just this book wasn’t. 🙂

  2. Sarah (saz101)

    Ahahaha! Before I even read your preface, I was like ‘wow! This is a short review for Jen!’ Hehehe!

    “I enjoyed watching Paige’s life slowly spiral down hill.”

    AHAHAH!! Oh goodness… of COURSE you’re not a sadist 😛

    Aw, a shame this was SUCH a slow start (reminds me of Demon Lover, by Juliet Darke?), and it’s an even bigger shame given I know Bitten is, well, meant to be the ZENITH of PNR. Mo well. Glad it got better and you still enjoyed it! xx

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      LOL. I was actually going to make the title Short Review, but then I realized my “short review” is longer than some people’s whole reviews. So I thought I would just mention in the body that this review is shorter than my usuals.

      YESSS, Very much like Demon Lover except for this book we get to watch lawyers bicker and read legal jargon for half the book. UGH!

  3. Danielle Smiley

    Great review! I wonder what we all will think of the next book which seems to continue with Paige and Lucas and Savannah. 🙂

    Known to Read

  4. Christina @ Biblio Thoughts

    Great review! I agree that it was slow going for a while there, but once it got to the parts with more action it was better. It seems like all the books so far in this series have started pretty slow. Industrial Magic is way better than Dime Store Magic, so that’s something to look forward to.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my review! New follower 🙂 I love you blog <3

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