Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Echoes of Deviance
SERIES: Aberrant Magic #4
AUTHOR: Lyn Gala
PUBLISHER: Loose Id
LENGTH: 196 pages
RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2017
The FBI’s Talent team is back on the job with Kavon and Darren trying to navigate being lovers and partners in the office and at home. Without the imminent danger from magical attack hanging over their heads, Darren hopes their life together will turn out to be the happily ever after he expects. However, relationships require negotiation and compromise, and that’s difficult when the cases keep coming.
This time the team is called in when a parole officer dies at the hands of a shaman with a violent past. Local law enforcement doesn’t want federal help, and they certainly don’t want shamans involved when they blame magic for the death of one of their own. Kavon and Darren have never walked away from a case simply because they’re unpopular. Unfortunately, Kavon’s instinct to protect Darren threatens to drive a wedge between them. Darren must struggle to find his own independence without undermining the bond they share. And there’s no room for mistakes because someone wants to see the team fail on this case.
With the greater issues surrounding the return of the Ifrits taking a backseat, this latest book in the Aberrant Magic series focuses instead on the relationship and continuing changes between Kavon and Darren while they work to track down a shaman that appears to have been involved in the murder of a parole officer. Despite the fact that all the books in the series have featured some sort of case/mystery, I found this one to be quite a bit different than the stories that I read before and while a little unexpected, I liked the break from the heavier issues surrounding the council and the events of the previous installments.
The case itself was a bit of a puzzle; nothing seemed to fit and/or make sense and every time it looked as though the agents were getting a handle on things, something else would come to light that would put them back at square one. Magic also wasn’t as involved in regards to the crime as I had expected but I was kind of glad to see that, honestly; despite their abilities, Kavon, Darren and their team went about working the case much like any other regular law enforcement officer would and their magical abilities just enhanced the police work already present instead of being more front and center. While this is going on throughout the book, Kavon and Darren are still working out some kinks in their relationship and new bond, mainly Kavon’s desire to basically wrap Darren up in cotton and stash him somewhere safe. Even though they’ve been together for a while and will remain so now that they’re so fundamentally connected, it was nice to see these to still having problems that they needed to work through together.
I enjoyed the story overall and while it wasn’t as action packed or full of surprises as the previous books, it was still a really good read. I totally appreciated the break from the heavier topics and am now really excited to see where the series goes next. 🙂 If you enjoy urban fantasy, books featuring law enforcement or interracial couples, I highly recommend this series but they do need to be read in order as each book builds on the one before it.