Book Review: Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown

Hexed: The Sisters of Witchdown by Michael Alan Nelson

Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves, Lucifer for short, isn't your typical teenaged girl.  She's a thief who survives by stealing bad things from bad people in the magical and mystical underworld hidden beneath our own.  So when a policeman's daughter, Gina, is kidnapped by a force he can't explain, Lucifer is the only one who has a chance at getting his daughter back.

With the unsolicited help of Gina's friends, including Gina's boyfriend David, Lucifer's investigation leads to the unfortunate truth of the kidnapping.  Gina was taken to an otherworldly dimension by a creature of unspeakable evil: one of the Seven Sisters of Witchdown.  Against all odds, Lucifer must use every magical tool hidden in her trick bag to steal her way into the Shade and bring Gina back before the Sister sacrifices her for her own dark ends.  But the closer Lucifer gets to Gina, the closer she gets to David.  And David to her.  Lucifer must risk her life by confronting demons, witches, and the cruel demigoddess controlling her destiny - all to save the one girl who stands in the way of Lucifer finally finding love. 

I am a big fan of supernatural stuff and when I saw the cover of Hexed it directly reminded me of Firestarter by Stephen King. The guys and girls over at Pyr definitely know how to make a book attractive. Later I learned that Hexed is the first book adaptation to the popular comic book series, also written by Michael Alan Nelson, with the same name. From this you can make up that I am not familiar with the comic series so this is all new ground for me. Michael Alan Nelson also doesn't presume that his audience knows this and writes, what I think, from the start. And by the way, is that anything cooler than a protagonist calling herself Lucifer?  

Hexed kicks off with an highly eventful prologue, showing a young girl Gina who is terrified for her life her father comes how and tries to comfort her. At this point Gina is taken by a supernatural force trough a mirror. But her father, an police officer finds it all very hard to explain. After this eventful start the focus is placed on the main protagonist of the comic book series and this novel adaptation, on the young girl Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves, since this is quite a mouthful she has decided to change her name to Lucifer. Lucifer is currently self employed as a thief, don't presume that she steals handbags or the likes, she is more into the dark, powerful, magical and mythical items of the world. Items that the normal people of the world have no clue off. One day when Lucifer gets home, Gina's father is waiting not on her doorstep but in her house. Gina's father is there with a reason, he received Lucifer's contact details as she is the best person to find his daughter. With a great reluctance Lucifer agrees, and soon finds a lead as to who have taken Gina. And this is definitely an evil force to be reckoned with. The person responsible for taking Gina is one none other than one of the Seven Sisters of the Witchdown. Who live in the Shade, a more than Shady area in the supernatural world, that is quite frankly hard to get into. Luckily Lucifer has a lot of streetsmarts and a handy trick bag with her to help her along the way. However if only it were that "simple". Gina's boyfriend, David, wants to help out. but if this is really for the better of finding out what happened to Gina remains to be proven. Some actions that David makes, sets Lucifer thinking. Thinking about her and David. And what possible direction there relation is going too... 

As I said, I can't compare the comic book stories with that off this first novel, but what I can say is that Michael Alan Nelson has created a very fun and cool story for what I guess both new readers to his Hexed series and that of older readers. It is an easy story to get into and is made addictive by the protagonist, Lucifer. Who is very interesting to say the least. 

SO lets move on to Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves. I really liked her character. She has had a tough and I think troubled past and now is stealing the rare magical artifacts. From the start you learn that her past is haunting her, she made or perhaps was forced to make some choices in her young life that put her in the position in which she currently is. I am not saying that Lucifer has an attitude, more on the contrary, she does stand very positive in life and mostly wants to do one thing, get rid of the hexed tattoo she is wearing and be free. One thing bugs Lucifer a bit and that is that she has never really had the chance to live a normal life. She never found someone to love and the closer she gets to Gina, the closer she gets to Gina's boyfriend David. This relation gets complicated. And proves in the end complexer still. I liked how Micheal Alan Nelson gave a seemingly staightforward character that is Lucifer, a lot of depth with her past and present situation and ofcourse the predicaments she is in. 

When it comes to world building, Michael Alan Nelson has created a rich and brimming world. The world felt alive and vibrant even though the setting was at times very dark and dangerous. For me the world gets a lot of extra's in the way that the surroundings are ebing explained to you. It comes clearly to note that Lucifer is the one that gives the reader a tour of the world, even though she is young she is experienced and by relating her plan of actions to her new friends, David and Gina's father, the information that you receive isn't at all an information dump but fits nicely into the current state of the investigation and gives a clear lead to where the story should go to. Now don't think the story is predicatable, it's far from it, there are some very nice twists and turns along the way. Because messing with the supernatural will do that. The ending of the book really, really surprised me. I think that the stakes have been raised, Lucifer... what out...

I enjoyed reading Hexed a lot. It had all the good things working in it's favor. A great heroine for main portagonist, who in many different way brings the story further and also takes it to a new level. Complex relations of Lucifer with the different characters. Even though she is named Lucifer, what is often related to devil, she is far from the embodiement of the devil. She is just a young girl who would love to be out of it all. The world in which this story takes place in as I said interesting to say the least. It's dynamic and never in motion and with a lot of the Urban Fantasy worlds that I have seen, has a lot of possibilities. After finishing the last page of the book I wished the sequel was out already. If you are looking for a easy and highly enjoyable book to read, make sure you add Hexed to your list  


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