Review: Daniel A. Kaine – Familiar Feeling (A Coven of Four #1)

25179982Author:Daniel A. Kaine
Reviewer: Lexi
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Genre: M/M Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9781925313154

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Drew never believed in magic. Then three years after his wife’s unexplained death he unearths a book of spells in his attic. Reading the first ‘stupid poem’ seems harmless, until he acquires his very own familiar, Felix.

Drew and Felix soon realise an attraction that goes beyond their magical bond. However, there’s a coven of demon-worshipping witches out to steal Drew’s newfound power. If they want to survive long enough to see where their mutual desires take them, Felix must teach Drew the art of witchcraft. But will he be ready in time?

As a fan of Kaine’s Daeva series, I expected this to have that edge, especially with the opening scene of Drew finally going through his late wife’s belongings. Mourning the death of a loved one, instead of feeling Drew’s sorrow it was something told. Even when he comes across her wedding dress, he remembers the touch of her skin but there is nothing about how he felt in the moment, which he claimed to be the best day of his life. There are several other incidents where there was a lost opportunity for Drew to express emotion, times when he should’ve been crushed or devastated but instead he was this blank slate.

This lack of intensity from Drew left me feeling disconnected from the characters, and uninterested in the developing relationship between him and Felix. Instead, my interest focused more on the plot of witches and demons. Some of the world was explained in sporadic moments, but not well enough for me to get a handle on if Drew was actually a witch at heart with this inherent ability, or if a few innocuous lines in a book actually gave him magic. Even so, I became engaged in the growing mystery, often changing my guess of who in Drew’s life could be his wife’s murderer.

This turned out to be a surprisingly quick and light-hearted story that I ended up enjoying the further I read. Once the action started the story unfolded quickly. There isn’t a cliffhanger to worry about, and the ending introduces the other witches who Drew needs in his coven. There isn’t insta-love between Drew and Felix, which I enjoyed because it felt more real to me. There could’ve been more depth to the world building and characters, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the author’s intention was to grow those as the series progressed.

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