Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose ID
Darren and Kavon have committed to each other, but magical rules are changing and that tests the strength of their bond. The death of a prominent Egyptian shaman and the shadowy remains of O’Brien’s conspiracy to kill adepts and steal their magic also pressure the new couple. Kavon is determined to protect his partner through these storms, but he is also painfully aware of his own tendency to hover. And as Darren is quick to point out, he is an armed federal agent who won’t allow Kavon to keep him off the front lines.
Making the relationship even more difficult, the spirit guides who offered their loyalty have their own hopes and needs. The world is changing, and Darren’s spirit guide pushes them to find the right path to navigate. However, Kavon has never enjoyed being pressured, and he is particularly uncomfortable walking into a situation he doesn’t understand. Worse, the longer he knows Darren and his guide, the more confused Kavon becomes about how magic even works. The two men must pull together or the forces moving in the shadows threaten to destroy them before they have any chance at happiness.
Hopefully you have read book one, Deductions, as this is definitely a series where you need to read them in order to understand the story, the world the author is building and the cast of characters! It’s also difficult to not have spoilers in the review if you have not read the previous book! Starting with the fact that the first story ended with Darren and Kavon bonding, but their case was not completely solved as they did not get the person behind the deaths of the adepts. In book two, their bond is being tested by magical rules that are changing and spirit guides, or at least one, who has other needs to address. Like relationships with a coworker are not complicated enough!
The story is told from both Darren and Kavon’s point of view.
The world building in these books is so well done, the author took a lot of time and effort to create the levels of magic, their types and their users. All magic users are referred to as having Talent and this world she created is planted into a modern world where the FBI have their own Talent branch. Derivation has our characters recovered from the experiences of the first book where Darren now appears to have shamanic abilities, he and Kavon are not merely a couple but a committed, bonded couple and Darren’s guide managed to rip apart the spirit plane to ensure they both made it through. While they have been taken off the overall O’Brien case from book one, the team are investigating a trafficking ring attached to it. However, they are called to investigate the death of a prominent Egyptian shaman, which raises questions – why wouldn’t the shamans amongst the companions of the shaman or the American Shamanic council who invited them, walk on the spirit plane to determine the cause of death?
For Kavon, this raises questions along with his level of concern, for himself, Darren and his team, which he tries to hide from Darren since all of this is new to him. While Kavon has been able to share some shamanic lore with Darren, since cases keep coming up, it almost seems as though they have to learn on the fly. And Darren’s guide does not operate the same way as Kavon’s, or anything he has been taught, so sometimes even he seems to be learning as they go! And in that, he is reminded, and advises Darren that guides can have their own hopes and needs and Darren’s in particular seems to have an agenda that includes both Darren and Kavon. Then there is the encounter on the spirit plane where they meet the shaman who passed, and they don’t really learn anything, but as they try to trace her steps, they seem to have come upon a powerful spell that is stealing magic while strengthening itself!
The first part of the book deals with setting up the new characters and the case, how the Talent team are handling having two shamans amongst them – and some parts are going well, some not so much. You also get more time with Kavon and Darren as a couple outside work and while there are some hot sex scenes, it also includes how two shamans who are bonded manage themselves and two guides in a relationship. Especially when one guide can pop in whenever he wants, called or not and push a bit of his needs and wants on to both of them!
The second part of the book is where the action part of the story accelerates and they have to determine who they can trust, in their department and in each other, at which point, it gets very difficult to put the book down!
If you read the first book and enjoyed it, I believe you will enjoy this one as well, if you are a fan of urban fantasy, this series could be interesting to you. A third book, Divergence, has been released and it will be interesting to see what direction the characters, and spirit guides, are taken in next.