Dru Jasper, a plucky sorceress who owns her own crystal shop in Colorado, finds herself in the middle of a plot involving undead slime, deadly sorcerers-only parties, and the end of the world in this peppy urban fantasy.
In the second installment of his Dru Jasper series, MacNaughton (It Happened One Doomsday, 2016) combines high-stakes drama with elements of comedy and romance. After the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse drove a truck through her shop in the last novel, Dru and her half-demon lover, Greyson, journeyed to the netherworld to save the world of the living. Dru is heartbroken, convinced that Greyson was killed in the battle, but when she finds the crystal she gave him shoved in her mailbox and sees the tail end of his demonic car, she becomes convinced he somehow survived. But Dru’s plans to search for him are put on hold when Salem, a snotty sorcerer whose true alliances are murky, almost falls prey to an undead black slime called “scourge.” When Dru and her friends find a horrible monster of the undead where Greyson used to live, they discover that the mysteries of Greyson’s disappearance and the undead creatures are connected. Can Dru find Greyson and put a stop to whomever is raising the dead before it’s too late? MacNaughton’s magical world is digestible if not vivid. The strains of comedy, fantasy, and romance blend together smoothly enough, and the characters are cute if not particularly nuanced. But entire chapters of unnecessary scenes make for choppy plot progression. When the crucial action sequences do arrive, they can be difficult to follow, leaving the story without any meaningful buildup or payoff.
This bubbly blend of genre tropes has spirit and whimsy with some good pieces in place, but it doesn’t quite deliver the goods.