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Romance and other things

Lyn Gala "Echoes of deviance" (Aberrant magic #4)

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.


Dear Lyn Gala,

I reviewed the first three books in this series here at DA. As one can see from my reviews overall I was quite pleased with the series even if I had some nitpicks. I did not expect to see the fourth book, but it was a very pleasant surprise nonetheless.

I really liked this book. In this part of the story the team takes part in the investigation of the murder of the local parole officer.  We are not shown any other investigations taking place, but what took place in this one really made sense.  I was very pleased about how real this investigation felt to me ( once again I am as civilian as they come, but from what I read and hear about real life work of the law enforcement agencies it all made sense).  Of course the talent team was invited to the scene; however that does not mean that everyone was going to be very happy to work with them.  Some people could be prejudiced of FBI agents who have magical talents, but that does not make them BIG BAD EVIL necessarily.  I was just happy that such people did not feel like caricature to me.

The puzzle itself was complex enough to me and I liked how the whole time Kavon and Daren just did not let go. If one lead did not work, they tried again, they were really working their case as far as I was concerned and they really tried to work with other cops – and they were not the primary agency on the scene anyway.

No, I didn’t think that disagreements between them were going to drive a wedge between them; in fact I do not think that such disagreements were anything new. Kabon was obviously worried for Darren and wanted to step in and stand over Darren’s head to protect him when Darren was doing his job. Darren of course took offense to that and after couple of arguments they continued to work the case. What I liked that this argument while not new felt as organic as it could be – moreover I feel that this argument would never become repetitive.

 Of course the guy would always feel an urge to be a little too protective of his lover.  I was really happy how Kabon was trying his hardest to reign himself in and Darren realized that not overreacting maybe the best way to go. When I am thinking about it though, I wonder if at some point if it comes up again in the future books (if such are planned), it may become too repetitive. Because yes, by now I got it – Kabon can be overprotective of everybody on his team, and especially of Darren. I personally consider this plot point to be very much resolved.

I don’t think that our guys experienced huge character growth in this story, but I think they grew just about enough for my liking.

I very much liked how past threads were not dropped in this book. We still hear about how Tracy’s betrayal may have influenced some team members’ reacting to the things in the certain way. The case they investigated previously is also mentioned in a way that makes sense for this story.

Now the blurb makes an interesting statement as to the reveal of the mystery puzzle. I invite you to tread the words “dies at the hand of shaman with violent past” with caution. I kind of understand why such statement was made, but the certainty makes it misleading.

Bennu, my favorite magical spirit guide of course made an appearance or two, same as Kabon’s bull, but to be honest I didn’t think that he was given that many chances to shine.  I suppose it also makes sense – initially all they did together seemed unknown and Bennu and Darren were breaking the rules all the time. They still break the rules occasionally, but they are training and Darren is getting more and more comfortable with the magic he can wield. They will never be an ordinary pair, but I get why Bennu’s full powers may not be needed every time.

Grade: B+