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Friday, March 3, 2017

“Pocket Full of Tinder” By Jill Archer

by Terrance McArthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Nouiomo “Noon” Onyx lives in a post-Armageddon world ruled by demons. Through a pre-natal mix-up, she holds the “waning” magic reserved for men in Jill Archer’s “Pocket Full of Tinder.” Trained in demon law, magic, and battle techniques, Noon is sent to intern with a new sometime-drakon-demon-lord, Aristos, who had passed as human…and been Ari, her lover.

Assigned to find Displodo, a legendary rebel who keeps blowing up an unfinished dam, the young lawyer-judge-investigator leaves the big city for the mountain outpost of Rockthorn Gorge. She brings along her goofy, table-eating hellhound, along with her self-glamorizing Guardian Angel, Fara. They meet the Captain of the guard (a bunyip with an anti-human attitude, who wants to see Noon beaten up or dead in daily combat readiness drills), a queenly-feathered demon who has a history with Aristos, a squat worker demon, and a reptilian uber-demon who rules the water rights of the region.

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Noon’s mission to reveal Displodo is derailed by Aristos’s desire to make up for lost time with Noon, but she makes it hard for him to make up for his lies—I mean, how would you get over discovering that your lover was really a giant dragon, unless you were really into fairy-tale princess fantasies? (…and Noon wasn’t)

Archer’s Noon Onyx series is intricately detailed. She creates a world where God lost to Lucifer 2,000 years ago, where humans pray to demons, where people with a touch of demon blood in their heritage share a bit of the magic. Noon can bring objects and creatures into temporary real-world being with her powers. This talent grows as she studies it and is forced to use it to save herself, her friends, and her society.

Image source: Jill Archer

Some readers find Noon’s first-person voice whiny, but she has many causes for complaint: the only woman studying demon law, belittled for trying to succeed in a “male” profession, sent off to the middle of nowhere to work for a demon-lord, her ex-boyfriend is a demon, her landlady threw her out because her pet ate a table, and almost everybody at her new job wants to kill her. Try to be upbeat in those situations.

This is a good series that isn’t afraid to throw game-changers into the mix. It’s as if Mary Tyler Moore was hired to play Kojak. Yeah, that might be the whole idea.

To enter to win a copy of Pocket Full of Tinder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tinder,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 11, 2017. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Librarian with the Fresno County Public Library, and a published short story author.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.