License to Ensorcell
Author: Katharine Kerr
Title: License to Ensorcell
Series: Nola O'Grady 1
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
Psychic Agent Nola O'Grady isn't sure returning to San Francisco, and living near her unusual family, is a good idea. Her job, with a psychic agency so obscure even the CIA doesn't know it exists, can be perilous, and she's afraid of the relatives getting involved.
Then the Agency saddles her with Israeli secret agent Ari Nathan, and she has a bigger problem on her hands, because tact and compromise are not Ari's strong points. Their mission is to track down a serial killer obsessed with werewolves. He sees them everywhere and shoots whenever he thinks he has one in his sights. Ari assumes the man's psychotic, but in truth he's murdering actual werewolves. Nola should know. Her younger brother Pat, a lycanthrope, was the first victim.
Can Nola's psychic talents and Ari's skill with guns keep them alive long enough to unravel the greater mystery behind the killings? Can they save the werewolves and the world while stopping Nola's family from running headlong into danger?
Nola has a license to ensorcell, which means she's the magical equivalent of the local police force. She's expected to solve magical crimes all while keeping the balance between chaos and order. Then Ari is sent to be her new partner and, while he's seen very strange things from his time working for Mossad, he's never seen magic before. Teaching Ari will have to wait as someone has started killing werewolves and their next target might be Nola.
This book is very firmly set in our world, but it is very clear that our world is only the surface of everything Nola has to learn. The different types of magic and the different layers to the worlds makes every bit that is slowly revealed all the more interesting. I also really liked the balance between chaos and order and how Nola is tasked with keeping that balance.
The only problem I had with this story was the plot, which, while interesting, was predictable. Nothing had me on the edge of my seat and I could easily guess what was going to happen next, but the world building was so interesting to read that the simple plot didn't matter to me.
The world building in this book of all the various worlds Nola encounters, including the magical one set inside San Francisco, are unbelievably interesting. The plot was engaging, but not surprising. I do recommend this book.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.