Monday, February 26, 2018

Review: The Dark Choir Series (1-4)

Title: The Curse Merchant(The Dark Choir #1)
Author: J.P. Sloan
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: October 25th, 2012

Dorian Lake spent years cornering the Baltimore hex-crafting market, using his skills at the hermetic arts to exact karmic justice for those whom the system has failed. He keeps his magic clean and free of soul-corrupting Netherwork, thus avoiding both the karmic blow-back of his practice and the notice of the Presidium, a powerful cabal of practitioners that polices the esoteric arts in America. However, when an unscrupulous Netherworker interferes with both his business and his personal life, Dorian's disarming charisma and hermetic savvy may not be enough to keep his soul out of jeopardy.

His rival, a soul monger named Neil Osterhaus, wouldn't be such a problem were it not for Carmen, Dorian's captivating ex-lover. After two years' absence Carmen arrives at Dorian’s doorstep with a problem: she sold her soul to Osterhaus, and has only two weeks to buy it back. Hoping to win back Carmen's affections, Dorian must find a replacement soul without tainting his own. As Dorian descends into the shadows of Baltimore’s underworld, he must decide how low he is willing to stoop in order to save Carmen from eternal damnation... with the Presidium watching, waiting for him to cross the line.

Title: The Curse Servant (The Dark Choir #2)
Author: J.P. Sloan
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: February 25th, 2015

The one person standing between Hell… and an innocent girl… is a man without a soul.

A regular life isn’t in the cards for Dorian Lake, but with his charm-crafting business invigorated, and the prospect of a serious relationship within his grasp, life is closer to normal than Dorian could ever expect. In the heat of the Baltimore mayoral campaign, Dorian has managed to balance his arrangements with Deputy Mayor Julian Bright with his search to find his lost soul. Dorian soon learns of a Netherworker, the head of a dangerous West Coast cabal, who might be able to find and return his soul. The price? Just one curse.

Sounds easy… but nothing ever is for Dorian. A dark presence arrives in the city, hell-bent on finding Dorian’s soul first. Innocents are caught in the crossfire, and Dorian finds it harder to keep his commitments to Bright. When the fight gets personal, and the entity hits too close to home, Dorian must rely on those he trusts the least to save the ones he loves. As he tests the limits of his hermetic skills to defeat this new enemy, will Dorian lose his one chance to avoid damnation?

Title: The Curse Mandate (The Dark Choir #3)
Author: J.P. Sloan
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: December 19th, 2016

War is coming…how much hell will Dorian Lake unleash when the gloves come off?

Saddled with both a new pupil and a bar to run, Dorian has to pick his battles carefully if he is to find his soul. When the Dark Choir bargains with Dorian in exchange for his loyalty, the power they offer may be too valuable to refuse…for a new menace threatens the hermetic order in America.

Members of the Presidium are being outed in the press, and the formidable cabal’s response is swift and brutal. But Dorian has no time to hide from the Presidium’s fury, as the new Deputy Mayor taps him to investigate a string of occult crimes. Dorian soon uncovers an ancient enemy of the Presidium, which threatens to plunge America into a lawless era not seen since the Dark Ages.

To sway Dorian to their cause, the Presidium gives him free rein to practice Netherwork. But even if the man without a soul can survive this conflict, if he can protect his friends and allies, if he can mean the difference between order and chaos… will this mandate save Dorian Lake from the schemes of the Dark Choir?

Title: The Dark Interest (The Dark Choir #4)
Author: J.P. Sloan
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017

Surrounded by evil on every side, Dorian Lake is about to face his most personal challenge yet…

A wave of dark voudon magic is rolling into Baltimore. With new rivals on every street corner and hidden enemies out for blood, hex peddler Dorian Lake is doing his best to keep his head above water. All he wants is a chance to reclaim his soul, but an unseen adversary is driving the city into chaos around him.

Dorian suspects The Dark Choir, which has both haunted and hunted him for too long, is behind a groundswell of violence in the city. He’s more certain than ever that they are manipulating events to exterminate the human species. Aided by a handful of close allies--a powerful Stregha, a metaphysical scientist, and a coven of Wiccans--Dorian must follow a series of labyrinthine clues to unravel his greatest enemy’s plans before they come to fruition, even if it means facing off with megalomaniacs, nickel-and-dime gangsters, and even City Hall itself.

Dorian goes on the offense, pulling every tool from his magical arsenal to rain down the vengeance he’s believed by so many to wield. Dorian has never embraced his identity as a Curse Merchant, but his life is on the line, and he’s about to become a true believer in his own power. Sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire--or, in this case, darkness with darkness.

When I first requested to read this book, I didn't know that it was a series...Lolz! I loved the cover for The Dark Interest, I think it's a beautiful cover! I know what you're thinking the cover says The Dark Choir Book 4, I did not see that...

I'm not even sure where to start in this book, I went through so many emotions! I wanted Dorian to say"Put some respect on my name!", but this didn't happen until the final book for Dorian to get to this point in his life... I mean the man gives everyone a chance, even if you completely mess him over. Dorian is your average, run of the mill guy who specializes in hexes, and charms. He wakes up from a two year slumber, only to realize that his life, and those he cares about are in a danger. Yes, he was under a memory charm, and had no idea! Yikes! We see a guy who is trying to piece together his life, which happens to be in shambles. Enter Dorian's old flame/lover Carmen who needs his help, and he feels compelled to help her. What I should have noticed is the trend of Dorian, falling for every woman who crosses his path, and needs his help..Did I mention that these women are either the villain or perceived as untrustworthy, evil woman. For instance Carmen has tricked Dorian into getting her out of a particular situation but manipulates him to the ninth degree...Like I'm pretty sure without the dramatic manipulation Dorian would have helped, he seriously cannot help himself... His next love interest Ches is actually a little crazy, she is the reason everything is going to hell but he forgives her, and that's it. But forgives, forgives...I mean Ches almost killed someone very important to him, and BOOM! She's forgiven.. In book #3 Ches, who is the reason everything went BOOM/Love Interest from the previous  is now his mentee.  Why!?!?! Well a very dangerous woman told Dorian if he did not help Ches, she would kill her blah,blah,blah...Honestly at this point I was extremely upset with Dorian...Oh I forgot to mention by helping Ches, umm..she has potential to be great, Dorian can help her..she should have died #sorrynotsorry I can't understand why Ches is alive nor why he feels compelled to help her. Dorian talks about redemption but Ches killed a part of someone close to him, and he's helping her. Not only that but he also decides to help Ches's brother..Honestly Ches's family is doomed but Dorian is trying to be Captain Save Everyone even though I'm living on borrowed time... like Dorian has this horrible version of love, and the love he thinks he deserves is appalling if not scary....Now we have book #4 which is by far my favorite book in the series! Enter the gorgeous woman from the cover, who we are introduced in the other books but we finally get a chance to get to know her. She is one amazing-ly scary witch who protects those she cares about. Dorian finally is in a place where he cares about someone, and she cares too. Their connection isn't forced as it seemed to be in the other books. Dorian has come to terms that he has to years left, he can curse people, and he will. Why because still has no soul, and at this point we are not even sure he wants it back. I really liked The Dark Choir Series,  Dorian, I just want him to be smarter, and selfish..Yes, selfish he deserves it, after all he has been through. I can't wait for book #5!! Sorry it's so long! give The Dark Choir Series a read!!

* I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Curiosity Quills Press. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.*

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