4 out of 4 stars
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When law-enforcement agent Wes Rockville majorly messes up while transporting a highly dangerous criminal, he’s given one final chance to prove himself. Never in a million years would he have guessed that chance was in the Witches Protection Program, an organization dedicated to the protection of Davinas (practitioners of white magic). Now, Bernadette Pendragon, leader of a billion-dollar cosmetics company and a Willa (practitioner of dark magic) has her sights on world domination, and her niece may be the only thing standing in her way. Wes’s first assignment: protect Morgan Pendragon, infiltrate Bernadette’s company, and stop the shipment of a face cream that will have women everywhere under Bernadette’s control. Simple, right?
I quite enjoyed Michael Okon’s book Witches Protection Program. Aside from the awesome title, it was the perfect mix of a modern-day setting, magic, and historical detail. Toss in some great emotions, fun humor, and a dash of romance, and this is a story not to be missed.
All the characters were richly developed, and there were many. Wes was a terrific hero. His feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt came through strongly in the beginning, and his growth into a capable, confident agent played out perfectly. Allister, the veteran witch hunter, was awesome, and I loved his collection of steampunk weaponry. The bad guys were pretty cool, too. Bernadette was her own brand of crazed evil, and Scarlet, the under-appreciated assistant, made me want to throw things (at her, specifically). To break up the tension, Morgan’s best friend was not a witch but thought she could practice to become one, which was an interesting angle. None of these people felt under-developed, which was impressive given the book wasn’t terribly long.
The story also flowed well. Emotion gave way to action. Action gave way to tension-filled dialogue. It all came together seamlessly. There were some things that could have been introduced earlier in the story to help with clarity, but once I understood them, they didn’t hamper my reading experience. There were also times I forgot the story took place in New York because the bustling city feel wasn’t really present. Since the story worked well and really could have taken place anywhere, this also didn’t bother me. Those wanting a real strong sense of place may find this troublesome.
The book was edited well. I noticed only a handful of errors. This combined with the great characters, tight storytelling, and snappy dialogue bring me to rate Witches Protection Program 4 out of 4 stars. I briefly considered giving it 3 due to some of the confusing parts, but ultimately, those didn’t distract me enough to lower my rating. I recommend this book for fans of urban fantasy or paranormal stories. Those interested in witches may also find this fun. There is some light cursing to be aware of. Also, if you have any fear whatsoever of bugs, there is one scene to be careful of. It brings a new definition to creepy crawlies. Otherwise, if you want a romp full of action, suspense, and cool steampunk weapons, give this a chance. It’s the kind of book that lends well to future installments, and if any pop up, I’ll be in line to read them.
Witches Protection Program
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