Book Review: High Jinx by Kelley Armstrong

Posted January 31, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: High Jinx by Kelley Armstrong

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

High Jinx by Kelley Armstrong
Genres: Paranormal Fantasy
on December 7, 2021
Pages: 349
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Omens, Wild Justice, Sea of Shadows, Visions, The Masked Truth, City of the Lost, Forest of Ruin, Betrayals, A Darkness Absolute, Indigo, Rituals, The Unquiet Past, This Fallen Prey, Stolen, Rough Justice, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, Dark Screams: Volume Nine, No Humans Involved,, Waking the Witch, Portents, Missing, Alone in the Wild, Watcher in the Woods, Otherworld Secrets, Wherever She Goes, "The Case of the Half-Demon Spy", "Truth & Consequences", "Territorial", "Escape", "Adventurer", Otherworld Chills, A Stranger in Town, "Bargain", Hex on the Beach, "Recruit", "Checkmate", "Framed", Cursed Luck, Bitten

Second in the Cursed Luck paranormal fantasy series and revolving around Kennedy Bennett and her family. Oh, and Aiden Connolly. It’s a scavenger hunt and the action includes Unstable, Boston, and a good bit of Massachusetts, and some of New York.

My Take

High Jinx is an interesting combination of friendship and thoughts about love. We learn it all through first person protagonist point-of-view from Kennedy’s perspective.

The relationship between Aiden and Kennedy is a bit of balancing. She’s also uncomfortable with his wealth. Aiden’s place in Boston is a surprise. Lol, I do love Kennedy’s attitude toward his parents. Especially that bit about respect and later the hypocrisy, *more laughter*.

I’m curious. In Cursed Luck, the Bennetts’ father had been dead for three years. In High Jinx, he’s been dead for five years, and yet Rian has only been dating Hope for a month. I cannot imagine that Rian waited two years before he started dating her.

I do like the hitch Armstrong has included in the series with all magic requiring balance. Aiden’s seems particularly dangerous! Of course he does have those dysfunctional parents. I’d say that’s bad luck enough to balance out any luck he creates.

Aiden’s character arc is taking some massive leaps, even if he does keep screwing up. Kennedy gets so mad at him, and yet they do manage to find a balance here too. Kennedy’s character arc develops as she realizes what that mirror reveals.

There’s an interesting bit on the Romans salting Carthage, which makes a lot of sense.

It’s a tale that’s both character-driven and action-packed — Aiden’s parents (yuck!); Zeus’ nastiness; Taylor Silver’s fraud; the cursed mother; and, all those nasty twists and betrayals, oy!

There are some flashbacks to Cursed Luck, which reminds us of events there, and it provides more background on the gods.

Life is different for the magical rich . . .

The Story

Curseweaver Kennedy Bennett has re-settled into her beloved hometown and opened a shop selling previously hexed antiques. When she fails to win an online auction for a notorious cursed painting, she discovers that Aiden Connolly — the wealthy and swoon-worthy luck worker she is not dating — had swooped in to buy it for her.

One of a quartet of haunted legendary paintings, Kennedy is thrilled at the chance to uncurse one . . . until Crying Girl disappears before they can collect it.

Kennedy and Aiden soon discover that the painting hasn’t been randomly whisked out of their reach. Someone used it to lure them in, and now that they’ve snatched the bait, they’ve been snared in a trap. Either the thief gets what they want . . . or the four paintings are going to find their way back into the world, and Kennedy and Aiden will be responsible for the deadly chaos the cursed portraits wreak.

The Characters

Kennedy Bennett, a curseweaver who specializes in the joker’s jinx, has moved back to Unstable and opened her antiques shop. She’s also been cursed after events in Cursed Luck. Ellie is her black cat. Turani “Ani” is her oldest, most organized, smart sister who runs the family business, Unhex Me Here. Hope, a curseweaver who specializes in the lover’s lament, a.k.a. the ex-hex, is their lighthearted, pretty youngest sister who’s fascinated by creepy dolls. They can trace their lineage back to Mercury. Jonathan is Ani’s best friend since toddlerhood and is the town librarian — and an excellent researcher.

The wealthy Aiden Connolly is an uptight, straight-laced CEO of an insurance company, who happens to be a luck worker. Rian Connolly is his irresponsible younger brother, who’s interested in Hope after events in Cursed Luck. His parents — the vicious Liam and the delusional Marion — are nasty pieces of work who control their kids’ lives to an extreme extent. Their security people include that bullying Travis, the lying Davey, and Julian Mavarro. The Connollys can trace their descent from Mars.

Theodora O’Toole, a lawyer and luck worker, is the woman his parents have decided he should marry. Lauren is Theodora’s grandmother. Eleanor O’Brien is a cousin who can trace her descent from Hera.

The Gods and Goddesses
Mercury, a.k.a. Mercy, is gender fluid and a trickster and patron god of thieves. Mars, a.k.a. Marius Archer, is the god of battle luck. The stiff Athene is the goddess of battle strategy, wisdom, and reason. Hephaestus, a.k.a. Hector, is in construction these days. More siblings include Paulo (Apollo) and Denny (Dionysus). Zeus is their philandering, vicious, nasty father; the suffering Hera was their sheltering mother.

The gorgeous Vanessa Apsley, a.k.a. Venus/Aphrodite, is the goddess of love who’d been their foster sister, forced into marriage with the controlling, nasty Hephaestus. She’s also a dream shaper. Vanessa has had an off-again, on-again relationship with Mars with whom she has a lot of children — biological and other.

Unstable, Massachusetts, is . . .
. . . a village that supports spiritualists — psychics, magic users, etc. Chief Salazar is the chief of police. Ron Platts and Grove are with the state police.

Salvo Costa claims to have painted a quartet of portraits of four murdered children in the 1970s, including the Crying Girl. They’re portraits that kill.

The misanthrope’s malice is a cruel curse. The Necklace of Harmonia played a role in Cursed Luck. Molly Miller was a nasty schoolmate back in school. Charlie was a tenth grade fantasy. Rosa was Mercy’s mortal lover and probably a dream shaper.

The Cover and Title

The graphic cover is a background of purplish blues with eerie swirls at the bottom flanking the black-haired Kennedy, who’s dressed in a metallic-looking fuchsia tank top and jeans, juggling her Magic 8 Ball. In the top three-quarters of the cover is a blue arcane circle with lines and pyramids forming a low halo around Kennedy’s torso and head. The title begins at her waist in an embossed silver and black. Immediately below it is an info blurb in white followed by the author’s name at the very bottom.

The title is refers to the High Jinx carried on throughout the story.

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