Review of Freaky Reapers by Amanda M. Lee

Another Amanda M. Lee series crossover meant to tickle the delight of series readers. This time the Mystic Caravan gang meets up with the Grimlocks and all sorts of entertaining confusion erupts.

Poet Parker put the past behind her. At least she thought she did.

Life on the streets wasn’t what she had in mind for her forever and she jumped at the chance to join Mystic Caravan Circus when an invitation was extended. She didn’t look back.

That was ten years ago, and now Poet is going back to the exact area she used to haunt … and she’s nervous.

The friends she left behind are scattered. Some are dead. Some have moved on to other things. Some turned out to be something else entirely. Others simply disappeared into the wind.

Unfortunately for Parker, forgetting isn’t easy … especially when a group of banshees start infringing on Mystic Caravan’s territory and the creatures seemingly have ties to the people Poet left behind.

Between the reapers also working the case – a crazy family called the Grimlocks who can’t stay out of trouble – and the guilt weighing Poet down given the way she fled, she has her hands full.

Someone is controlling the banshees, stealing girls from the streets and creating a merry band of monsters. It’s up to Poet to find out who and protect two street girls who remind her of herself.

Poet doesn’t want to look back but she has no choice … what she finds might be more evil than she ever imagined.

Available on Amazon and via Kindle Unlimited.

The mystery in this installment is pretty good and definitely one that pulls in the reader. There isn’t a specific murder per se to solve but we want the truth behind the disappearance of young, homeless girls. As I’ve pointed out before, this series could be more accurately described as a fantasy cozy mystery and very often they are a bit darker than the average cozy. There are several theories as to why the girls have been disappearing, ranging from human trafficking to paranormal activities. The suspects therefore are also varied. Is it a human working on his or her own or working with a paranormal or is it a paranormal up to fantastical acts of horror? There are several clues to lead us in the right direction and a couple of red herrings to misdirect. I dropped my kindle at one point and accidentally scrolled towards the end of the book. The name mentioned, unfortunately, stuck. However, even when I went back to my original place and continued reading I kept doubting what I’d inadvertently skimmed. Definitely, there are a few elements to throw the reader of the track.

The fun part about reading a series crossover is seeing how the characters from both series interact. Also, as this book is set over a year after the Aisling Grimlock series finished, it was a perfect opportunity to see what those players had gotten up to. Character growth for several was evident and ion-keeping with where the story left-off. Perhaps the only odd character was eldest Grimlock sibling, Redmond, who was cast as an obnoxious flirt in serious need of life direction. That aside, the antics remained as humorous as ever.

The Mystic Caravan crew continue to evolve. Max spends more time with the gang. Raven and Poet show how mutual respect leads to an impressive show of female power; and Kade continues to learn about his new magical abilities.

This instalment focuses a lot of Poet’s past as the circus returns to the Detroit area where she lived on the streets before being taken in by Max and Mystic Caravan. There are several incredibly sad moments as she recalls events from her past. There is also some (non-soapboxing) social commentary on the treatment of the homeless and the stigma surrounding them. Each of these elements adds layers onto a character who is often regarded as a strong, intelligent, independent young woman.

Overall, this was another well-written book in the Mystic Caravan series. I’m looking forward to the next one! I give Freaky Reapers 4.5/5 stars.

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