Friday, October 14, 2011

Joint Review: Black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix

Title:  Black Dust Mambo
Author:  Adrian Phoenix
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Publication Date:  June 29, 2010
Series Info:  Book 1 in the Hoodoo Series
Cover Artist:  Steve Stone
Who/What/Why/Where/How:  Jen and I both had the book so we decided to read it together.
Where to Buy:  Amazon

“There will be times, girl, when all your magic ain’t going to be enough, times when it will seem to dry up like mud under the noonday sun, or even make matters worse…”

Kallie Rivière, a fiery Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a talent for trouble, finds herself smack-dab in the middle of one of those times her mentor warned her about when she visits New Orleans to attend the Hecatean Alliance’s annual carnival:  her hard-bodied conjurer hookup ends up dead in her blood-drenched bed.  And he was killed by something that Kallie would never dream of touching—a black dust hex that may have been meant to kill her.

Now Kallie has to use every bit of hoodoo knowledge and bayou-bred mojo she possesses to clear her own name and find the killer—even as that dark sorcerer hunts Kallie and her friends.  But Kallie’s search for the truth soon leads her in a direction she never anticipated—back home to Bayou Cyprés Noir, and to Gabrielle LaRue, Kallie’s aunt, protector, and hoodoo mentor…who is looking more and more like she just might be the one who wants Kallie dead.

‘Ello ladies and gents.  Rain Maiden (a.k.a. Jen) and I are back with another joint review.  I do believe Rain Maiden picked this one out and I’m so glad she did.  It was an amazing read and to be completely honest it had been sitting on my shelves for waaay too long.  So without further ado, here are our thoughts on Black Dust Mambo.

Jen D.: 
I bow down to Adrian Phoenix!  *I’m not worthy!  I’m not worthy!*  She has the ability to kick you in the gut with her stories and leaves you begging for more.  Okay fine perhaps that's a bit violent but, I mean it in an oh so good way.  I've read the first book in her Makers Song series and absolutely loved it.  I had been dying to give this series a try because of the whole hoodoo/voodoo aspect and when Jen asked me if I wanted to read it along with her there was no way I could say no.

Rain Maiden:  I hear ya, total gut buster!  I felt like I was in a paranormal rut and then I went voodoo.  Black Dust Mambo started off with a bang and then as a reader, I was running.  I have no clue what Adrian Phoenix did for homework for Black Dust Mambo, but I bought the whole hoodoo vibe.  I was a bit lost on some of the hoodoo stuff thrown at me, but I just went with it. So what did you think about all the characters running around?  There were a lot of POV's in this story.

Jen D.:  I agree with you on being a bit lost with the voodoo/hoodoo stuff but, it never deterred from my reading experience.  On the contrary, it made me want to look up words and research which I have a thing for anyway.  I'm glad you asked about the alternating POVs.  I loved them!  This style, when done right, gives you a better understanding of the characters and story as a whole.  At least to me.  I know some people don't like this style but, it's right up my alley.  Speaking of POVs and people running amok, let's talk characters.  What'd you think of Kallie?

Rain Maiden:  Yea, the POV style of this story was a breath of fresh air.  I have much love for Miss Kallie and her flying fists.  I have to say my favorite of the bunch was Kallie's BFF Belladonna.  I would loved to get slizzard with those two.  Belladonna gave me the most laughs.  The whole wet boxer contest had Belladonna written all over it.  I enjoyed all the characters in this story. Layne was one hot vessel and I even enjoyed Basil Augustine, that gift wrapped pervert. Your character thoughts?  Any you loved?  Any you hated?

Jen D.:  I too loved Kallie and her flying fists.  Sure, she's a little overly aggressive but, she's loyal to her friends and family and will do just about anything to protect them.  OMG I loved me some Belladonna Brown.  She was funny, sarcastic and FIERCE!  That wet boxer contest was hilarious!  I almost started yelling, ‘TAKE IT OFF!’ while reading that scene.  *sigh*  Something tells me if we get slizzard with these too we'll either end up in jail or in the middle of a bar brawl.  ;)  Either way I’m totally down!  I enjoyed all of the other characters too.  I'm calling shot gun on Layne.  Never thought I'd have the hots for a blond, dreadlocked nomad.  Mmm mmm good!  *Ahem* After I got over that whole couch scene *shivers* Basil Augustine started to grow on me.  At the end of the day I felt bad for him and his situation.  Dallas, although he was pretty hot, was a bit of a douche but, his heart was in the right place I guess.  McKenna was prickly and mean and super alpha female but, once her back story is revealed she started to grow on me too, albeit ever so slightly.  They're quite the motley crew but, they work well together.  So how about them villains?

Rain Maiden:  The villains....well lets just say that I thought I knew who the culprit was behind all the bad juju, but things were not what they seemed.  Can't give too much away but I enjoyed the wrap up in the end.  There were scenes that sure shocked me, like getting wacked upside the head by a two-by-four type shocked.  I definitely had a WTF moment once Basil got all, um, cozy in his new body too. Not to mention that whole ugly scene with Dallas and his throat.  I loved that some of the chapters left you with little cliff hangers.

Jen D.:  Ms. Phoenix definitely has an interesting way of making you think you know who the bad dude is only to pull the proverbial rug from under your feet.  I love when she does that.  Even if it means I land on my face every now and again.  There were definitely some crazy, what in the hell moments.  It's all part of fun of reading her stories though.  I too was freaked out by the whole Basil Augustine, um, exploration thing.  It was all kinds of wrong but, you kind of didn't want him to stop describing his journey, right?  It's okay to admit it.  LOL!  The villains were pretty twisted and diabolical.  Just how I like ‘em.  ;)  I too loved the mini cliffhangers!

Who would we recommend this book to?
Jen D.:  Fans of Adrian Phoenix’ Maker’s Song series, fans of voodoo/hoodoo themes and anyone who likes a story that feels like a rollercoaster ride.

Rain Maiden:  I would recommend Black Dust Mambo to those out there that read a lot of vampire/werewolf stories, but are looking for something different. Black Dust Mambo is light on the romance and rich in voodoo action/murder mystery. This story comes equipped with a wet boxer contest too! Can't go wrong there! After reading Black Dust Mambo, I went straight to book 2, Black Heart Loa, and enjoyed that one even more.

Favorite Scenes/Lines?
Jen D.:  “She’s the intended victim, not the hexer,” Belladonna said, hands on her hips, leveling a Class One Belladonna Brown Death Glare at the leprechaun.’

Rain Maiden:  “When he got within a hundred yards of you, his goodies withered up like old prunes.”

Series Info:
Black Dust Mambo
Black Heart Loa

Stalk the Author:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Also Reviewed By:
Darque Reviews  (A HUGE THANK YOU going out to Kimberly who sent me this book as part of her Previously Read Book Giveaway)
Offbeat Vagabond
Midnyte Reader
25 Hour Books
a GREAT read
All Things Urban Fantasy


  1. As much as I love these joint reviews with Rain Maiden, I think it's time she got her own blog. ;)

  2. @Amanda - LMAO! Don't think I haven't asked if she's ever wanted to start her own.

  3. I just can't do it Captian! If you knew how much doo doo I take from my man about blogging.

  4. @Rain Maiden - LOL! We need to find him a hobby so he's not paying attention to what you're doing.

  5. Perhaps if we start her off with guest reviews? Eventually we will wear her down and get her committed. To blogging, that is.

  6. How about this...I will start my own blog when they have a way for me to write book reviews in cave drawings. Ugh! Me like book! *picture* stick person holding book. I could call my blog Caveman Reviews. Until then, can I just hang out here? :)

  7. @Amanda - LOL! Perhaps one day your diabolical plan will work.

    @Rain Maiden - LMAO! The day you start Caveman Reviews will be a very sad day for me. I'm liable to chain myself to your computer and start chanting, 'Hell No I Won't Go!'. Until that day comes though I would love for you to hang out and keep me company. ;-)

  8. Isn't this book amazing? She is a faaaavorite author, particularly this series, though I love them both. The relationship among the women and their dialog in the next book is awesome.

  9. @Pam - Yes it is! She's one of my faves too. I love that she makes you hit the ground running. That's what Jen's told me. I need to get on it ASAP.

  10. I have this on my "will probably read this in 2012" list but now that I've read your review, it is on my "to read in 2012" list. Great job guys!

  11. @Julie - I'm so happy to hear that Julie. You won't be disappointed! Thanks!!

  12. Amazing joint review guys. I looooove this series. I bought book 2 the moment it was out, I couldn't wait. So happy you guys enjoyed it especially the wet boxers contest LOL! This isn't a Young Adult book though, definitely for adults. And like hell I am giving Layne to you. You will have to fight me for him LMAO! Great review again guys, thank you so much.

  13. Great review Jen and Jen. For some reason I don't think I've heard of this series before but it looks like so much fun and I'm happy to see that you both enjoyed it overall. I'm going to have to place this on my TBR list for sure. I'm really enjoying these joint reviews and I'm sure I'll see more of them in the future. :-D

  14. @D - Thanks D! If you get a chance to read it you definitely have to let me know what you think. Perhaps you shall. ;-)