Guilty by Association had me in its’ grip before I realized it. From start to finish it is a non stop procession of action. Judah Black is a BSI agent, assigned to Paint Rock Reservation in Texas. As we follow her we quickly learn that this 5′ spit fire isn’t about to let anything stand between her and justice, even if you are a monstrous Werewolf that stands taller.
Immediately I was in love with her presence, and the fierce way she cares for her son. She strives so hard to do the right thing, even if it means battling herself over what that actually is. She has a softer spot for the paranormal, that we watch unfold as she finds herself walking into the center of a madmans plan to eradicate the varying species that have shown themselves to the world.
This book gave me a charming sense of discomfort. I say this because in most paranormal books I have read there are always rules, boundaries to what can and can’t be done. Not here, here we have yet to really find those boundaries, the government still only knows a fraction about this old world that has come to light. It only makes sense to lack the knowledge of a world that has existed for centuries, and only been exposed for a decade. We grow along with Judah as she dives past the surface of what she knows.
This story is full of everything that a supernatural fan loves: Fae, Vampires, Werewolfs, Glamours and so much more.
My only complaint is the lack of depth or background in some spots, in some areas the story felt a little compacted. In turn I felt some detail was lost. At the end of it all the author put me at ease, the level of acceptance that Judah has for what she has to do was consoling. I look forward to the next book!!
4 out of 5 quills.
This is the first book by EA Copen that I have had the pleasure of reading, but I can say with certainty that it won’t be the last.
Judah Black is a flawed character and that’s what I love about her. She’s prejudiced against almost everyone around her and, to be fair, everyone around her is prejudiced against her. She faces the challenge of earning the trust of the reservation’s citizens while trying to solve a few murders. The thing about trust is it’s hard to earn trust without also giving it. This story is Urban Fantasy meets Dystopian meets Western meets Detective story and it is done fantastically.
The novel is paced well and I didn’t notice that the plot jumped leaps and bounds. Most of the Judah’s leads brought more questions than were answered and it was most definitely an uphill battle, but the story pulls you in and keeps you interested. Some of the characters I immediately liked, even if our MC (main character) didn’t, and others I hated (usually Judah did too), but some characters kept me guessing until the end and even better… some characters I still haven’t made a decision on.
The only complaint I had, and it wasn’t a very big one, was that there was no hint of The Ways until suddenly they were there. They were explained a little bit, but other things were explained much better, like the way Judah’s magic works and the transformation of werewolves. The reason this is a very small complaint is that this is the first book in a series… things can and probably are expounded upon in the next novels. I find that there are usually two ways that first novels go, they either focus on the character building or the world building, but some novels, like this one, focus pretty evenly on both. As a reader, I prefer this way because it leaves room for the world to grow and gives us a baseline for the characters. It creates balance.
I also want to point out that I like that BSI, the government agency that Judah works for, is presented in a not so flattering light. It is multi-faceted and rings very true to quite a few real-life agencies throughout the world. I’m sure that more than Americans can relate to it. I also love that Copen addresses other countries besides America. So many Urban Fantasy novels never address that their world of werewolves and vampires and fae expand past the borders of the USA and it leaves you wondering…how did the rest of the world handle it? While E.A. Copen didn’t go into details about the rest of the world’s policies on the supernatural coming out, she at least acknowledged that they had policies in place.
The last thing I want to talk about and that I absolutely loved is the ending. The author satisfactorily ends one story line, but in the process opens up a few more, not to mention a couple that she hints to throughout the rest of the story. It leaves us wondering where the next book will go and how long until all these story arcs are addressed…because you know it won’t all be in one novel. This book is expertly written and I’m going to say that you need to read it if you like detective stories or urban fantasy or westerns.
I give this story 4 out of 5 quills and you can rest assured that I will be reading the rest of the series.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Quills. It’s obvious that we here at Bibliophile’s Delight love Guilty by Association!