Review: Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

October 10, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 21 ★★★★

Review: Poison Fruit by Jacqueline CareyPoison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey
Series: Agent of Hel #3
Published by Roc on October 7, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Dark Currents, Autumn Bones

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

The hot-as-Hel series with the “Sookie Stackhouse type of vibe” (Paranormal Horizon) is back—but this time the paranormal Midwestern town of Pemkowet is feeling a frost in the air and the residents are frozen in fear...

The Pemkowet Visitors Bureau has always promoted paranormal tourism—even if it has downplayed the risks (hobgoblins are unpredictable). It helps that the town is presided over by Daisy Johanssen, who as Hel’s liaison is authorized by the Norse goddess of the dead to keep Pemkowet under control. Normally, that’s easier to do in the winter, when bracing temperatures keep folks indoors.

But a new predator is on the prowl, and this one thrives on nightmares. Daisy is on her trail and working intimately with her partner and sometime lover from the Pemkowet PD, sexy yet unavailable werewolf Cody Fairfax. But even as the creature is racking up innocent victims, a greater danger looms on Pewkowet’s horizon.

As a result of a recent ghost uprising, an unknown adversary—represented by a hell-spawn lawyer with fiery powers of persuasion—has instigated a lawsuit against the town. If Pemkowet loses, Hel’s sovereignty will be jeopardized, and the fate of the eldritch community will be at stake. The only one who can prevent it is Daisy—but she’s going to have to confront her own worst nightmare to do it.


I’ve got the power, power, power….does a little break-dancing

Ok so maybe that’s the opposite of what Daisy is feeling in Poison Fruit. Indeed I think its quite the theme that runs through the book. How she feels powerless to do the the job she’s been given. But I have to say she sure has done a pretty darn good job of it thus far, so why is she so insecure? I think that’s how most of us are though, our own worst critics. She’s got her work cut out for her though this time around with a Night Hag on the loose and that crummy half demon lawyer from the previous book stirring up trouble for the entire town. And on top of the Daisy has her heart put through the ringer by sexy werewolf Cody and the dangerous but oh so sexy ghoul Stefan.

Two pieces of pie for the price of one

That’s right folks Poison Fruit reads more like two books. Which could be considered kind of cool since this was the final installment. Like getting a big bonus story on the front end. The first half of the book focuses around Daisy going after a nasty Night Hag that is terrorizing the nightmares of the local folks of Pemkowet. All of which takes place in a matter of days.

Now the second half? A completely different story arc centered around a lawsuit against the town in regards to the happenings that took place in book 2 (no this isn’t a spoiler because I’m not telling you anything further about it). But wouldn’t you like to know that what makes this a tad on the unusual side is that the second half of the book spans months, you heard me right – months. That to me is what really made this into two books in one, though each is probably around 200 or more pages long and likely wouldn’t have been enough to be it’s own standalone book I don’t blame the author and publisher for putting both of these in the final book. I just thought I’d give you a heads up because after finishing that first half I was like “huh, ok now is this going to really tie into the remaining several hundred pages?” Just thinking of it as some tasty icing on your cake.

Who said a bogle can’t be your friend?

I really have to hand it to Carey, she boasted a really cool cast of supernatural or mythical creatures, some that we’ve seen done before under the same name but in decidedly different ways. I didn’t feel like these were species I’d already read the same tired versions of over and over again – which I found so refreshing. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a bogle outside of the Harry Potter books but I definitely loved the way the one in this book was depicted. These aren’t just creatures – they are a community of people and this final installment in the Agent of Hel trilogy really helps bring that home.

So where do we go from here oh addicted readers who clamor for more?

Personally, I love that this series is a trilogy. I have been so tired lately of long urban fantasy series that keep beating the same horse over and over again such that after awhile you’re reading about the character do the same kinds of things. It’s like watching a really long sitcom except the bad guys just get stronger, so the heroine or hero just gets stronger and then the circumstances and scenarios just get even more far fetched. Luckily Carey skips all of that and gives you some baddies and the crazy circumstances but in a smaller package of 3 books and a great amount of character closure at the end. Proving that you can still have a great urban fantasy series in a short amount of books. The ending is most definitely an ending readers can walk away from happy and the books is still slightly open enough that if she really really wanted to, the author could return to this world and write more books (preferably with a new hero/heroine that has no ties to this character Daisy Johanssen so you wouldn’t feel like you “had” to read this trilogy first – least if something like that would come to pass I’d be happy)

All in all a great ender to this fun urban fantasy trilogy.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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21 Responses to “Review: Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey”

  1. Lege

    Great review, Tabitha! 🙂
    I am yet to get this one (October is bookapocalypse month, I swear ), but I read first chapter Carey released on her page and I thought it was good she handled the whole Cody thing right away….or is that going to be a problem some more?
    My favorite thing about this series are definitely female characters- I love that Daisy has great relationship with her mom, with Lurine, her bff… We don’t see that a lot in UF.

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Do you REALLY want me to tell you about Cody and Stefan!!? I don’t think you do *wink*

      I agree with you there – I loved the female character relationships. We don’t see enough of that in SFF and UF. Actually I have a guest post from a female author talking about just that subject (this coming tuesday)!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Review: Poison Fruit by Jacqueline CareyMy Profile

  2. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    Amen for trilogies—I couldn’t agree with you more! Jessica wasn’t overly sold on this series, especially book 2, so I’ve been reluctant to pick it up ever since. The two novels aspect is kinda weird; do the two parts connect at least? I guess if you approach it as a bonus instead of of a disconnect then it’s not so bad. Nice review!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Early Review: Her Avenging Angel by Felicity HeatonMy Profile

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Well the two parts are pretty separate, other then they follow close in time and yes of course are loosely tied, but it’s definitely something I looked at as just a extra bonus story one the front end.

      I’ve come to realize Jessica is much harder on some urban fantasy then I am.
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  3. Danya @ Fine Print

    LOL a sexy ghoul is hard to picture, but if anyone can make it work it’s Jacqueline Carey! Now that this series is complete I definitely want to jump in a read it. You’re completely right, some UF series are just getting out of hand. Better to end on a high note and it sounds like that’s exactly what’s happened with Daisy and her crew!
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  4. Kel @ Booked til Tuesday

    I’ve been meaning to pick up this series for a while now, though I didn’t realize it’s a trilogy. That’s probably a good thing, though; it makes me feel like I have less catching up to do and now that I know it ends well, I don’t have to worry about the author bungling it down the road if I like it. Great review!
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