Genre(s): Adult, Paranormal Romance.
Read It If You Like: Faeries, Supernatural Hunters, Pop-Culture References, Portal Doors.
Content Warnings: I’m a bit “ehh” on one of the narrative devices but it contains spoilers. See the review below.
What It’s About
Ivy Morgan has a busy schedule. As a stressed-out university student who works as a fairy hunter, Ivy spends her days studying for exams. Her nights are devoted to keeping New Orleans safe from supernatural creatures who prey on the human populace.
Scarred by the death of her loved ones, Ivy has long-stemming emotional issues that make her keep others at arms’ length. When she meets a fellow hunter named Ren, however, her dedication to emotional distance begins to falter.
As the two of them work together on a complex case, Ivy is forced to make a choice: open up her heart to the man who has swayed it or reject him to keep them both safe.
Jennifer Armentrout’s WICKED is contemporary and full of pop-culture references, moving along at a quick, upbeat pace. Ivy is a sarcastic, no-nonsense heroine, albeit sometimes vulnerable, and I appreciated that emotional vulnerability that we sometimes saw from her. It really makes her feel fleshed out and authentic in her reactions.
I also enjoyed the dynamic between Ivy and Ren. I’m a sucker for the rogue-with-a-heart-of-gold archetypes, and the handsome supernatural hunter fits the model to a T.
That said, I wasn’t too keen on one of the tropes in the book, but I can’t tell if I’m reading too deeply into it or if it’s an issue. My confusion stems from the fact that I can’t speak from a place of personal representation.
In WICKED, Ivy’s Black best friend betrays her, seemingly and specifically for a guy. This dynamic and the overall presentation of Ivy’s best friend seem to meet the threshold of the black best friend trope, and I’m a bit confused/apprehensive as to how it was handled.
With that in mind, I guess it’s best to treat this concern as a potential content warning for how a character was portrayed. I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this, so if you’ve read the book please share them in the comments below!
Would I Recommend This Book to Others?
Yes, but with caveats (see that spoiler). It’s also the first installment in a series, so keep the cliffhanger element in mind.
If you want more info, here’s the WICKED book series order. You can also read my Frolic write-up on the novel where I talk about summer-themed paranormal romance books.
Find WICKED on Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon