After reading the first in Deborah Blake’s Baba Yagaseries , I quickly hunted down the second. And just like with Book #1, I was expecting to be wowed with Wickedly Wonderful– and I wasn’t wrong!
What I really love about this book especially was Beka Yancy, a sister Baba Yaga/witch of the heroine, Barbara Yager in the first story, is that Beka is more likable and accessible.
I liked Barbara because she was stoic, but it was especially nice to see that Beka was the exact opposite. And – I say this part with total writer’s envy – but Deborah Blake is an amazing writer!
The theme of this book was watery landscape and associated imagery because Beka’s element as a Baba Yaga/witch is, you guessed it, water. So the story has a cast of magical water creatures (both enemies and allies) and the plot is associated with healing the waters dividing and yet housing/feeding both a supernatural population of Selkies and Merpeople, and the human fisher community in Santa Carmelita (the fictional California setting).
Unlike book 1’s heroine, Beka is super self-conscious about her abilities as a Baba Yaga: namely, is she strong enough to handle the problem on the seafront without outside intervention? As a trainee Baba, Beka has a couple months before her 30thbirthday when the magic in her system will become irreversible and she will never be human again, living a VERY long life as a witch. And up until recently, she now realizes she faces a very long AND lonely life as a single witch.
She blames Marcus Dermott, an ex-Marine who was raised in the fisher community that is now under attack by the disappearance of the main economic staple, fish. His father and his friends’ families are all affected negatively by the trouble happening in the ocean, and when he realizes what Beka is up to, he dives in the deep end in order to help restore land/sea divides.
Marcus was really wicked. Haha. I mean I liked Liam from book 1, but there’s something about the grouchy hero that I keep coming back to… Lol. Marcus is NOT, I repeat, not a bad boy. He’s too old for that crap, and too sensible. He’s just super suspicious of Beka and not a guy who trusts easily. But he also is super loyal, hella funny and…when push comes to shove, really needy in an adorable I-missed-you-but-I’m-way-too-proud-to-say-it-until-now-that-is… Phew.
The conflict was really intense. Like its predecessor, this is not a whodunit: mostly because you get the villain’s perspective in the story. And its not even a whydunit, at least it’s all about the dramatic irony. So watching Beka and Marcus team up to find out who and why, but knowing who and why and raging at the characters for not having figured it out. Ololol.
Also the ending was predictable. Much more predictable than the first book because of Beka’s sweet nature, but it doesn’t take away from the story – or at least I found it didn’t take away from my drooling over the writing and weaving of the plot and characterization… ahh. So, so good.
If you want to know what I mean so you can put two-and-two together quickly, pick up Wickedly Wonderful and have a read yourselves.