Garden of Dreams and Desires

Kristen Painter. Orbit, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-27835-5
Painter’s third Crescent City urban fantasy adventure (after City of Eternal Night) opens with computer whiz Harlow possessed by the power-hungry spirit of her dead twin, Ava Mae. In a convoluted plot, Ava Mae schemes to permanently possess Harlow, seeking the help of voodoo priest Father Ogun. He’s in league with evil witch sisters Giselle and Zara, and he plans to use Harlow/Ava Mae to earn the sisters’ favor. Fortunately, voodoo priestess Jewellia is on hand to help Harlow’s fae love interest, Augustine, who’s determined to oust Ava Mae. Meanwhile, fae-hating Senator Pellimento is hunting Augustine, whom she blames for the disappearance of her son. Painter does her best to show the good and bad sides of the fae as well as New Orleans’s voodoo practitioners. The plot is exceedingly tangled, and most of the threats fizzle out in an unexciting final confrontation, but Harlow shines as she discovers and uses her inner strength—a real treat for readers who have been with her from the beginning. Agent: Elaine Spencer, Knight Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/23/2015
Release date: 04/07/2015
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