Friday 15 October 2010

Review: To Kill a Warlock - HP Mallory

 Dulcie O'Neil, book 1

Genre: Urban fantasy/(paranormal romance)
Pages: 216 e-book
Published: July 2010
Review by Lis

The murder of a dark arts warlock. A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim. Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full. As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.

Yes, B. managed the snare another review out of me. This time she sent me the deliciously wicked How to Kill a Warlock by indie author H.P. Mallory. While I have to admit that the blurb did not really raise my curiosity above ‘hmmmm possibly interesting’ it was the cover that made me read this book over H.P.’s first book. I know, very shallow and wrong, but I occasionally choose books because of their cover. In my defense, it did not have a hot man on it!

About How to Kill a Warlock

On to the review. Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy with the job of Regulator, one who regulates the supernatural (not so) creepy crawlies that came out of the proverbial closet and into the real world about 50 years ago. She is not your typical kick ass (though she does kick ass) heroine. In fact when the book starts she found herself turned into very slimy, nine-eyed, put your average beer belly to shame, monster by the Warlock she was supposed to be watching. The very same Warlock that later ends up very dead. On with the investigating, in which Dulcie is aided by the very yummy Knight Vander.

This story has a multitude of (hot, male & single) characters. Her hobgoblin Regulator partner Trey (whom I liked) who is maybe not so hot. Her best friend, the Witch Sam. Then again, which best friend chases you with a butcher knife?

Then there is Dulcie’s male harem as I like to call them. Her very hot elf boss Quillan, Dulcie’s big crush and who likes Dulcie right back. Knight Vander, a Loki, with very interesting abilities. Nightclub owner Bram (the vampire) who is nothing but very vocal about his carnal interest in Dulcie. Last there is Dagan, the tattooed demon, who owns a BDSM club (yes, you read that right) and who has a sex addiction.

Both the strength and the weakness of this book is in its characters rather than the plot. The strength being that each, easy to love, character adds their own bits to the story and they make for interesting scenes. The weakness being that there are so many of them. In a way it reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton’s books, in a good way that is. In Hamilton’s books it is not so much the story that makes the books, but the characters. Whom you come to love and crave to learn more about.

The writing is very strong, funny and witty. There are some very comical scenes in the book. However, there were some things I did not quite like. Dulcie is looking for Mr. Right and this is very important for her. Yet she has several right in front of her! Then there was the ending that would not quite end. Writing the ending of a book is hard, but this one was a tad bit too long.

The last thing has not so much to do with the story, but with the layout of the book. How to Kill a Warlock has such a beautiful cover. Why not include it in the file? In fact, the whole e-book feels like the text is copy pasted. This is a long time frustration of mine with e-publishers. They create the e-file, yet sometimes it feels like they hardly spent time on it.

How to Kill a Warlock is a good, solid, spunky read and there are so many things I could tell you about this book and what I liked about it, but my advice? Go find out for yourself! 



  1. I will take that advice to heart Lis because I have this book from HP Mallory on my e-reader!

  2. The harem bit had me interested.LOL. Fab review.

  3. Thanks Lis!!!!! You are just awesome :D

  4. Leontine
    Lol, yes take the advice, she makes it so good doesn't she.

    Me too, harem, very curious now

  5. I don't mind urban fantasy when it's funny. I know what you mean about the e-book - they all come across like that to me, so I'm really not a fan.

  6. I like the voice of this author. Quite compelling. Two things I gripe about though is that, one, her books are in ebook formats. That means, that I have to bloody sit at my computer to read it! Two, the book I have of her, Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble, has a cliffhanger ending... *sigh* .... But haven't read this one though :) ...wonder if they would ever publish this book in paperback...

  7. I've got one of HP Mallory's books in my TBR. A while back I fell in love with her site and covers. Sad to hear that the ebooks don't include the cover art. That's not cool, but the rest of your review has me happy that I picked up one of Mallory's books. Thanks!

  8. I have her other book on my tbr. I will have to get this one too! Thanks. :)

  9. I almost always judge books by their covers so you are in good company. Lovely review, and although it's an ebook, I would still consider it.

  10. This one may be very fun to read indeed!!

  11. Bermuda
    I sure like humour, I think that is why I fall for Paranormal romance humour more than just para rom

    If they ever do then I will read it...or when I get an e-reader, cos e-books and PC, no no

    Isn't Lis the should get a blog Lis ;)

  12. Melissa
    And now I want to read them too :(

    make that 3! I am a horrible cover judge ;)

    Staci :)

  13. i choose books based on their cover all the time!! lol!

  14. Oh dear I do like your reviews almnost as much as you like comments! I wouldn't be tempted by the harem itself but the cover...simply yummy! I hate e-books though so I might wait for the real thing.

  15. I don't have an e-reader (at least yet) so I will have to pass on this, but nice review!

  16. Someone needs to smuggle an ebook reader into Finland for you! I wonder when my coworker is going back next? Hmm...

  17. Carrie
    It's the only way to do it, lol

    I hear you, e-books and my PC makes me unhappy, so waiting for that reader

    I know how you feel

    Smuggling *thumbs up*

  18. Thanks again! :-) And B. you're welcome! I like reading these books, so it's no hardship!

    And like everyone else say, we really need to get you an e-reader or a small laptop at the least!

    Hahaha! The Harem... well it was true. I would definitely know what to do with them if they treated me like Dulcie! Hmmm yummie!

  19. Lis
    I totally agree, I just wish Finland would agree with me and start selling them.

    The minilaptop, I tried that, but since I still couldn't see the whole page it annoyed me still

  20. The fact this is authors' books are all electronic has kept me from really wanting to read the but after reading your review I'm curious now to give this book a try since it does sound like an entertaining read.

  21. Simcha
    I think so too after this one :)

  22. Naida
    It does look really fun, I love that

  23. That's funny you read it because you liked the cover - in general I avoid "comic" covers :)

    So would you say this was a paranormal romance comedy? Or just some parts were funny but not the feel of the whole book?

  24. Simcha: I'm glad I could inspire you! It is too bad indeed that some books are only in e-format. I do know some e-publishers that do print on demand, though I don't know about Smash.

    Patti: it's sometimes really hard to classify a book in one genre. To me this read like paranormal romance with a side of comedy. It could also be classified as chicklit or all three. It mostly depends on the reader, I think

    About the cover, I guess that is personal as well. As a m/m reader, I often see covers with the same style and while the 'comic style' as you call it, is not really my thing either, I like it, because it fits the books :-)

  25. And I who put it down for UF since I read she said it was that. But yes genres are so confusing, so many can be plenty



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