Book Review: Conspiracy of Ravens by J.C. McKenzie

Thank you to NetGalley and JCM Publications for the e-arc in exchange of an honest review

“We’re all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours.” ~Meghan Coates”

J.C. McKenzie, Conspiracy of Ravens

Title: Conspiracy of Ravens
Author: J.C. McKenzie
Publisher: JCM Publications
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: October 21, 2019

Raven Crawford knows better than to venture into the seductive world of the dark fae or agree to any of their salacious promises. She plans to pay off her debts so she can get on with her life and stay far away from the denizens of the Underworld.

Unfortunately, her numbskull twin steals from the most tempting and lethal fae of them all. Now, Raven must help the Lord of Shadows get back what her idiot brother stole. Her only weapons? Just a little ingenuity and a whole lot of snark. It’s suicide for sure, but she’ll do anything to protect her twin.

Raven Crawford’s life has been a mess, for as long as she can remember. She’s broke and stuck working as a waitress, trying to pay off an ex-boyfriend’s debt, attempting to be independent of her mother and stepfather. She is different from her family of shifters, being half-fae as well as her twin brother. Unfortunately, trouble becomes her when she learns that Bear, her twin brother, steals from a powerful fae, the Lord of Shadows. And now, Raven finds herself with a deal with him to help save her twin brother. What has she gotten herself into?

Dark Fae Lords, Shifters, Magic? I’m all in of course. But Conspiracy of Ravens just didn’t give me as much feels as I expected. I am fantasy trash, to be quite honest and I love me some good world building and rich, complex characters.

Well, let me start with what I loved about Conspiracy of Ravens. I really absolutely love the family dynamics in this book. Raven is living independently of her family, she never met her real father and was raised by a stepfather who was a shifter, Fox. Despite that, they had such a great relationship and even considers him her real father. She had great dynamics with her stepbrother and stepsister, playful and really had the older sister role down to a T. Her affinity to her twin brother, Bear, was also fantastic. She knew him well, and even if she found out he had secrets kept from her, Raven still loves him, and fought for him. Really really loved that.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the Norse Mythology entwined with the Fae, Magical world in an urban setting. Though at first this really confused me, a lot. Maybe the expectation I had was different as I’ve been reading Fantasy for the past few weeks. Although, reading an Urban Fantasy that is set in Vancouver, Canada was very refreshing as well. Going back to the Norse Mythology, Odin was the ruler of this world, and he was the one who stopped the fae from attacking the world and humans. And in this world, shifters, fae, magicians, they were very normalized. They weren’t hiding either. And it didn’t mean that they were accepted fully as well. Which was a very interesting part of the book.

The thing that I didn’t completely like about this book is the insta-love. I am a big sucker for romance but man, the romance in this just rubbed me the wrong way. The moment Cole walked in the diner, Raven already had the hots for him. Plus the unexplained extreme attraction towards him as well. I felt like the romance just overpowered the rest of the plot and dominated the story too much.

Personally, and you might already know this, but I LOVE complex characters and Conspiracy of Ravens didn’t give that to me. I felt like the characters lacked depth and complication. I wanted to see more sides to Raven, Cole, Bear, and the rest of the cast. There are also times where a character was built up to be a crucial part of the plot then dropped off the story, and resurfaced near the end that just got me confused. Although, this seems to be a trilogy, I have high hopes for the next book.

Overall, Conspiracy of Ravens was an enjoyable read. It was light, sarcastic at times, Raven’s POV was funny as well. It is by no means an innovative story, but the added twists and aspects gave more flavor and flair to a familiar Urban Fantasy-Romance stories.