Justice Calling by Annie Bellet
Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.
Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.
As long as she doesn’t use her magic.
When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.
Except Jade knows that as soon as she does, a far deadlier nemesis awaits.
The book was available for free on the Kindle Store.
I found this book through the Vaginal Fantasy book club’s Discord and it ended up being the alt book of the month for the club as well, so I ended up reading it because it was sounded fun and it was also short and free.
My expectations weren’t super high but I was mostly looking for a fun quick read anyway, and that’s exactly what I got. A faster reader than me could probably finish the book in one sitting since it’s only a little over 100 pages, but it didn’t really need to be any longer than that since the story takes place over maybe 2-3 days.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book before where the most common magical creatures seem to be shape-shifters, so that was interesting. Most of them didn’t seem to have any skills other than turning into a big animal though, so I wasn’t that impressed. The main character herself is a sorcerer, which basically means she could kick everyone’s butts if she wanted to, but for the most of the book she pretends to be a weaker witch so you don’t really get to see her in action much.
The villain of the book turned out to be pretty underwhelming and I kinda expected the bigger bad Jade kept worrying about constantly to show up before the book ended. Looks like it’s a problem for the sequels. The book definitely felt a bit like just a sneak peek to the world. Even the romance was saved for later!
The geeky references weren’t super awkward and it didn’t feel like there were too many of them, the characters just happened to be nerds and I liked them for it. Poor souls just wanted to play D&D in peace but plot came in the way. Jade kept comparing actual mage things to D&D things, which I thought was pretty funny. One of my favorite quotes from her was “Guess no one had ever told him not to bring a gun to a mage fight.”
If you’re in the mood for nerdy witches and some quick, easy urban fantasy fun, this book is definitely worth giving a try. It’s free after all. I don’t think I’ll continue the series but it was still much more fun than I expected!