The Wicked City

Megan Morgan
The Wicked City
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Release Date
March 2015
Book 1 of Siren Song
Paranormal with Romantic Elements, Urban Fantasy

She's got a voice to die for…

Whatever June Coffin says, goes—literally. And it's not just because she's a chain smoking rebel. As a Siren, June has the ability to force people to obey any command she voices. But in a world where those with supernatural powers quickly become lab rats for science, she'd rather look out for herself than fight on the front lines…until her similarly gifted twin brother, Jason, is captured by Chicago's Institute of Supernatural Research.

To save Jason, June has no choice but to enter a hidden world of conspiracy, murder—and strange bedfellows—including a widowed paranormal advocate whose memory June accidentally erased, and a fiery paranormal separatist leader. Soon the lines between attraction and strategic alliance become blurred. But in a city exploding with paranormal crossfire, and her brother's life at stake, June will have to face her inner demons and finally take a stand.

Book Review by LiaL (reviewer)
Oct 27, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
229 people found the following review helpful
Imagine having the ability to control people with your voice. You have the power to make them do anything you want regardless of their wishes.

June and her brother Jason are twins who developed that ability at a young age. It has not been a blessing. It has led to a death, the end of their parents' marriage and now to being at the attention of an organization that wants to capture paranormals for their own uses. June has escaped but her brother is still at their mercy. It is up to her to save him.

June is not how you picture a typical Siren. She is short and heavily tattooed and loves to smoke. She also has some fun piercings and a colorful vocabulary. June co-owns a tattoo shop and accidentally reveals her paranormal abilities as a Siren to a client. An article in the paper makes the information national and brings them unwanted attention. The offer of money by the Institute of Supernatural Research is so tempting that they both agree to be studied. They don't expect to be imprisoned and have to run for their lives. June escapes but Jason is not so lucky and she needs help to get him out.

There is a large cast of characters. The story takes place in Chicago and the city is such a big part of the story that it is almost like another character. If you haven't visited, it will tempt you. June meets Micha, who is an advocate for the Institute, and whose wife is employed as a vampire researcher. Somehow June ends up messing with his memories and he loses all memories of his wife, Rose, who is killed during June's escape. She feels badly about the issue especially as she is so attracted to him and likes that he is available now. She also meets Sam who is the mysterious leader of another group led by paranormals that fights the Institute. He agrees to help her but she is not sure of his motives. There is an attraction between them as well.

Sam has two helpers that have unusual powers. Robbie is telekinetic and can move things with his mind and he can read minds. Muse is Sam's bodyguard and her powers are very mysterious. Cindy is a Sam follower as well who is a witch and has an interesting romantic past and a cat that loves June. Cindy also has a gun she likes to threaten people with at times. June's brother, Jason, is more of a peripheral character in the story and is mentioned often but not active in the storyline until the end.

The author throws you right into the story. It starts with June having already escaped and having met some of the other characters. You get little flashbacks and explanations as she tells her story regarding some of the things that happened after her arrival in Chicago and the Institute. I actually thought at first I had missed another book or some pages as I didn't expect to be right in the action of trying to find a way to free Jason. It does keep the story moving fast and there is no downtime. It just left me a little unsure at first until I got further into the story.

Guilt is a common theme throughout the story. June has some real guilt about Micha and doesn't want to take advantage of the situation. His wife coming back as a ghost to demand she find the truth doesn't make that situation any easier. She also feels guilty that she is free and Jason is not. She blames herself for them being in the situation due to her reveal to the client. Jason has guilt about his past and his powers. Micha has guilt about his involvement with the Institute and the people he sent there for help.

The book is not as focused on a romantic relationship as on the plot to expose the Institute and rescue Jason. There is flirting and sexual interactions among some of the characters. June likes to keep things casual and light. She is not really successful at relationships. Micha seems much more open to a serious relationship and doesn't seem to blame June at all for her involvement. June's feelings for Sam are even more conflicted. She seems to feel she owes him something and he flirts right back.

The book is a fun ride thru the streets of Chicago with characters that are intriguing and enjoyable to spend time with. The book jumps right into the action and keeps the pace moving. Chicago is a town known for corruption and the Institute of Supernatural Research fit right into the city for not being what it appears on the surface. Neither are some of the people June meets. It is quite a cast of characters with motives that are not clear and lots of secrets to be uncovered.

I really enjoyed the interactions among the characters and the moments of humor that break up the more serious story of paranormals being mistreated. There is a lot of sexual tension between June and Micha and Sam, and you just have to wait and see how that all develops. I hope there is another book that continues the story. There is much more to learn about these characters.
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