Book Review: Arcana by Jess Whitecroft

Arcane by Jess Whitecroft is a bit like being caught in a tornado. You’ve lost your socks, there’s a house barreling toward you on the other side of the cyclone, and you can sorta see where you’re going… until the wind decides differently, of course.

This book is packed. Not only is there romance, but you get a mystery, crime and suspense, an evil billionaire, the supernatural, and even some nice historical padding. Whitecroft’s prose is addicting, easy to consume, and littered with snarky asides or snicker-worthy jokes. The dialogue flowed so easily from one topic to the other that I almost didn’t mind the condensed history of cults packed alongside the mommy issues that both characters had… until I was at the 85% mark and realized, holy crap, this book was going to end and I had so many questions remaining. I clearly needed an extra hundred pages to appreciate All The Plot.

And whoooo boy there was a lot of plot. Breathlessly, the book shot from kidnapping suspense to a cult mystery to a supernatural revelation. And, somehow, Whitecroft wriggled in a romance with characters carrying some serious baggage. By the end, as layer after layer was unraveled, I desperately wanted more motivation, introspection, and history on our characters. I was a bit overwhelmed at times, making me question the why, who, and when of it all. In particular, the romance felt fast to me, when I think we could have easily settled in with a slow burn that spanned a trilogy, even. Instead, we race to pretend-married to betrayal, to some sexy pieces of deep love that would make even Romeo and Juliet’s heads spin, before the rest of the plot (tapping it’s impatient foot) said, “Enough if that already! A mystery awaits!”

Which was fine. I certainly enjoyed the story, but there was a lot left hanging that impeded my acceptance of the events and character motivations. That being said, I will revisit Whitecroft’s other works as overall it was an enjoyable experience, even if it did drop me, befuddled and without my glasses, on the ground before advancing to sweep up another reader.

Overall: 3/5 Stars. A fun, entertaining book.

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