Author: Caitlin Ricci
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 161 Pages
At a Glance: This is an unusual story and it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. I recommend it with reservations.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Detective Jamison Landry’s job isn’t easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before.
The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.
Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?
Review: First published in 2012, this edition of The Little Crow not only has a new cover (which is fantastic) but has been revised and re-edited from the original.
This is a book about Mal, a demon who has developed a crush on a human named Jamison. It isn’t really a romance; it isn’t a mystery; it is more a descriptive tale of a demon with a human crush, and how he unwittingly torments and “loves” a man who will never really understand him and his needs. This book has a horror, paranormal storyline.
Mal is unrepentantly a demon. He feeds off of chaos, confusion, murder, greed, all those seven deadly sins. His character never deviates from this either—there is no redeeming of the demon. Your brain will automatically search for a softening of Mal’s character so that you can justify why you might like him or why you hope for a HEA for him, but it doesn’t happen. Mal as a character forces you to accept him for who and what he is. He literally steals this book; every other character is secondary. You cannot help but love his evilness even as it confuses him why Jamison cannot do the same.
Mal’s altered state of existence is the crow. It is a form and a presence which surrounds him and allows him change into a semblance of the bird when needed. Being a Prince of Hell, he often travels between the worlds, going back to Hell often to feed off of the souls trapped there. But just like everything isn’t okay on the surface with Jamison, everything isn’t all right in Hell. Trying to straddle both existences is wearing Mal out, and eventually, events come about that force him to choose.
Jamison Landry has been a cop for a long time. He’s become a bit jaded but at his core he is a good guy. The words protect and serve mean something to him. Because his motivations are so pure, Mal cannot control him or influence his behavior. He isn’t sure what it is about Mal that keeps drawing them together, but he does know that Mal is a complicated man/demon and that he must tread carefully where he is concerned. Jamison vacillates between friendship and loathing to acceptance of Mal in this story. He and Mal never cross the line into anything sexual, even though at the end the promise is there that they will. This is a psychological paranormal story, not an erotic one. Jamison is simply Mal’s human, and now that he has been informed of the fact, it is up to him to finally accept it. Trying to reconcile his attraction to Mal with his own innate goodness creates a tension inside Jamison that he struggles with through the entire novel. This is never really resolved, and in the end, when he asks Mal to stay with him, you can’t help but wonder how long that might last.
This book left a lot of the plot and subplots on the table when it ended, which leads me to believe and hope that there will be many more installments in the series beyond this one. Only in Dreams was the second book in the series, but it has been pulled (as this one was), revised, and the new title is The Broken Butterfly. This second book doesn’t have a release date yet, but features Jamison’s partner on the force, Carter ,and the mysterious entity which follows him around through this novel. This is an unusual story and it will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Overall, I enjoyed the story, there is a lot of promise to it, and I am interested to see where the author takes it. I recommend it with reservations.
You can buy The Little Crow here: