Title: Rogue Ghosts & Other Miscreants (The Guild Codex: Warped #3)
Author: Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Release Date: August 6th, 2021
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
New Favorite Kit Book!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As a former con-artist, I love a convoluted, mind-bending scheme as much as the next guy. But as a recently promoted MagiPol agent, I love it significantly less than that guy.
Especially when the life of a kidnapped teen hangs in the balance.
Between confusing orders and conflicting evidence, this whole investigation has me and my partner, Lienna, spinning in circles. Why is our boss keeping this case off the books? Why is our top suspect, the most notorious rogue in Vancouver, mired in contradictions? And why am I the only one who cares more about the victim than their own ulterior motives?
Everyone wants me to shut up and follow orders, but that’s not my style. I’ll do whatever it takes to save this kid—even if that means returning to my roguish roots.
The Guild Codex: Warped
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors (#1)
Hellbound Guilds & Other Misdirections (#2)
Rogue Ghosts & Other Miscreants (#3)
More series in the Guild Codex world:
The Guild Codex: Spellbound
The Guild Codex: Demonized
The Guild Codex: Unveiled
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“It’s all about appearances , Shakespeare. Scaring the shit out of people is one kind of shield. Acting like a harmless, dimwitted jokester is another.”
Okay, Rogue Ghost & Other Miscreants is now officially my favorite Warped book so far. Why, you may ask? Well, lots of super valid and well thought-out reasons, which I’ll be sure to specify below. But if you think a lot of them have to do with a certain broody but handsome, morally quite dark grey and notorious Ghost… I’d say how dare y-… yeah you’re definitely right.
What can I say? If Kit can’t resist his charms, how do you expect me to?
But seriously, this story was amazing on so many levels and yes, one (okay a few) of those levels had to do with Zak showing up. See, the story starts with Kit and Lienna getting a super-secret assignment from Captain Blythe: apprehend the Ghost, the notorious rogue who is wanted for multiple kidnappings, amongst other things. So if you’ve read the Spellbound series and were wondering how Kit and Zak ever met – THIS IS IT! Kit and Lienna go after the infamous Ghost, but it soon turns out that things aren’t as obvious as they seem and soon they’re racing against the clock to save a kidnapped teen boy and kind of reluctantly end up working with Zak to do it. And let me just say that I could read about Kit and Zak bantering ALL DAY LONG. This duo is just gold together – they just fit together so well and wow, I had a big goofy smile on my face for all of their interactions. It also didn’t help that Kit was pretty much crushing on Zak in a super hilarious yet totally relatable way, always remarking how awesome and badass and sexy he looked. Kit, my man, your crush just made me like you even more.
But enough about Zak, because as I said, his presence was just one of the many amazing things about this part of the story. Can we talk for a minute about all the character development and moral questions this book threw at us? Because whoa, this got deep and intense and I’m so here for it, even if it also hurt a little bit. Kit’s magic has always been awesome and funny, but it can also be super frightening, even if Kit himself sees it as harmless. So in this book, his morality and actions are being questioned and compared to Lienna’s and Zak’s. Which are obviously two completely different moral codes, so where does Kit fall on that spectrum? Though I did not enjoy the tensions between partners Lienna and Kit because of this, it was still a super intense yet necessary introspection that Kit (and Lienna) needed to do. And here’s hoping it’ll only bring them even closer together, because I need these two to be happy.
Luckily, there is still more than enough to balance the sometimes dark moral questions. The humor is still my favorite of all the Guild Codexes, with Kit’s brand of cheesy, movie-quoting, stuffed-unicorn-loving sass still going strong. Just try to get through one of these books without cracking a smile, I dare you! Also, once more the action is fact-paced and the mystery intriguing. I finished it in about 24 hours because these books are just impossible to put down once you get started.
And then there’s the worldbuilding. I love how each Guild Codex series can be read separately, and yet every single time I’m also in awe at how well these stories and timelines overlap. They never break the story, never seem forced or unnecessary and yet they always add that little extra for those readers who did read the other series. Other than Zak, this story featured a few other characters from the Guild Codex series and I ate those scenes up like candy.
Also, that ending? I am so hyped for book four of Warped. I am equally hyped for The One and Only Crystal Druid, releasing in September. AND I am totally re-hyped for the Spellbound and Demonized series, which I’m now itching to re-read. Keyword of this review? You got it: HYPED!
Overall, I just highly, highly recommend the entire Guild Codex series. If you love a good urban fantasy that has it all: humor, action, adventure, mystery, worldbuilding, character development and romance, this is it.
Hold up a hot second. Had the scary rogue man recognized my King Lear quote? Was he bantering back at me by referencing the fool? How could this guy be a literal god of manliness and well-read? My pretend crush on his unholy, broody hunkiness might’ve just shifted closer to reality.
Zak nodded sexily. How did someone nod sexily? Maybe it was the steely gaze. I needed to take notes.
“So,” I called out, breaking the combative silence, “assuming we find this guy hanging out in his lair like Lex Luthor, what’s our plan?”
I sighed. “‘ Kill’ and ‘arrest’ are fantastic verbs, guys, but neither constitutes a plan.”
I sank instantly into a dream wherein a handsome, raven-haired man beckoned me into a dark room. He opened a locked cabinet, eerily similar to the one we’d found in the abandoned train station, revealing an astonishing array of bondage equipment. Except, instead of leather and chains, every piece was made of … cheese. “Fifty shades of gruyere,” I whispered in awe. The man fondled a mozzarella-based whip. “I have some very specific feta-shes.”
“Can you crack it?” I asked. “Or do we need to call Tom Hanks?” My partner and the druid looked at me blankly. “The Da Vinci Code?” I prompted. “Do either of you watch movies?” Zak shrugged one shoulder. “The only Tom Hanks movie I know is Splash.”
She lunged at me, her cutlass shooting toward my face. With a flash of amber light, Zak used the glowing shield that had appeared on his arm to knock her blade away . Stepping into her guard, he slammed his fist into her stomach like the total badass he was.
And that’s why we’d brought the Ghost, aka the Crystal Druid, aka Vancouver’s most notorious rogue, who kicked ass and looked good doing it.