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Reading Time: 3 minutes -

Leveling Up

  • Author: K.F. Breene

  • Genre: Paranormal Women’s Fiction

  • Cover images link to each book’s page on Goodreads.

For those of you not in the know PWF is basically Urban Fantasy, but with the main character being a middle-aged woman. There’s a bit of romance, a bit of action, a few supernatural beings, and some seriously good laughs – at least, that’s the case in this series, and it’s the only one I’ve read in the genre, so feel free to take it with a pinch of salt.

The main thing, though, is the perspective.

Jacinta, the main character, is a recently divorced woman in her forties. Because reasons, she ends up the owner of a magical house, and it turns out she’s a gargoyle. She also learns that there’s an entire supernatural world she never knew about, and that the house she’s become the guardian of is one of the most powerful bastions of magic in existence. Naturally, evil forces want to take control of Jacinta in order to control the house.

Turns out a middle-aged woman isn’t the pushover the world expects her to be.

Sure, she has the help of the house and the “help” of the house’s additional caretakers. Throughout the series a steady stream of supporting characters show up and do what they can to push the story forwards – including Jacinta’s parents (hilarious) and her son (not nearly as entertaining, but definitely a cause for concern).

Things I’ll whine about:

I’ve sat here for a few minutes trying to come up with something, and sure, I won’t say the books are perfect, but I’m not going to put that much effort into whining. There’s really nothing that stands out as worthy of complaining about.

Things I’ll gush about:

The humor and the side characters. The people living in or near Jacinta’s magical house are some of the most comically messed up characters I’ve encountered. There’s the feisty old lady who throws stones at visitors from her porch, the overly concerned butler, and the vampire gardener who uses magical elixirs to win the yearly gardening competition.

This is not a comedy story, but more than once I’ve laughed out loud while reading – both in public and on my own.

Austin Steele, the male of the story. He’s such a resoundingly decent fella I can’t even be jealous.

The setting. The story takes place in a relatively small countryside town which is probably mostly human, but where the supernatural is plentiful, even if it seems to be mostly keeping itself under wraps. It makes for a story where crazy amounts of magic can go haywire from time to time, and where there’s no need for the story to dwell on how it’s important to keep everything under wraps.

Every now and then, a pair of cops shows up and says there’s been a complaint from the neighbors, but that’s about it. It’s a nice way to go overboard with the fantastic without worrying too much about what the mundane world will say or think. The third, book, specifically, deals with this in a very nice way.

Final Words:

You don’t need to be a woman to enjoy this. You probably don’t even need to be middle-aged.

(as of this review, a fifth book is scheduled to be released on May 18, 2021)

Find Leveling Up on Goodreads.

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