Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Soul Trade

Posted March 6, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Soul Trade

Soul Trade


Caitlin Kittredge

dark fantasy that was published by St. Martin Paperbacks on August 28, 2012 and has 304 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Corsets & Clockwork, Street Magic, Demon Bound, Bone Gods, Night Life, Huntress, The Iron Thorn, "The Curse of Four", The Nightmare Garden, The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge, Devil's Business, Mirrored Shard, Dark Days, Black and White, Games Creatures Play

Fifth in the Black London dark urban fantasy series revolving around Pete Caldecott and Jack Winter, the crow-mage.

My Take

Oh, boy. Kittredge always keeps me in such suspense, and Soul Trade has continued the tradition…eek! It’s not enough to have the Morrigan and Belial after them, Kittredge has to make it even worse, of course, it’s all a result of the Nergal escaping, weakening the Black, awakening so much evil in the world, eroding the barriers between.

The series fascinates me for two different reasons: the world of magic which Kittredge has twisted into this particular realm and the dynamics between Pete and Jack. She’s an angry woman with a sense of right and justice, enthralled with bad-boy Jack, and herself a powerful magical being, even if she did discover this late in life. He’s a powerful mage with one heckuva lotta baggage. Part of the negative is his own attempts to drown out the overwhelming visions he has of the Black, and part is his own anger at those who pursue him for their own ends. And wouldn’t it be so much easier if the demons and gods would leave him alone… Instead, our hero is a drug addict with his self-preserving morals and the language of the streets, who will protect his family. I do like his cheek!

What I don’t get is, if Jack is so all-powerful, why can’t he ever seem to protect himself or Pete all that well?

I did like Jack’s assessment, so similar to the age-old question of what bears do in the woods:
“In other news, water is wet, Arsenal’s defence is shit, and the Pope wears a silly hat.”

What is it with people who think mere words make up for force and extortion? Nor will I ever understand why people never tell their partners of events that are happening that could have an effect on what they should do.

The Story

Bad enough Jack’s debt to the Morrigan has awakened the talented, evil, and otherworldly all over London, but he’s shirking the routine jobs they manage to find, and Pete is ticked. But not as ticked as when she’s forced into accepting an invitation sent through heavies to visit the Prometheus Club.

The Characters

Petunia “Pete” Caldecott is a Weir, able to suck in another’s power, probably the only one in the world. She’s given birth to Lily. Jack Winter is Lily’s father and the crow-mage. Donovan Winter is Jack’s absentee dirt bag of a father. I absolutely wanna kill him. Hannah was his weak mother.

Lawrence is an old friend of Jack’s who has agreed to take care of Lily while they’re out of town. Wendy Macintosh is an old friend of Jack’s he hasn’t seen since they were kids. PC Brandi Wolcott is with Pete’s old squad and in need of an exorcist. Ollie Heath is Pete’s old partner and willing to do any favors Pete might need.

The Prometheus Club
The Prometheus Club is a secret society of prideful magicians based in Manchester who do what they think is right. Preston Mayflower is a geomancer and has a “gift” for Pete, one that he’ll give his life to deliver along with a warning. The bitchy Morwenna Morgenstern, a very powerful human mage, leads the Club; Victor is her vicious second. Gregor is a perverse shapeshifter. Jeremy Crotherton is the mage sent to aid Mayflower in Hereford.

The Prospero Society is their opposite.

Families traumatized in the Algernon Treadwell debacle are in Overton
Margaret Smythe is the only little girl who escaped intact with Pete’s help; Norma and Philip are her parents. Philip’s the one with the bright, money-making idea while Dexter Killigan is in charge. His daughter Bridget, Diana Leroy, and Patrick Dumbershall are part of the scam. Only it’s not the usual confidence scam. Mrs. Carrie Leroy is terrified of what’s happening.

The Morrigan sees Jack as hers, and she intends him to lead her armies when she crushes the world. Belial is a newly made Prince of Hell, thanks to Jack. And he has a passion for engaging Jack and Pete in his plans.

The Black is what you find lurking at your peripheral vision — if you care to look. Merlin was the first to shape the Black, and he’s fated to return when earth is in its darkest hour.

The Cover and Title

The cover is lurid greens with a halter-topped Pete overlooking a huge hole in the background while the T-shirted Jack preps a ball of fire.

The title refers to the Soul Trade anticipated by both sides.