Book Review: Adrian Phoenix’s Black Heart Loa

Posted September 14, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

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

Book Review: Adrian Phoenix’s Black Heart Loa

Black Heart Loa

in Paperback edition on June 28, 2011 and has 416 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Second in the Hoodoo urban fantasy series that revolves around Kallie Rivière, her family, and her friends. This one takes place in the Louisiana bayous.

My Take

I’m a little bummed that this wasn’t as good as Black Dust Mambo. It was, however, still a good read. The stupidity of the two home invaders was pretty funny with some scary moments.

Hmmm, I did wonder if Basil would give up being in Layne’s body. It’s just too much fun having him in there! I also enjoyed Cielo’s thoughts with her “Daddy’s Get-in-the-Truck” and her decision that “Daddy wasn’t a squeaka”. I do enjoy the irreverence from Bella. She and Kallie have a unique and completely fun and honest relationship! Then there’s Dallas’ wet dream…literally.

Whew, an interesting example of how different one’s perspective on an event in childhood can be. We first hear what Jackson believes happened the night his family died and then we get a different version much later on. We also learn the truth, from the horse’s mouth, about Dr. St. Cyr’s conviction.

Why didn’t Jubilee and René stop to help Valin??

Be aware that Ti-tante Divinity has one heck of an accent which some might find hard to read. It certainly does add to the atmosphere. The betrayal Divinity experiences is also rather hard to read. You’d think these people she’s been a part of for so long would stop long enough to hear her side of things.

The Story

Ti-tante Divinity’s plan to protect Kallie backfired in Black Dust Mambo, setting Doctor Heron, St. Cyr, on the wrong people to hurt. Now Jackson is missing and has been buried alive and Kallie and Divinity learn just how bad a boy he has been.

It just goes from bad to worse when magic goes awry. A sleeping spell backfires, Baron Samedi’s possession of Cash takes an unexpected, very bad twist, and the wards that are supposed to repel hurricanes are now summoning Hurricane Evelyn.

Lucky for Jackson, a side of the family he’s completely forgotten about comes to the rescue. Well, the sorta rescue.

With unnecessary backup from Layne, who needs to avenge his clan-brother’s death. Part of that vengeance is keeping Kallie alive, giving Gage’s death meaning. Sounds like a good excuse to me…

But the Rivières need to get a move on, for Baron Samedi himself has been hijacked and he’s after Kallie and Jackson while the Baron, he just after Kallie because he can read what’s missing and the loa that is trouble that is inside her.

The Characters

Kallie Rivière is a Cajun hoodoo apprentice from Bayou Cyprès Noir, raised by her Ti-tante Divinity Santiago, who stole Gabrielle LaRue’s identity to protect Kallie from the people who helped her mama who stole her daughter’s soul. Her cousin, Jackson Bonaparte (also raised by Gabrielle) has been kidnapped. Cielo is his faithful Siberian husky.

Belladonna Brown is a mambo and Kallie’s best friend. Dallas Brûler, a.k.a., Doctor Snake, is a former student of Gabrielle’s, a root doctor, and friends with Kallie and Bella. Well, actually, his dreams indicate that he has much warmer ideas about Bella.

Layne Valin is a nomad and a Vessel, a human capable of holding the spirit of the dead — currently Lord Basil Augustine, the former Master of the Hecatean Alliance. McKenna Blue is a leprechaun and Layne’s extremely feisty ex-wife. Valin divorced McKenna because he kept coming back from being possessed and not knowing who she was. He didn’t think it was fair to her. Now he’s interested in Kallie which does not make McKenna happy at all. Jude and Maverick are also nomads.

Jubilee Fontaine and René are the wolves who rescue Jackson. Angélique Boudreau is a werewolf and the pack’s traiteur; she’s married to a human, a nomad, Merlin Mississippi. They have two children, Ember and Chance, who are just too funny. She’s also Jackson’s aunt; her father is Ambrose Bonaparte, brother to Jackson’s father, Nicolas. Ambrose and his wife, January, are the pack alphas. Moss is Jubilee’s twin.

Baron Samedi plays a large role — if only to tip us off that the magic has gone really wrong and his cheveaux has some very decidedly evil plans for Kallie.

Devlin Daniels is the demon wolf of the bayou and Gabrielle’s godson. The Baron wants him bound to seek out and kill Kallie while Gabi uses their old loup-garou sign language to tell him the truth.

Felicity Fields, the Bond-babe Brit, was Augustine’s very chirpy assistant who is appointed Master, temporarily. She is looking for a permanent home for Basil. Helena Diamond has arrived from the Hecatean Alliance in the wake of Basil’s death and she is absolutely thrilled. Seems she’s about to solve a nine-year-old mystery — the disappearance of the body holding the loa that Helena, Sophie, and other friends implanted in the baby. There’s a Rémy mentioned who appears to have died and Helena has vowed vengeance. Against the Hecatean Alliance.

Gabrielle LaRue was St. Cyr’s lover. And Jean-Julien St. Cyr‘s dead wife, Babette is still on this plane.

Cash and Kerry are the home invaders who should have done their homework.

Addie Thompson, Doctor Coyote, Auntie Dominique, and John Blaine are colleagues and supposedly friends of Divinity’s.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a spooky scene at dawn in the bayou. A rickety cabin with a long, long stairway leading up to it, bare trees towering around it with a barely dressed Kallie in her black, cropped tank top and itty, bitty black shorts, her long, black hair lifting in the breeze as she carries a red mojo bag and steps up out of the waters of the bayou.

It is the Black Heart Loa that is central to events in this story, in this series. Only, Phoenix provides yet another twist.