Friday, April 14, 2017

Release Day Reviews: Brush with Catastrophe by Tara Lain

Title: Brush with Catastrophe
Series: The Aloysius Tales: Book Two
Author: Tara Lain
Release Date: April 14, 2017
Category: Fantasy: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 200
Dreamspinner Press     ~       Amazon
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil—a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
First Edition published by Loose Id, 2012.

4 Stars

Brush with Catastrophe is book 2 in the Aloysius series, I guess you could read it as a standalone, but Spell Cat is really good and there are a lot of events referred to that happened in book 1, so just pick it up and read it. I promise you’ll love it!

I came into Brush with Catastrophe with huge expectations, but unfortunately, they weren’t quite met. Perhaps it isn’t nice to compare since they are two different books, but I felt Spell Cat had an intriguing, ingenious storyline that BWC didn’t quite have.

The blurb was vague and confusing and the book was a bit like that, too. I liked Sammy, but I wasn’t wowed by him or what he could do. I get that he wanted to have someone in his life and was aware that crushing on his human, straight friend Alvish just wasn’t working for him, but ignoring all the warnings from a powerful familiar like Al like he did, well, that didn’t work for me. Another thing that bothered me was that he didn’t go to Killian immediately after a certain event happened, it probably could’ve been dealt in some other way.

I really liked Alvish/Ryder, even if I’d have liked that his relationship with Sammy had been explored a bit more. It felt a bit too rushed for my taste and I would have liked to have a bit more background on what makes them friends to build up to their connection. They had a nice chemistry, though, and I enjoyed to see them together.

I feel a bit underwhelmed with the plot, but that doesn’t mean that the book isn’t well-written. It was an interesting read and while not as good as Spell Cat, it was enjoyable and I recommend it.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. *** 

3.5/4 Stars! 

I was excited to read more from this world of Witches and Familiars and Brush with Catastrophe sounded like it was going to be a whole lot of fun. After all, I loved Spell Cat. Sadly, while I enjoyed Sammy and Ryder's story, I was pretty underwhelmed by it all. While Spell Cat had the fun, sassy and unique humor, I felt like that was missing in BWC.

Sammy and Ryder were good together but we really didn't get much of them as most of the book seemed to follow Sammy and Lucien. I wanted more of them, more views of what made them best friends, more of their relationship after everything comes out. Yes, we see Sammy's crush on him but I felt like we were missing much needed background. Aloysius was great and I loved that feline. I found, though, that there was more chemistry between Al and Ryder than between Ryder and Sammy.

I also had some issues with the way the characters handled things in this book. I don't want to give away spoilers but I just have to ask, what is the point of having the most powerful familiar in the world if you don't listen to him when he's basically giving his opinion on people? If Al doesn't like someone he makes it very very clear. Wouldn't the smart thing to do to stay away from that person? Talk to Killian or someone powerful about the situation? Honestly, Al is ignored too much and it irritates me.

Yes, I enjoyed Brush With Catastrophe and I'd recommend it to those who enjoyed Spell Cat but at the end of the day, I didn't love it. I look forward to the next book and hope that it embodies some of the fun that we saw in book 1.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***


  1. Thank you so much for reading Brush with Catastrophe, Mari and Jaymie! HUGS!! : )