Review – Going Under (Bound by Magick #3) by Lauren Dane

Going Under cover image
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

“Lauren Dane always delivers a steamy, exciting ride,”* and she does it again in her new novel of two lovers fighting for their lives against a rising threat, and a passion that’s just as dangerous…
In the wake of the Magister’s rampage, chaos rules. Left reeling, the Others and the humans scramble to create a some sort of unity in the face of growing unrest and violence from anti-Other hate groups federation—and ruthless PR guru Molly Ryan is the witch who can do it. She grew up in the human world but there’s nothing left for her there. She’s lost her PR firm, her friends and she’s decided to put all her fight toward aiding the Others in this dark, new reality. If there’s anything left for her there, she’s going to fight for it. But Gage Garrity, one of the few Others who survived the massacre, fears that the crusade will expose Molly to greater dangers than ever before.
Now, together, with magick on their side, they’re on the road in a desperate struggle to unite a torn world. From state houses to television news to legislative conference rooms across the country, they’re fighting the good fight. And it’s bringing out a passion in both of them they never expected—one as volatile, intense, and all-consuming as their relentless battle for world unity. A battle that could be their undoing…

This blurb came from the author’s website.

I have been both looking forward to and dreading Going Under. The traumatic events of Chaos Burning left the world and characters I have come to really enjoy in sheer chaos. I didn’t know who survived and who died or just vanished in the wake of the Magister. I really hoped that it wasn’t any of the people whose lives I had already visited but I also guessed that statistically it would be very hard for all of them to come out unscathed even with the deaths from actually fighting off the Magister. So it was with trepidation that I requested this book and started reading. Somehow Dane managed to continue to ramp up the tension and show what the Magister left behind while focusing on characters that had not seen much if any page time previously. I liked how she was able to do that and not completely devastate my memories of other couples but I am still worried about them.

Molly was a rather quiet not really practicing witch. She knew what she was but her focus was on her PR firm and she never felt the need to build her life around her abilities as a witch. When she was still dealing with the grief of losing people close to her, Molly was hit with her friends and co-workers basically kicking her out of the company she founded because she was Other. They cited several clauses in their partnership contract but the bottom line was that they were discriminating against her. Molly decided she would cut her losses and spend her time trying to help the Others against far worse instances of hatred and violence. Even her formidable abilities at finding common ground and getting people to listen could not stand up against fear and hatred fueled violence.

Gage volunteered to protect Molly because once word got out that she was their PR she would become a target. While Gage was a very good bodyguard and paid attention to not just Molly’s physical safety but also her mental/emotional balance he had a rather large blind spot. He refused to talk about his emotional state or feelings and as a result inserted both of his feet on more than one occasion when he was dealing with Molly. Even though he could be an insensitive ass at times he also groveled very nicely and demonstrated on several occasions that he really did care about her. In fact he stole my heart when he decided that he was going to give well demand that Molly take some time to get rid of her frustrations and fears so she could continue doing everything possible to stop a war between humans and Others. He knew Molly well enough by that time to do exactly what was required which meant he had paid very close attention to her minute cues. Something that to me said a lot about how he felt.

The combination of Molly’s quiet strength and determination, Gage’s physical strength and dedication along with the horror of mob mentality humans made a really intense at time heartbreaking read. I could see that Molly was reaching some people but the violent extremely bigoted individuals kept increasing the level of violence towards innocents. As hard as Molly worked it became evident that eventually the adults would decide that talking and trying to find a peaceful solution was not worth the death or suffering of their children and unlike humans Others possessed a lot of lethal skills they would use. Molly did succeed in bringing the majority of the different Other types together so they could work as one strong group instead of a bunch of smaller separate groups with less chance of success. I am looking forward to seeing how that alliance is able to hold up against the increased violence.

Going Under is another great installment in Dane’s Bound by Magick series. She has managed to tie several of her ongoing and previous series together as this particular world deals with the aftermath of the Magister. Since Going Under does build directly on the events of the previous two books I highly recommend that you do not start with this one. Dane provides some back-story but I feel that you will miss many of the nuances if you skip them. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next because things really have not calmed down. I continue to have my fingers crossed that some solution will be found before total war breaks out.

I give Going Under a B+/A-

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