I’ve enjoyed all of Melissa F. Olson’s previous books, and Midnight Curse is no exception. This is what I call a “popcorn book,” derived from the term “popcorn movie.” There’s plenty of fluff, it’s truly escapist, and it may not be the most high-minded book I’ll read this year. But sometimes that just what I need!

Olson tends to write her books in fairly short series, using characters and settings that intertwine between the books. In order to enjoy Midnight Curse most fully, you might want to read her earlier Scarlett Bernard and Boundary Magic series. In fact, here’s the author’s suggested reading order. However, it’s not a necessity to enjoy Midnight Curse since Olson does a good job of filling in the gaps.

Scarlett Bernard is a null, which means that although she’s human, she also negates anything magical around her. Because of this, she’s a part of the Los Angeles “Old World.” That’s what Olson has defined as the supernatural – werewolves (Scarlett’s boyfriend), witches, and vampires (Scarlett’s partners and bosses). And of course, the magic isn’t always friendly.

In fact, the bad guys have done an unspeakable thing that’s threatening to expose the Old World. And you know how much supernaturals do not like humans to be savvy to them. Scarlett has a job to do – she must protect the secret and prove that her former vampire roommate Molly isn’t the bad guy.

But here’s the thing: Scarlett is a goof. She speaks before she thinks, and tends to run off chasing crazy hunches. But she has a good heart, and a friend named Jesse Cruz who’s a former police detective. Between those two things, she manages to be more funny than annoying.

I happened to read this in a week when I was juggling a lot of stressful stuff. So, it was the perfect antidote, although it took me longer to read than Olson’s books usually do. I was super distracted, so I’m choosing not to be critical since it was probably my fault.

Over the years I’ve read quite a lot of paranormal or supernaturally themed books. One of the things I enjoy is how each author interprets the mythology. For example, how does one vampire make another? Or how do the were animals interact with each other – in fact just the existence of more than werewolves is up for the author’s interpretation. Sometimes an author just makes me mad, for example when vampires sparkle in the sunlight. And other times it feels interesting and maybe even innovative. Thankfully, Olson’s books fall into the second category, so I’ll keep reading them. In fact I’m reading the next one in this series right now!