Outfoxed

The Fox Witch Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
450 Pages
Reviewed on 01/06/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Outfoxed by R.J. Blain is the first book in the Fox Witch series. Jade has a strenuous relationship with Mother Nature and is proudly vocal of the fact. She's always relied on herself and her wits to keep one step of everyone else, but when bounty hunters close in on her, she goes head to head with the charming Sandro in a game of fox and hunter. To escape Mother Nature's wrath through the guise of dangerous tornadoes, Jade finds herself in the shocking position of seeking shelter with the handsome hunter, which comes with a bargain between them. Jade is thrown into the middle of a conspiracy that's larger than her and puts her in the position of a hero tasked with saving everyone in the city.

The story is a fun and dazzling read from beginning to end with a heroine that has a voice that will make you want to take the journey with her. Jade is a charming character that has it all: sharp brains, a strong-willed personality, and a quick wit. Over the course of the story, she's pulled into a new direction that finds her thinking about the fate of the city and everyone in it versus just her own well-being. It's the first step in her journey to find the hero she has within and the strength even she doesn't know she has. The dialogue is phenomenal and clever with humor woven through Jade's perspective and has a snark that is immediately engaging.

R.J. Blain delivers an action-packed plot that breathes life into a clever and original urban fantasy setting. The story takes place in 2043 which adds a futuristic quality to the setting. The title is a fun play on the nature of the plot and the character of Jade who truly outfoxes everyone around her with a wily and snarky personality that makes her brilliant and fun. Blain delivers an amazing voice to introduce you to this world and to pull you into it. Outfoxed is addictive with its action-packed moments, clever humor, fast-paced adventure, and the heroine's blazing personality.

Teresa Syms

Outfoxed (The Fox Witch Book 1) by R.J. Blain tells the story of Jade, a hybrid of human and fox origin. Jade is an exceptional beauty, skilled as a witch, and shapeshifts into her persona as a fox. She escaped her home and parents several years ago for the Alley. Life in the Alley was a challenge. Everyone lived with their eyes towards the sky, waiting for the next set of storms to ravage the city. She lives by her instincts and evades the bounty hunters who are out for her head. She evades them until during one particular storm, she shared her cellar with Sandro, a bounty hunter who has had his sights on Jade, not for the bounty, but because he wants her! Jade has no choice but to form an alliance and bargain with Sandro to prevent her from falling into the wrong hands when she is auctioned off. As more people are being killed by the tornadoes, Jade believes she has discovered the reality behind the storms. What will she do with the information? Will she trust Sandro and the “family” to help her?

Outfoxed (The Fox Witch Book 1) by R.J. Blain is an enchanting story. The reader quickly falls in love with Jade and feels deeply for her plight. Her struggle just to survive in the Alley is real. Not just because of the storms but the bounty hunters who constantly chase her. The author has created an interwoven futuristic story with very exciting twists within the plot. Blain’s character development is incredible, and I found myself with a clear vision of Jade, Sandro, and his mother Stephani. The setting of the book was very well developed and interestingly thought out. I found the quadrants to be a fascinating twist. I could easily picture the destruction of the tornadoes, visualize the survivors trying to salvage what they could, and prepare once again the for next onslaught of storms. I found Outfoxed very difficult to put down. As I read further, I was transfixed by the intricacies of the bounties, the contracts, and the power certain families hold. It leaves any reader wanting more about Jade and her journey. What will happen once the reason behind the storms is discovered? I can’t wait to read the next book. Well done!

Grant Leishman

Outfoxed (The Fox Witch Book 1) by R.J. Blain is a deep dive into a world of urban fantasy some years into the future. It is 2043 and Jade is a first-generation fox, witch, and shapeshifter, and as such is highly prized for breeding purposes. She left her home on the East Coast several years ago and now lives a precarious existence in the area known as The Alley, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Alley is aptly named as it continues to be smashed on a daily basis, during the season, by massively destructive storms that spawn gigantic tornadoes by the dozen and are slowly but surely destroying everything above ground in Tulsa. There is one community that has built a safe area under the city, known as Asylum. The problem for average citizens is that space in Asylum is not only limited due to size constraints but to get admittance you need to be powerful, connected, incredibly wealthy, and preferably all three. Jade is prepared to take her chances on her fox abilities giving her the capability to survive the storms and remain free – she wants to be beholden to no one. When she discovers someone, from the East, has put an incredibly high bounty on her head to bring her back, she realizes her time may be limited. A chance encounter with the bounty hunter Sandro gives her a stark choice – accept his terms and conditions or continue to fight what will probably ultimately be a losing battle against the storms and the bounty hunters chasing her. Determined to discover the true source of the storms, which her magic tells her are man-made and controlled, she considers the possibility of striking a bargain with the gorgeous Sandro and enlisting his help.

This is my first real encounter with Urban Fantasy as a genre and I have to say Outfoxed is an excellent dive into the realm. Author R. J. Blain has created a storyline and arcs that are both, believable and exciting. The lead characters of Jade and Sandro each have a lot going for them. Jade, especially, is a caring, compassionate person who uses her strength and abilities to help as many people as she can in their shared horror that is The Alley. I particularly liked that she was so self-effacing of her own worth, strength, and beauty. She was strong and determined to retain her freedom and yet she would always put others' needs and problems ahead of her own. She also retained a wicked sense of humor and sex appeal which endears her to the reader. Sandro, despite his immense wealth and power, still came across as a sympathetic, caring, and ultimately moral character, despite his occupation as a bounty hunter. The story flows effortlessly and the writing is descriptive and first-class. I loved the scenes toward the end of the book showing Jade’s interactions with Sandro’s family, especially his mother. It was so clear that she longed for the casual familiarity and love she saw there, in comparison to her own dysfunctional family. This is a fantastic read and has opened up the genre for me. I will certainly be looking for the sequel to this story and the future adventures of Jade and Sandro. An excellent book and one I can highly recommend.

Tammy Ruggles

Outfoxed (The Fox Witch Book 1) by R. J. Blain is an engaging urban fantasy novel with an interesting plot and memorable characters. Jade is on edge, wanted by bounty hunters, and bounty hunter Sandro wants her all for himself. Things heat up when she turns to him for help. Storms are brewing in more ways than one, and a malevolent plan is out to hold sway over the townspeople. Is Jade up to the challenge and all that the storms will bring? This character-driven fantasy drama has a pinch of romance and a healthy dose of humor.

What I like about this novel is the main character, Jade. A hybrid red fox, she's strong and resourceful, yet knows when she needs help and lets herself ask for it. She is also brave enough to take risks instead of playing it safe. The bounty hunter is the perfect balance for her, and it's fun to read the interplay between them. Left with only a few options, she chooses one that lights a fuse for the rest of the plot to unfold. I like that the story is set against the backdrop of storms as it's a perfect echo of the conflict going on in Jade's life. Storms become character-like as well--unpredictable, temperamental, etc. And then you have Jade's magical element and her concern for the storms, knowing that they're manufactured, not natural, and determined to get to the bottom of it.

Blain writes with detailed descriptions, satisfying character arcs, and intricate world-building. As you read, you feel like her situations are real, and you become emotionally involved. You'll like how the author describes Jade, what she is, what she can do, and the medicine, witchery, and other fantasy elements involved. The descriptions of the storms are also visceral, making them feel as dangerous as they really are. Outfoxed (The Fox Witch Book 1) by R. J. Blain is a force of nature.

Vincent Dublado

Outfoxed, the first book in R. J. Blain’s Fox Witch Series, is a promising urban fantasy adventure that introduces an intriguing protagonist. Mother Nature no longer cares about humanity and this is reflected in the living conditions of people in Inner Tulsa, where debris often rains down from destructive tornadoes. Jade Tamrin not only contends with the forces of nature, but she also has to keep her head on her shoulders as a pack of bounty hunters is out to get her. Her education records, physical skill, pedigree, and magic are factors that make her an attractive prize, but they are the qualities that help her survive as well. Sandro Flores Moretti is one of the top bounty hunters bent on claiming her, and she appears drawn to this enigmatic quadrant master. Will she give in to the clutches of Moretti, or will she choose to continue defying all odds?

One of R. J. Blain’s triumphs is her ability to turn foes into friends or even lovers. Moretti is the type of character that you will loathe at the beginning. At the same time, he is someone that you are willing to forgive on account of what he stands for. Just as Jade knows that Moretti is willing to pay a good sum on a bounty for her, he is equally willing to pay a great deal to keep her alive. Another fascinating element to Outfoxed is the way Jade is portrayed. She exudes a complexity that is not easy to fathom. Being the subject of a manhunt, her complexity is explored as she narrates her story. At the end of the book, you give a sigh of relief but at the same time, you wait with anticipation of what will happen next, and that is why you will be drawn to read the series.