Tag Archives: magic

Review of Witch Inheritance (Mackenzie Coven Mystery #1), by Sonia Parin

I downloaded a copy of Sonia Parin‘s Witch Inheritance from Amazon, as a freebie.

Description from Goodreads:
Lexie’s birthday has caught up with her, as have her cousins, Mirabelle Louisa Mackenzie – High Chair of the British Isles and all Circumferential Domains Pertaining to the Mackenzie Coven – and Catherine Marianna Mackenzie, her down under cousin (If she has a title, she’s not telling her). They’ve been sent to remind Lexie of her family obligations and also to give her a birthday gift. The type she can’t return, refuse or exchange. It’s her heritage and it comes with a job she didn’t even apply for. It’s actually more a way of life than a career and it comes with a snazzy new outfit only her cousins can see. Thank goodness for that…

Not surprisingly, Mirabelle and Catherine Mackenzie are short on details and time to explain. In fact, Lexie has less than two days to brush up on her skills and fly to England… at the blink of an eye. The Mackenzie Coven has been enlisted to assist with a rising concern at House St James. It comes in the shape of an inky black fog Lexie calls the menace. It might not be in corporeal form, but it’s somehow managed to murder one St James family member. Now it’s Lexie’s job to make sure it doesn’t strike again, but she’s fallen under a spell. Suddenly she’s tearing off her beloved denim jeans and Rock Hard t-shirt and donning bespoke designer dresses and sipping ‘delish’ champagne. Even her accent has changed and her cousins can’t do anything about it because a covenant prohibits all three Mackenzie Coven witches from gathering in the house together. They must somehow circumvent the seal and guide Lexie through her first official task as a Mackenzie Coven witch and find the murderer before all the heirs meet their end…

That was…..that was a decent outline of the dialogue for a future book. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like it was then fleshed out into an actual novel (or even a novella). It is literally like 80% dialogue, with no world or character building. The reader is dropped into the middle, characters appear and aren’t introduced or explained, the plot make no sense and the narration is cheesy. I mean, the villainous evil is called the “inky black fog.” And while I sense this was meant to be humorous, it wasn’t. Then the climax arrived abruptly and the book ended on a cliffhanger. I will not be continuing the series.

Review of The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1), by Myke Cole

I borrowed a copy of The Armored Saint, by Myke Cole, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

If I think about the fantasy YA storyline that I feel like I’ve read the most often, it would be the one where some teen, who is just a little smarter, or kinder, or more talented, or outspoken than everyone else somehow inadvertently challenges the overbearing authority of the land and then, in a desperate attempt to rescue the people they love, save the world. I swear I’ve read this story a hundred times and we find the exact same one here. So, this is not breaking new ground. But it does at least manage to place it all in an interesting world and the writing is good.

My problem was mostly that almost every horrible thing that happened in the book happened because Heloise did something objectively stupid. Yes, they lived under a cruel regime. But that regime would have never noticed Heloise or her family if she hadn’t REPEATEDLY done stupid things to draw their attention. She seemed to have no impulse control at all and people died for it. But she still got to be the hero in the end. Meh.

Lastly, I appreciate how loving and involved fathers were with their daughters, but I was left wondering why mothers and women in general were so left out (as usual). This is just one more fantasy world in which women only exist quietly in the background. This is always especially galling when the main character is a girl.

Review of Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1), by Jennifer Estep

I bought a paperback copy of Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic out in the real world.

Description from Goodreads:
It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. . .

I didn’t love this. It’s told in first person, past tense and just felt very flatly told. Imagine a three-year-old who has a story to tell you and it’s full of “and then I” and “then the monster” and “I thought,” etc. I wasn’t hugely engaged in the story. I thought………[I’ve literally finished this book not 10 minutes ago and I can’t remember her name]….the main character was exceptionally shallow. I mean, she only seemed to have anger and sarcasm where her personality should have been. There’s some huge plot holes, not the least of which is that the town is full of monsters, that will literally eat you if you cross their bridge, for example, but somehow some people don’t believe in them. The villains (both sub-plots’ worth) are evil just for the sake of being evil. And they are all VERY OBVIOUS. I won’t be pursuing this series.