Review of Magic Eclipse (Dragon Born Shadow World #1), by Ella Summers

Magic EclipseI picked up a copy of Ella SummersMagic Eclipse from Amazon, when it was free. It was still free at the time of posting.

Description from Goodreads:
They were lovers. Now they’re enemies. 

A magic shock wave cuts across the world—fracturing reality, leaving only a dark Shadow World in its place. 

Former monster-hunting mercenary mage Sera Dering is fighting for her right to exist. Labeled as an abomination, she’s caught in a supernatural war that has been raging for centuries between her kind and the Magic Council’s Crusaders. But when people from both sides begin to go missing, Sera has to team up with Kai Drachenburg, the Crusaders’ commander. She soon discovers that the mysterious fog rolling across San Francisco is only half as dangerous as the sexy, powerful dragon-shifting mage who brings out memories in her of a forgotten world. 

As the commander of the Crusaders’ North American army and a member of one of the world’s oldest magic dynasties, it is Kai’s sworn duty to hate Sera. But as they work together to fight the magic fog plaguing the city, he finds himself drawn to her in ways he cannot understand. Their new alliance is tested, however, when they begin to realize that someone close to them is behind the dark spell—and that the fog is more than it seems.

Oh man, this book made me angry on several fronts. I mean, it’s an ok, if stripped down, read but it’s problematic too. My main issue is that it’s very clearly labeled book one. But a little investigation shows that it is actually book one of a series that is actually a sequel to a four book series, making this book five. And I went and did that investigating because I very early on felt I was missing something, so yes, you definitely feel the lack of those previous four books. It’s readable, but not overly enjoyable for the characters to talk about people and events you don’t know about and for the world to not be explained and the history to be a blank. It’s not even small things either. The whole plot here is that the characters have forgotten their lives, meaning forgotten the events of the previous four books, and they are fighting to get them back. So, ya know, important stuff.

Then there is this note on Dragon born Serifina’s GR page, that’s the series this is apparently a sequel to.

The Dragon Born Serafina, Dragon Born Alexandria sister series and Naomi’s story Dragon Born Awakening can be read independently or together. The Dragon Born Serafina continues with Dragon Born Shadow World

Suggested reading order:
Mercenary Magic (Dragon Born Serafina, Book 1)
Magic Edge (Dragon Born Alexandria, Book 1)
Magic Games (Dragon Born Serafina, Book 2)
Magic Nights (Dragon Born Serafina, Book 3)
Blood Magic (Dragon Born Alexandria, Book 2)
Magic Kingdom (Dragon Born Alexandria, Book 3)
Fairy Magic (Dragon Born Awakening, Book 1)

It starts out ok, with the separate or together bit, but then confuses me with it’s suggested order. So, does that mean I should read seven books before getting to this one? Or is that establishing a pattern, rather than an actual list? Because each of those series is four books long. So, do I need to have read all 12? Come on authors/publishers. I hate this stuff. If a book is a sequel label it as such. This is obviously not a book one of anything! I mean, we’re even told that: “The Dragon Born Serafina continues with Dragon Born Shadow World.” Continues with…. Not a new series then. Not a book one!

As for the story itself? It’s got some humor. But it’s basically the main characters running around and reacting to things. There is almost no development of plot or characters. We’re told repeatedly that they’re at war, but they call each other, have meetings and are on a first name basis. So, not much of a war then? I never felt the tension that was supposed to exist. The ending came about very quickly and it concluded on a cliffhanger, with nothing looking anything like a conclusion. So, I basically started in the middle of a series and ended on one too. What fun! <–sarcasm

Look, this isn’t the first time I’ve complained about this. In a real sense, it’s the publishing industry’s apparent insistence on making this normal enough for it to happen to me repeatedly that makes encountering it again so problematic for. I even wrote a whole blog post about it, earlier this year. This a hot point issue for me, as a reader. I cannot express how much I hate it.

Lastly, because I’m not feeling particular charitable toward this book at the moment, I need to address that cover. Is it just me or is it particularly focused on breasts? I don’t know, something about that picture seems over-exaggerated and unnatural.

Edit: I’ve decided to add links when I get flack for my reviews. Apparently someone thought this one was “illogical and silly.”

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