Dead Magic #1
I’m not normally one for Young Adult books. Being an old fart, I often have a hard time relating to the kind of issues young people face simply by virtue of being young. That said, I’m also not one for looking too closely at a books description or category. If a book is recommended to me, I download a sample and start reading – no questions asked.
That’s what happened with The Black Veins.
Looking at the blurb, it doesn’t sound at all like what I’d expect myself to enjoy. This is why I don’t read blurbs.
What I found in this book is a gripping story about a budding hero (Blythe) assembling her party in order to take on the badness that stole her family from her. It kept me up until way-too-late o’clock, and more than once I found myself laughing out loud in the darkness of my bedroom.
The story takes place in modern day US, with the magical community hidden away from common view, and trying their best to keep secret – or else. However, the way the world is presented, it feels more like twist on Harry Potter than on Vampire the Masquerade, and it’s awesome.
What I’ll whine about
I would have liked to have seen more of Jamie. They’re an interesting character, and they seemed a lot more important to Blythe, than Blythe herself realized.
The ending. The last few chapters were heavy on action, but light on character. With the main enjoyment of the book for me being the characters and how they evolved together, this felt a bit flat to me.
The second part isn’t out yet. That said, the book stands well on its own, and I don’t mind waiting a bit for the next one.
What I’ll gush about
The characters. This book is full of colorful and diverse characters – people who come alive and jump off the page demanding to have their story told. They grow and evolve together, and there’s a lot of good chemistry going around. It’s a joy to read.
The world. It’s difficult not to draw parallels to Harry Potter, with the hidden magical government and the magical coffee shop that Blythe’s parents run. It’s got a similar vibe, but it’s a bit more down to earth. The magic people aren’t luddites and technophobes who rely on their wands for all of their worldly needs, but everyday people with a bit of magic in their lives. Or, in the case of some of them, a lot of magic.
You want a bit of down-to-earth Harry Potter, but with a more varied cast and less wand-waving, this is the book for you.