Thursday, October 27, 2022

Junk Magic by Karen Chance: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

Junk Magic by Karen Chance

Junk Magic starts a new spin-off series, Lia de Croissets, set in the world of Chance’s Cassie Palmer and Dorina Basarab series. While it can be read separately, it also presumes that the reader is familiar with what’s going on in the other two series, namely the war with gods, and how the world works, i.e. the Magic Corps, vamps, weres, and fay. None of it is explained in any way, so a new reader to Chance may find it difficult to understand everything that’s happening.

AccaliaLiade Croissets is a daughter of a war mage and a werewolf. She hasn’t taken the bite to Change to a werewolf though, ostensibly so that she could become a war mage, but in truth because she carries a disease that prevents it. Because of it, she’s at odds with the were world. And that was before she shacked up with an outcast were.

Her boyfriend, Cyrus, has begun to rescue other outcasts, mostly teenage boys. When one of them suddenly transform to a monster of nightmares, Lia sets out to investigate. It leads her to a doctored drug that triggers old supernatural genes. And then she is dosed with it herself.

This was a familiar affair of Chance’s, with political machinationswerewolves this time instead of vampiressinister villains, chapters-long, confusing battle scenes, and a powerful underdog heroine who must face them if not alone, then vastly outnumbered. Lia was a good MC, intelligent, resourceful, and goodhearted, and unlike Cassie, knew what was going on the whole time. And like all Chance’s heroines, played it so close to her heart that the villain came completely out of the blue. Moreover, missed its mark badly this time.

Of the supporting cast, Caleb, Lia’s war mage partner, was the only one that we’ve met before, and I liked that he was finally given a bigger role. Cyrus, her boyfriend, was a great character, but following a relationship that’s been going on for a while wasn’t as satisfying as watching a new one grow. Lia’s students and the rescued boys were a good addition, but there were so many of them that most of them were left in the background.

All in all, this was a good, coherent book and a great start to the series. I’ll be reading more.

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