Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: A Minor Magic by Justin Macumber


Author: Justin Macumber

Genre: Young Adult

Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Over the course of a single night, mystical fires tore through the sky and reduced most of Earth to ash. Ten years later magical fire burns again, but this time it’s in the hands of a young girl named Skylar. Exiled from her adoptive home, Skylar must now struggle through ruined lands and religious zealots who believe she’s an agent of the Devil. An even greater threat exists in the form of shadowy sorcerers from another world who covet her blood. Along her journey, she meets a motley band of outcasts who not only know the secret of what happened to Earth, but also of Skylar’s true origin. Will Skylar be able to accept this fantastical truth? But more importantly, can her powers and raging heart be tamed in time to stop those who once burned the world and now seek total domination?

This is a post-apocalyptic world that has resulted from widespread fires known as the "burnings". Also, "wylds" have formed in cities, they are areas of wilderness that are dangerous with strange creatures. No one knows what has caused them to happen. This book starts out with a 15 year old girl named Skylar. She is living with an "adoptive" family, because both of her parents died due to the burnings and the journey afterwards. She had just killed their pet dog with a fireball from her hands. She never knew until that exact moment that she could do magic. So the father figure immediately believes she is a devil and kicks her out. This world has been turned upside down, there are gangs forming and hungry, wild animals prowling. It is no place for a young teenage girl to be wandering around, but she has to leave and this is where her journey begins.

Skylar starts out the book as a shy, unsure of herself type of girl. She is still growing into the women she is going to become. She ends the book blossoming into a strong young lady who is ready to take on the world. Her magic doesn't immediately start working the way she wants it to she has to hone it, and learn how to use it. She makes friends along the way, and together they have to survive the craziness working together to solve this mystery that has been laid out before them.

There were definitely times when this hook had me on the edge of my seat. She has to face down gross, dirty guys who want to capture her in order to use her. She has to fight monsters and wild animals. She has to learn how to rely on herself to survive in this world. After all, she is one of the few people who have to ability to survive in it.

This book definitely has some new thoughts and ideas I haven't seen before. The burnings and the wylds are something new. There were some interesting, and scary creatures in the book. I have to say it was very creative.

This book had a lot of fast paced parts, but also some slower ones. Overall, it wasn't too bad in that area. There definitely seems like there is going to be second book, which I will be interested in checking out. 

Rating: out of 5

Author Bio: 

Justin R. Macumber is the author of HAYWIRE and A MINOR MAGIC. When not hard at work on his next story he hosts the popular Dead Robots' Society podcast, which is a podcast made by writers for writers. He and his lovely wife live in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex along with a rampaging pack of dogs and cats that they think of as their children. He is also a co-host on The Hollywood Outsider, a weekly podcast about movies and television. Currently he is working on two novels - the horror story STILL WATER, and the sequel to A MINOR MAGIC entitled A BROKEN MAGIC.


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Skylar's eyes filled with a flickering blue light as ghostly flames jetted from her palms, and her screams were lost over the roaring of the blaze. Instinctively, she shook her hands, slapped them against her legs, and then clapped them together to try and extinguish the fire. As her hands touched, the flames vanished. To her astonishment her skin wasn't burned. It wasn't even warm. Sadly, the same couldn't be said for Buster. The dog was a smoking ruin at her feet, one more pile of burnt remains in a world already covered in ash. Her heart broke as she stared down at him. Oh god, she thought. What's happened? What have I done?

"Oh my Lord, girl," a man said behind her. "What did you do?"

Skylar whirled around, her eyes widening in guilt even though she didn't understand what had happened, or how. "Henry, he jumped at me! I don't know why he did it, and I tried to stop him, but..." She fell silent, her thoughts too scrambled to know what more to say. Buster was a dog she'd loved and cared for ever since coming to live on the farm years ago, and without warning, he had attacked her. When she'd held her hands up to ward him off, blue fire had erupted from them and consumed him as though it was a living, ravenous thing. Nothing like that had ever happened to her before, and she couldn't rightly explain what she didn't understand.

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