Monday, November 24, 2014

Lisa Shearin - Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Raine is a sorceress of moderate powers, from an extended family of smugglers and thieves. With a mix of street smarts and magic spells, she can usually take care of herself. But when her friend Quentin, a not-quite-reformed thief, steals an amulet from the home of a powerful necromancer, Raine finds herself wrapped up in more trouble than she cares for. She likes attention as much as the next girl, but having an army of militant goblins hunting her down is not her idea of a good time. The amulet they’re after holds limitless power, derived from an ancient, soul-stealing stone. And when Raine takes possession of the item, it takes possession of her.
Now her moderate powers are increasing beyond anything she could imagine—but is the resumé enhancement worth her soul?

Comment: I got this book as a gift but at the time I had things to read so I delayed its reading. I scheduled it for this month because it was chosen as a read for one of the boo clubs I belong to. I was curious to read it not only because the person who gave it to me obviously thought I'd like it but also because I like fantasy with romance.

This is Raine Benares' story, she's a sorceress with some powers and she lives in a world where elves and goblins live, among other creatures. Raine comes from a famous smugglers family and she wants to stay away from their reputation so she works as a finder, she finds things for those who request her services. But when she decides to help a cousin and a friend with a job, she didn't know she would get herself in trouble, along with people she cares about. But the problems will also make her know more about her father, whom she never met...

Let me start by saying I didn't enjoy this book. I kept having trouble focusing on the story and it was so hard to stay focused and any little distraction would work while I was reading. I kept pushing because I wanted it over with. I know many people DNF books when they have a book like this on their hands but I really want to finish the task I propose myself and I'm curious because who knows if the best part might show up later, but honestly, this one was hard to swallow.

In a fantasy or paranormal world, I always look for a world that fascinates and enthralls me. I want to see that world and wish I could live there, or among those characters even if only for a while. I didn't have that sensation with this book because the world wasn't presented in the best way in my opinion. There was a lot of information about places and races but it wasn't intriguing or structured enough to compel me. I often see new worlds done by other authors where the creatures, the society, the way characters interact is fascinating. I don't think this happens here, not only because of a lack of interesting structure, but also due to the author's style.
The plot also didn't intrigue me. I understood some things and the reasons but page after page, the plot just seemed redundant, really. It become predictable what would happen, if not the particulars of the how.

The author's style is very precise and a fellow reader, new to the author like me absolutely loved this so I know my opinion is exactly that, my personal opinion, but truthfully, the style didn't captivate me nor was it elaborated in the best way to make me feel all the layers about the world or the characters. I just didn't feel anything particularly good about it.

I also think it didn't help that this is 1st person narrator. Like it happens with most fantasy set worlds, Raine is the narrator with all the implications it has in terms of how a reader follows what happens. I also didn't connect with Raine, she was mysterious which can be reasonable for a first book, but I don't feel interested in knowing more and something about her just drives me away. Who knows, if the book was told from another perspective, it might be different.

There's a bit of romance in this story but not very interesting, Raine likes this guy but they aren't together for some reason, then she meets another one and physical attraction aside, I don't think she is much into him so I can't know if this is just a love triangle which would suck, or an attempt to distract the reader and keep the mystery in which case it would have be done badly as well.

All in all, not a good story for me. I also have the second book, which I will read as a second chance really, but I don't put much faith into it. The world just wasn't for me, and to be honest I don't feel interested in keep going. It all felt so disjointed for me, so many details, not enough links or structure. Like always, this is just my opinion, but sincerely, I think it's forgettable.
Grade: 4/10

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