A Minor Magic
by Justin R. Macumber
Publication Date: November 15, 2012
Published by: Crescent Moon Press
Genre: YA Dystopian/Fantasy
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback ~265 pages
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?
"There was a dreadful power inside her, a power she didn't understand or want, but it was there like a snake in the dark."
This is a book that will definitely get your blood pumping and quick. Immediately we are thrust into the future where the earth has been nearly decimated by something called The Burning. Skylar is beside herself because she has just killed her dog with fire that came from her hands. He was lunging to attack her and she put her hands up to try and cover herself and the next thing she knows Buster is now dead. I don't like that in the first chapter a dog dies, but we clearly get to see just how Skylar feels by gaining this "power". Not only is she completely confused, she has been kicked out of the only home she has really known and called a child of the Devil. Within the next few hours, she is almost kidnapped and raped by really gross men and then finds herself in Graceland mansion by just wishing it so. Then she is kidnapped by religious zealots and almost burned as a witch on a pyre! This girl is seriously having a bad day.
But Skylar's journey does not end there. She is saved by a small group of people who know more than anyone about what The Burning really was and how it relates to what is happening to her now. When Skylar finally learns about what she is and where the powers come from, she accepts her role in stride. She is scared, battered, and almost broken, but she still carries on. Skylar is a great female character. She is innocent, but isn't stupid. Even when things look terribly grim, she looks to herself for the strength to get through it, not someone else. I wish all literary girls would do this, but not all of them have magic inside them. The other characters are well written too. I like that Nathan, the son of the evil Preacher, has varied emotions to what happens between him and his father.
I am very impressed by the author's ability to build a world that is both apocalyptic and fantastical. I loved that there was so much thought put into the landscape of A Minor Magic and how each of the characters related to it and how it affected their fate. I also really like how the author is able to draw a believable conclusion to how society would act to the disaster. The writing is exciting and the story is gripping. I could not put this book down; there wasn't any place that let up on the action enough to let me stop reading. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in A Broken Magic. This book is for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Lord of the Rings. <-- A weird combo, but a great one!
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review as part of a blog tour. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.
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.
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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