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Friday, June 22, 2012

Finding Magic Review

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m one of those writers that write and edit constantly during the process of a work in progress. I can’t help myself. It’s fun for me to go back and dig into the story before going on, so I edit extensively, keeping timelines and situations straight in my head as I progress. I know my plodding way doesn’t work at all as a method heralded by any writing gurus, but it doesn’t really block or slow me down, so I don’t see myself changing methods.  :)

That stated, when I’m engrossed in writing and editing, my reading goes by the wayside. My ‘To Be Read’ list piles up on the Kindle at an impressive pace. Such is happening now. I am a proficient speed reader, but I don’t speed read novels I’m looking forward to reading. I speed read technical data at a ‘Mr. Spock’ clip, but not novels for my reading pleasure. Since my YA writing trilogy has captivated my attention, my reading for pleasure has been reduced to a short period each night. I just finished my friend Stacia Kane’s novella, FINDING MAGIC, which is a prequel to her great paranormal ‘Downside’ series of which I’m a big fan. 

The intricate details of how her main character in the series came to be a Church Debunker thread through the plot perfectly. Eighteen year old Cesaria Putnam, in training with the Church of Real Truth, gets placed on a tryout basis with the Church Black Squad. They investigate murders. The grisly string of mutilated corpses in an ongoing case fascinates the young trainee, Chess. She rightly correlates the murders to ghosts, much to the surprise of her difficult handler Jillian and the rest of the Black Squad. Tying in Chess’s beginning problems with alcohol and drug abuse, coupled with her background of being abused in foster homes, explains her difficulties in throwing off the addictions. This prequel has its share of murder and ghost mayhem, entwined with human avarice, in an enthralling, fast paced story. Chess connects with her mentor, Elder Griffin, and shows off the impressive detective skills she exhibits throughout the series as a Debunker who investigates real ghost hauntings from fraudulent claims, which the Church would have to pay off. She also catches a glimpse at the end of her future lover, the ‘Downside’ enforcer, Terrible.

If you’re a fan of the series, or wanting an introduction to the ‘Downside’, I highly recommend Finding Magic. This series is not for the faint of heart however. It revolves around people scratching out an existence in a very dark ‘Downside’. Their ways of coping with a depressing arena of life where they are under constant threat by murderous ghosts and other human predators may not sit well with many readers. For those who can suspend the real world, this series will jerk you into its dark hole of human and ghost interaction completely.


Charles Gramlich said...

I definitely want to pick this one up.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

It's a great starting point if you haven't read the rest of the series first, Charles. I noticed her other ones are at a reduced price on Kindle. The first in the series, titled 'Unholy Ghosts' is only $2.99, and man, is that one a shocker. It changed all my preconceived notions of the paranormal urban fantasy. That's for sure. :)

Your 'Cold in the Light' will be my next review. Yes, I know I'm a slow reader/writer, my friend. :)

raine said...

I did read "Unholy Ghosts". It was impressive. May have to pick this one up.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I agree, Raine. 'Unholy Ghosts' turned me upside down in a good way. It's the only series I've read where each succeeding book is better than the one before.