1 out of 5 stars
Cut to the Chase:
In this miserable wreck of a fantasy novel, a band of companions wander a post-magical-apocalypse United States searching for the cause of the disaster and hoping to return things to how they were before. This is the second in a series, and, I assume entirely filler for a larger storyline. The book is overall uninteresting in every detail, ranging from the characters to the setting. This felt like a chore to read all the way through, and I would not recommend it to anyone.
The band of companions (I won’t even bother to list their dreary names or descriptions) travel through the wasteland that is America without technology, searching for a way to end their misery due to a missing sister and the lack of the creature comforts that technology brings. For some inexplicable reason, they use a man afflicted by active psychosis as their guide and he sends them ranging around on a quest that unsurprisingly has nothing to do with their actual goal.
Everything from the action to the setting is bland and dull; there really isn’t much more to say. They mostly avoid lazy characterization techniques with the glaring exception of the requisite completely unnecessary sexual assault on the one female companion that does nothing but interrupt the flow of the climactic scene and rob the reader of any actual interest they might have managed to accumulate during the course of this wreck of a narrative.
The descriptions of almost all the “magical” elements are vague and imprecise. I think the intent is the make them mysterious and enticing, but the overall effect is to make you think that the characters are in need of corrective eye surgery or glasses since everything they see is blurry or indistinct.
I haven’t read the rest of the series because I don’t particularly like subjecting myself to things that cause me to suffer, but I’m going to assume that the events in this book don’t particularly relate to the rest of the series. Even within the book, at least 3/4s of it could easily be omitted without changing the overall narrative at all. So to conclude, I would make a strong recommendation not to read this book unless you are fond of filler books that consist within themselves almost entirely of filler.
Comparisons to Other Authors:
I didn’t think it was great, and I don’t know if I would recommend it overall, but I think Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews is a much better magic apocalypse novel and outdoes this one in everything that I can surmise it is trying to do.