Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Broken Magic duology
Rating: 4/5 stars
This book is the first book in the Broken Magic duology. This book is a spin-off from the Allie Beckstrom series and involves two of the side characters from that series. It was a great read and I enjoyed it, a very solid urban fantasy with some interesting magic. Although it can be read as a stand alone, the story has a lot more impact and depth if you read the Allie Beckstrom series before reading this book.
This book is told from Shame’s POV and involves him and Terric. The government is seeking out Soul Complements in an effort to weaponize them. When Closers start showing up dead, Shame suspects Eli Collins is involved somehow. However, as Shame and Terric start to unravel secrets, they find out the plot and potential danger is much more serious than they originally suspected.
I enjoyed reading this book and visiting all of my favorite characters from the Allie Beckstrom series. Shame is definitely a dark character, but we knew this from Allie’s books. Shame also drinks a lot, is a general jack-ass at times, and can be very whiny and difficult. Some readers have complained about this…but if you don’t like Shame as a character why read this series?
I think Monk did an awesome job of portraying Shame’s character and showing how both Shame and Terric struggle with their magic powers. I also like how Shame is starting to grow some as a character as well. Shame is still Shame, so if you didn’t like his character…don’t read this book.
The idea of Soul Complements is one that was explored in the Allie Beckstrom series, but is explored in even more depth in this book. Basically Shame can use death magic and Terric life magic. They need to work magic together occasionally or they each get consumed by their various magics. At first it seems like Shame struggles more with this Death magic, but he is just more vocal about his struggles. Terric struggles with his Life magic in some interesting ways. You get to see a few other Soul Complements too and it was interesting to see how each pair of Soul Complements balances their powers in different ways.
Also the concept of Soul Complements being able to break magic is interesting. In a world where light and dark magic has finally be brought into balance, magic is much weaker than it used to be (this all happened in the Allie Beckstrom series). However Soul Complements can still break magic back down into light and dark and use it to cast heavy duty spells. This makes them very interesting to those who would like to abuse power.
Woven into Shame and Terric’s issues is a government conspiracy that is seeking Soul Complements to use them as weapons or seek to replicate their powers with tech. This added an excellent mystery twist to the story and there are some major revelations surrounding characters we were introduced to in the Allie Beckstrom series.
I thought the characters were entertaining and the plot was well done. This is just the first half of the story, the story will be continued (and concluded) in Stone Cold which is due to release in April 2014.
Overall an excellent spin-off series. I really loved Shame and Terric and enjoyed reading this book from Shame’s perspective. I loved learning more about Soul Complements and how they can break magic. I also enjoyed the mystery surrounding the government conspiracy involving magic. I would definitely recommend to fans of urban fantasy and fans of the Allie Beckstrom series. However, if you despised Shame’s character in the Allie Beckstrom series…then skip this book…there is a ton of Shame in here!