Sunday, 21 February 2010
Review: Hard Magic - Laura Anne Gilman
Bonita is a Talent, the politically correct way of saying magic user. She is offered a job in a new team of investigators, Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations (PUPI), the first to use their talent in such a way - forensic magic. The team are learning as they go, using spells in different ways and adapting them to suit their needs. Their first case is important - to prove that the job can be done. There's people in high places who don't want them to succeed.
Generally I thought the plot was okay. I believe this is the first book of a series and as such part of the book was taken up with setting the scene. This was, however, largely related to the main character's background rather than the idea of magic itself. At times though I felt like I'd picked up the book half way through and missed out the part that explained how the Talents fitted into the world.
I loved the idea of forensic magic and at the start of the book I was please that there was detailed descriptions of how the magic works. However, as the book progressed, this sometimes got a little bit annoying, mostly because I couldn't really follow it - maybe that was just me expecting to understand it completely though.
I liked that each of the characters had their own special talent and that the investigators progressed as a group but I don't think the characters were developed as much as they could have been. I didn't particularly grow to like any of them all that much. I'd liked to have known more about the supporting characters. I'm sure they'll probably be developed more over future books but I think that a little more was needed to start with. On more than one occasion I forgot who was who because I didn't feel like I knew them at all.
While not one of my favourite reads, I'd probably read future books in this series. If you're interested in fantasy fiction and like the idea of an unusual take on magic use then you'd probably enjoy this book.
Other reviews of this book:
Reading With Tequila