I don’t think that I have ever had a harder time trying to come up with a grade for a book than I am having on this book. It is definitely a middle of the road type of book, so definitely less than 4 stars, but it is also better than other books I’ve read. I’m torn between giving it 2.5 and 3 stars, but I’m leaning more towards the 2.5. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and hopefully I’ll be able to make up my mind by the time I’m done.
Marissa Spencer’s world has been turned upside down since waking up one morning with magical powers. She has no idea where they came from and controlling them has not been easy. To make matters worse, these new abilities seem to have brought with them a mysterious evil force that torments her dreams and tracks her down dark alleys. With the help of her sexy PI boss, Jack Slade—whom Marissa has always had a crush on—she will have to fight a battle for power that began before she was born. Along the way, she’ll discover a family she didn’t know she had, an inheritance she may not want, a strength she never knew was within her, and a love she’d only dreamed of.
This description doesn’t really tell you a lot, which is a bit ironic because the author definitely has a problem when it comes to telling instead of showing. This was actually once of my biggest problems with the book–so much of it was simply told to me and not shown. For instance, there is a scene early on in which Marissa is attacked and instead of having this scene in Marissa’s POV, we get Jack telling us that something was wrong and we don’t even get there until the entire thing is over. I don’t know if we were not supposed to know that Marissa has powers, although the word magic is in the title, so I’m a little perplexed as to why we couldn’t get that scene from her POV.
The next problem I had was that there was a whole lot of info-dumping going on. I don’t know how many people actively think about things that happened to them in the past, but Marissa and Jack sure do. I don’t need to have everything told to me all at once. I’m a delayed gratification kind of girl. All at once just doesn’t cut it for me.
Finally, there is no character development whatsoever. Each character behaved in the way the scenes needed them to behave and once that scene was over they reverted to their former behaviors. It was maddening, especially when it came to Aiden, Marissa’s long lost relative. He had real reason not to trust anyone and I had a lot of hope for him, especially when he was first introduced. I thought that he was going to be this badass character, who was able to handle himself. Unfortunately, I just didn’t get this from him. He whined a lot about his new powers, and I do get this, but at some point, the whining needed to stop. The sad thing is that none of these characters were at all complex and with their backstories, they really could have been.
This is obviously the author’s first book (or one of her first books) and it suffers from a lot of new author mistakes. I really wish she waited to write this until she had some more experience writing because the plot was good. If a more experienced writer had written this, it would have been awesome. I would love to see what someone like Nora Roberts could do with a book like this. I wish I could have liked this book more and I want to know what happens in the next books, but I don’t think I will. I don’t like to be disappointed and unless someone else was going to write then, that’s exactly how I will feel as I read them.