Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Review: City of Dark Magic

City of Dark Magic
Magnus Flyte

Release Date: November 27, 2012

Book Description:
Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
     Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
     City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.

Sex, drugs, and… Beethoven?

Sarah Weston is a PhD student living in Boston, when she suddenly lands a summer job at a Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts. It is a fantastic opportunity for Sarah that will possibly help open many doors for her; but there are many secrets and mysteries surrounding the castle and its inhabitants in Prague, so Sarah sets out to solve some along the way.

Having finished the novel, I was left wondering whether the ending offered any good conclusions to the many storylines intertwined within it, and I feel, for me, it didn’t. It felt unfinished somehow. I was not too fond of this novel, when I first started, and it probably didn’t capture my full attention until after I was already halfway through it. The mysteries and characters seemed to pile on, but none were fully explained and/or explored. I was sad that it ended just at the point when I started to feel for these characters, and thought they were on the brink of solving the one golden mystery, that has remind such until the end.

Sarah was an interesting character, but I found it hard relating to her. She seemed to be a practical, goal-oriented girl, and she didn’t seem to live in the fairytale world waiting for prince charming to sweep her off her feet, so perhaps, that’s why she is deserving of the prince? I like those traits of hers, but then came sex, and I’m usually OK with a bit of loving thrown in, but it just seemed random here… and Sarah was quite daring about it. Her senses were over-the-top; she practically sniffed half of the mysteries out, and her nonchalant behavior with the drug could have been a bit questionable. So after all it was hard to take Sarah seriously.

The other characters, including Max, and Nicolas were interesting and added some reason to Sarah’s character, but I felt they lacked some development, especially Max. We learned very little of him, and he seemed interested in Sarah too quick. Nicolas was by far the most interesting part of the story, but his abrupt scenes and behavior often left me wanting to learn more about him.

In conclusion, I would still recommend this book to others. It is probably unlike most of the novels I’ve read. If I was to classify it under a particular category – it would be something along these lines: a semi-historical fiction with elements of mystery and romance? You be the judge.

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