Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Trace Of Magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Book Blurb: Even the most powerful tracers can't track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Loch Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I'll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions. Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she's on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war My Review: 5 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Supernatural-- Riley is hiding in plain sight. She is an incredibly strong tracer, but is thought to be a low level hack that just pretends to use magic for money. Her life is incredibly complicated, made even more so when dirty cop/ mob enforcer Clay Price coerces her into finding a missing person for him. Riley is dragged into the heart of the world that she has always tried to avoid. So this book made a fan girl out of me. I need to get a copy of this to own because this is one of the books that I have the embarrassing urge to hug to my chest in a fit of joy. I was instantly interested and engaged in the characters and the plot. I would classify this as an urban fantasy and the reader is dropped right on their head into a world that at first appears usual, but is really filled with different magic groupings and run by Mobsters. I started this story with no idea what the book was about (it had been so long since I read the synopsis, I practically went into the story blindly) and I had no expectations. And I absolutely loved this. I could not put the book down and the rare moments we were separated, I thought about the characters continuously and worried something terrible was brewing that I may miss out on. Yes, I am aware that is an irrational thought, deal with it. I finished the book almost 2 weeks ago but did not get a chance to write my review until now and my feelings on the book have not changed. I ate up every moment spent getting into disasters with Riley and I desperately look forward to what has to be a next book. I have had the opportunity to look at others reviews for the book on Goodreads and I was a little shocked at the low stars. For me this was a 5 star book, but I am pretty sure I am a minority. My favorite genre to read is Urban Fantasy, all my favorite authors write Urban Fantasy, and I would put this up there with them in my heart. So I learned that this book may not be for everyone, but man was it for me. Riley is such a strong character. Yes, I understand that she gets injured left and right throughout the book, but I don’t mean that she is literally strong. She has strength of character and will. I respected her and her choices, and rooted for her as a person. I found myself relating to her and the hard choices she had to make. She doubts the integrity of her ally and still puts herself into a dangerous situation for the greater good. She pretty much sacrifices herself to help others. And in response to another review I read, yes she is a powerful Tracer and yes she does still gets injured. Being able to Trace people (aka find them like a bloodhound) does not give one an invisible shield that deflects bullets or removes said Tracer from harm’s way. The two are mutually exclusive. Just because someone has a powerful gift does not make everything else easy or simple. She is the poster girl for taking a hit and coming back swinging. Riley is the main character, but all the other characters in the story are developed with personality and quirks that make them come off the pages and be completely believable regardless of the make-believe aspect of the story. Not only are the characters well developed, but the nuances of this world the author built are so detailed. The book takes place in Colorado during a heavy snow storm. But I have no idea if this place really exists in the real world or not. The city Riley lives in is built in layers around an active volcano based on social status/wealth. It feels so real with talk of skiing and diners and people, yet I am pretty sure that it is not a real city. The magic users are split into groups based on talent and power, all very specific and unique. There are some super messed up skills that people can use to make someone into a vegetable with just their minds. These are some serious baddies. I think my favorite part of reading this book was how the author seamlessly blended real life scenarios with the completely farfetched magical aspects. It hit me just right. I did not always agree with Riley’s choices (like at the very end of the book) but I always liked and rooted for her to come out on top. I loved every minute of this book and am really excited for another book to be written. I will need to pick up other titles by this author to see if they are as good as I found this book to be. I think this was my favorite read so far this year and I am sure others will like this too if they give it a chance. I received this title form the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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