In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.
Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last 24 years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.
Locked up in the Chief Mage's castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.
©2015 Jasmine Walt (P)2016 Jasmine Walt
*** I received an Audible version of the book from the author for an honest review ***
Given this was an audio version of the book the first thing I notice is the reader's voice. At first she sounded like she was going for an Irish brogue or English accent for Sunaya Baine, the central character, then accent settled into an generic American accent. This was a little distracting at first but soon forgotten when the plot takes hold.
It is evident that this is the first book in a series and there needs to be some world building. The author doesn't play down to the reader over explaining everything. Ms. Walt builds a fantastic world where the populous is divided into three races. The superior (in their opinion) race is the Mages, they have magic and control the world. The Mages do not believe anyone except a full blooded mage should have any magic and will strip the magic from a half breed child, they are not as kind to half breed adults. Below The Mages are humans and beneath them are the shifters. Sunaya is a half breed shifter/mage, which is very rare. Sunaya has spent her life hiding her magic abilities, most people assume she's a shifter/human hybrid and she doesn't correct them. She has chosen a career path as an Enforcer, a military/police guild that maintains the law as the Mages dictate it. Early in the book Sunaya's mentor is killed but before he dies, he tells her to look into a series of shifter deaths that are being ignored by the Enforcers and the press. And this is where her adventure begins.
Being this is the first in a series I was expecting a cliff hanger that would make me want the next book immediately. While there is a bit of a cliffhanger in an unresolved story arc, this book can stand on it's own. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a lighter fantasy world with an overarching mystery. The main character is sarcastic and confrontational, she grew up in a world that sees her as a third class citizen and she's skeptical of any kindness shown towards her by strangers. She is accustom to being on her own. She's a strong female character with flaws, making her more realistic and easier to relate to.
It's not a heavy read, but it's not light and fluffy either, it's a good solid story. I dare to say it feels more like some of the YA novels I read but more on the adult side, is that the genre New Adult? There is violence, it's the nature of the world the main character lives in. There is no explicit sex but there is one attempted rape and some sexual references. The story flows well and it never felt like the author was trying to force a scene that didn't work with the story she was telling. I look forward to reading more in this series.
I got a little tired of the Heroine's attitude. It became tiring to the point of being unrealistic. The ending was vaguely unsatisfying. The story almost reached its climax when suddenly they're at dinner talking about it in the past tense and the reader/listener is left to assume what happened.
I really like the start of this new series it is an amazing mix of shifters and mages with humans. In a sort of Steam punk type of world. And Sunaya Baine is a Mage/ Shifter but she grew up never knowing that she is part mage. And she is also an enforcer basically a policeman/ bounty hunter. I cannot wait to hear what comes next. And especially what happens with the resistance. And to find out if they really are the good guys or the bad. And what is the resistance real agenda. So many questions!! But one thing I do know is Sunaya will definitely be in the middle of it kicking butt!! Can't wait to hear the next book!!
I'll give this a 4.5 start because it's the first book in the series and all of his build a solid structures within the book. Not only are we introduced to quite a few interesting characters two of which are Sonata shifter / Mage mix and Iannis, the chief smash but also a variety of promising support characters that a great depth and told World of Magic, the maze, shifters and yes even humans. In a world where the major above all other shifters and humans have a resistance looking to make everyone equal.... Not so unlike our own world :-) not only do we have a resistance there was a drug killing shifters and a promise of romance maybe. After reading or listening in my case to this book I have to say the Lord does not do the story Justice and that the magic of the book has me eager to continue on with the series. The Other has left us with a great building block into which I'm sure she will lead us has some great Journeys and as I have said a possibly a promise of a romantic entanglement. I won't share who I'm rooting rooting for at this point but I already have my mind set. So to review semicolon first book 4.5 Stars, characters five stars, and a promise for so much more Adventure five stars. And I'll give the narrator her do with a 4-star rating.
I read the first 4 books in this series over the past week or two and loved the story and creative conflicts of race(species) and political intrigues. Listening to the audio version was a joy as the names made more sense and I was able to visualize the environments more easily than when speeding through on my own.
I look forward to the next installments and where the series goes next.
First things first, I have to say that the cover of this is very eye catching! Then we have a plot that sounded kick ass and put them together..... you get a great start to what is sure to be a brilliant series.
Plot wise, this was pretty much non stop the whole way through. Someone is poisoning shifters and when someone very close to our MC, Sunaya, gets poisoned, she knows she has to get to the bottom of it. But things don't go according to plan and Sunaya does something that gets her thrown in jail and brought to the notice of the Chief Mage, Iannis. He isn't someone to trifle with and her freedom, and life, are put into his hands. She needs to get him onto her side in order to survive and to solve the shifter killings. I really enjoyed the meshing of shifter and magic in this book. The author has created a captivating world and one I want to explore more of.
Sunaya is a half shifter half mage, which I really liked. She kind of has the best of both worlds!! She was snarky, strong, brave and willing to do what she can to solve the murders that no-one else seems to care about. She also drives a bad ass bike!! ;) All the characters in these were extremely likable and easy to root for and I can't wait to see more of them in future books.
In all, this was an action packed, well written and enjoyable read. I will definitely pick up book 2 to see what happens.
Laurel Schroeder was really good with Sunaya. She got her attitude and snarkiness perfectly, but I found her to not have enough different tones for other characters. Sometimes I got a little lost trying to follow who was talking. Other than that, she was a solid 4 stars and read the book well.
*I received this from the author. This in no way affected or influenced my thoughts.*
The title should probably have been, "Eyes Narrowed," since it was used to explain almost everyone's facial expression at least a couple times per chapter.
Overall the story was ok. It had some suspense and the main character got her butt kicked in almost every scene. I could see it being played out in low budget spinoff on the Sci Fi Channel.
in two words: loved it, it was so cool, it had drama, intrigue, little romance, clever remarks.
I think I just fell in love with this seriesits so interesting definitely need more of it soon.
the characters were so complex and interesting and sonaya was my favorite without a doubt she is clever and have lots of attitude, the chief mage looked so hot as well as fenris.
hope to continue with this series soon.
Probably about middle of the road.
Relatively few to choose from so far, but the protagonist definitely has potential
She reads the story in a very modern-sounding voice that fits the setting
Hot panther on mage banging ahead
A good start to the series.
Brave new world
I thought it was a solid intro story for a new UF series, did a great job of creating a new world, which I look forward to returning to.
This is the first book I've heard performed by Laurel. For the most part she does a solid job, with one exception. Not sure if she was going for some kind of Scottish or Irish accent for the character of Iannis, but it absolutely drove me crazy.
Solid start to a new UF series with some likable characters and an interesting world. Enjoyed it enough that I've already picked up other books in the series.
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