How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember? Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past and the only clues to his identity were a piece of paper with his name on it and a propensity toward magic. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer and a successful thief for hire, but it turns out that those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet. When they cause a job to go bad, threatening a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her. But with his enemies closing in and the barrier holding back his memories beginning to crumble, Nate is forced to confront his forgotten life in the hope of stopping an enemy he can’t remember. Crimes Against Magic is a dark, fast-paced urban fantasy torn between modern-day London and fifteenth-century France.
©2013 Steve McHugh (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Well... what to say about this... I'll start with explaining that I prefer urban fantasy that is not fantastical... noir and gritty is way better than cartoon-smash ups. This book starts kinda noir and gritty, then moves to cartoon pop-bang-pow action. It also adds in a bunch of new characters of different supernatural origins: main character is a sorcerer, great, then we have psychics, okay, then gargoyles, well, all right, then vampires, oh-kay, then werewolves, err why?... each new form of supernatural didn't add anything to the story (i.e. the werewolf and the vampires were useless in the end, so why are they even here? humans could have been enemy fodder just as easily); it just cluttered up the story with a bunch of characters that were, ultimately, not significant.
The pacing for the first part is pretty good - slow build, dole out the world and the history and the characters, then just after the halfway point a ton of characters are tossed into the mix (and are very difficult to distinguish/remember since they are just plopped into the story - they just show up/pop in when they are needed as a plot device).
Another reviewer said something about it reading like a graphic novel, and I think that is a pretty accurate assessment - it starts off like a noir urban fantasy, devolves to graphic novel status, then kind of comes back toward urban fantasy again at the end.
I had purchased books 2 and 3 after listening to the first part of this one... perhaps I might have rethought that purchase if I had known about the graphic novel feel, perhaps not... it is still a pretty good story and I liked the main character, so maybe a bit of smash-em-up won't hurt me at all. The narration is good. There is nothing very graphic, but I think there was a very minor bit of swearing.
Yes. The story was exciting and action packed. I liked the world building and the characters are interesting.
It had great action without sacrificing plot.
There was a scene where the main character is getting beat up and his instincts kick in from his forgotten life. It turns out that the is a bad @ss, but really had no idea where it came from.
I wish I had the time push through the entire book all at once. I had to make myself set it aside to go to bed.
The fact that I bought the second one should speak for itself. The only thing I found odd was some of the dialogue. It was..simple?..over obvious? like a comic book dialogue. "Look what you've done to me you fiend!" kind of thing. I had visions of batman and those old balloons with "crash" "bang" "pow"! It was highly entertaining, I just hope it was on purpose. Looking forward to how they go forward with the story.
If you are looking for a present day, action packed series, then look no further. Crimes Against Magic is an excellent book with my only complaint being that Steve has only two books in this series.
I passed over this book at least a dozen times, then needing something new to read and listen to, I downloaded it. The narrator is simply amazing. He brought this series to life for me. You need a good story and this book has a great story. The book and audio version is free on Kindle unlimited. Give it a try. I have now bought all the books and audio versions. It was that good.
The ingenious method he used to kill the gargoyle Achilles near the end of the book.
His narration really brought the characters and story to life with voices, inflection and delivery. It was easy to tell who was the character in the book. He has so much talent! His ability to keep me focused throughout the book was incredible.
I'd recommend this book to any friend who enjoys mysteries, magic & fantasy, espionage or even grocery store check-out lane romance novels. Yep, in addition to good and dark mages, classic underlying themes of rough-the-edges good vs undeniable evil, morals lessons on not judging a book (or person) by the cover, the value of strength drawn upon from loyal friends, and the pains of loss, this book even has tidbits of 'trashy' romance novel-esque lines mixed in. I use the term "trashy" only as a reference point to a well-mocked genre, and not a comment on this author's story. That being said, use caution when listening to the book without headphones, Listening while doing outdoor chores, I was subjected to giggles and an over-the-fence judgmental stare from a neighbor or two when the main character/narrator described in PG-13 to maybe R level detail his sexual interludes. When I finally reached the pause button, one neighbor actually yelled out, "ahh come on, it was JUST getting good!" and demanded I let the scene finish playing. Not that I know his standards, but it obvioulsy wasn't too obscene to him... or to me.So, that being said and keeping the easily blushed out of ear shot, the story has a bit of everything for everyone and blends the elements together well. It's not so overly wrought with magic & fantasy that those who enjoy more the mystery and intrigue genres will be put off. I found myself drawn into the main character's absent backstory and his struggles to either embrace his absented past or to futilely run from anything which might bring him back to what he MIGHT have been. The author's choice to reveal backstory and plot developments at the same time as the main character discovers them creates a more intrigue filled listen than to have an omniscient, 3rd person narration which dryly clues in the audience before the characters. The latter would leave the audience pre-informed and bored while sitting through the characters' processing of details.My only 'con' of the book also falls in the 'pro' column for me. The narration jumps backs and forth between present day and the 1400s (all of it narrated in stylized, modern English, so comprehension isn't an issue). The frequent back & forth kept the story moving and somewhat contributed to the overall plot development. The con to that narration technique in this book (or maybe common to any audio book), is that if you let your attention drift at the wrong moment, you tune back in a bit confused by the sudden change in characters, dialogue, or current developments. More than once, I had to rewind to figure out how I transitioned from a scene in modern London to a seemingly random scene in the woods of 15th century France. I struggled to make some of the plot connections until the very end of the book. I don't know if that was the intended result of good writing or a negative side effect of back and forth flashback narration.A plot development or character development 'elitist' may find the story lacking, but taking it as just a piece of good entertainment and not imposing the literary analysis standards of an advanced English lit. professor dissecting like it were the last great work of a litertary golden age gone-by, one will find it to be a fun listen. I'm hooked into the series now.
I have not listened to other performances by this narrator, but I found this one to be well done. His varying British accents (from a refined, well-schooled Brit to a backstreet criminal, and everything in between) helped bring the characters to life and added to the overall story telling rather than distracting from it...which can happen when a narrator can't or won't do voices or accents well.
It is by no means X rated or erotica, but a note to listeners to be mindful of secondary listeners taking offense (or an interest, like my neighbor) to the few and infrequent romantic interludes described by the main character. (He describes the physical or emotional intensity, positions, etc, but again, hardly classifies as erotica by modern standards. It was no more 'adult' than what one might see vissually depicted on broadcast TV in the U.S.. It think it just seemed more 'intense' since it was described aloud by a narrator rather than just shown on a TV screen which might suggestively fade to black or pan away to rustling sheets and way too many candles next to a bed to imply the intimacy occuring just off camera.
Nate Garrett is a very unique thief that lost his memory 10 years earlier. He doesn't know what happened to cause the loss, or even what he is. He knows he possess magic and is thought to be a sorcerer. This story tells us who, what, when, where and why, behind the memory loss. We jump back and forth 600 years to learn the story. It's an interesting story, with Nate getting back memories along with rescuing people he's become close to. You can quit with this book, if it's not to your liking. No cliffhangers and his mysterious past is disclosed. I think I will go forward with the next installment, though.
Just really didn't like the main characters. Very forgettable storyline!
Disappointment in the confusing storyline and over the top gore.
I can't really put my finger on what I didn't like about this book. I just kept finding myself losing interest in the story. More than once I had to rewind and listen to a section again when I found I hadn't been paying attention.
I can't recommend this book, nor can I give anyone a reason not to listen.
I live to ride my bike.
I loved it so much that I read all of books back to back. I enjoy any thing with a little Merlin Greek gods and Arthur vib. Nate is the a boogie man with a strong sense of morals. He is able to kick butt when the opportunity requires. There are occasions when he gets his butt kicked but he has a good come back. The whole series revolves around him "finding" himself after having his memory suppressed and learning how to embrace it.
You never get to Avalon or meet Merlin but many of the issues are predicated on policy and procedures from there.The Avalon police force is as fierce as the Gestapo and just as underhanded. a Hades and Persephone are close friends of Nate's and appear through the series. Zesus is missing and the political intrigue it causes effects stories thought out the series.
Nate has flashbacks which just happen to help him solve the problem he is confronted with in modern day. If you like the style of Dresden you will like Nate.
Read them in order. I started the second one first. The back ground information did not give me enough detail. You will not waste a credit on this series!
"No sex please we're British!"
Great fast story
Dresden files and Alex Veras novels
Well read, good emotive voice
Great book, just a few sex scenes which seemed ill placed.
Superbly dark, a mixing of light sarcasm and possible satire. Full of mystery and deep amount of intrigue. Wonderful!
As an opener to a series/world this wasn't half bad. I liked the dual stories and the detail of how the world works, and how there are still mysteries about our hero's origin to be uncovered despite all the revelations. Worth investing in I feel.
"A great listen!"
Have you read anything by Steve McHugh before?
No but after listening to this book I will try the second.
How was the narration?
Great! I loved listening to James Langton!
Would you recommend this book to others?
Yes, if you like fantasy, history, time travel and action then this is a great choice!
"Couldn't get past the narrator. ..."
Regretfully I couldn't get into this due to a pathological reaction to robotic tone of the narrator.
"tooo much swearing in this for me to enjoy"
the content had too much swearing in it
the narrator was ok it was the content that was offensive
yes but not by this author
didn't listen to enough to make a judgement
should have a warning about the swearing and foul language
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