Friday, January 16, 2015

Strange Magic by James Hunter

Strange Magic: A Yancy Lazarus Novel (Pilot Episode) by James Hunter (Jan 16, 2015)



Book Description

January 16, 2015
Yancy Lazarus is having a bad day: there’s a bullet lodged in his butt cheek, his face looks like the site of a demolition derby, and he’s been saran-wrapped to a banquet table. He never should have answered the phone. Stupid bleeding heart—helping others in his circles is a good way to get dead.

Just ask the gang members ripped to pieces by some kind of demonic nightmare in LA. As a favor to a friend, Yancy agrees to take a little looksee into the massacre and boom, he’s stuck in a turf war between two rival gangs, which both think he’s pinch-hitting for the other side. Oh, and there’s also a secretive dark mage with some mean ol’ magical chops and a small army of hyena-faced, body-snatching baddies. It might be time to seriously reconsider some of his life choices.

Yancy is a bluesman, a rambler, a gambler, but not much more. Sure, he can do a little magic—maybe even more than just a little magic—but he knows enough to keep his head down and stay clear of freaky-deaky hoodoo like this business in LA. Somehow though, he’s been set up to take a real bad fall—the kind of very permanent fall that leaves a guy with a toe tag. Unless, of course, he can find out who is responsible for the gangland murders, make peace in the midst of the gang feud, and take out said magical dark mage before he hexes Yancy into an early retirement. Easy right? Stupid. Bleeding. Heart.

Strange Magic" (can't seen to get that damn song out of my head now---->)I got it as an ARC from the NetGalley/PUBLISHER not the author.

I'm sorry to say that it looks as though I am the only one that found this entry to be somewhat lackluster. Oh it is filled with tons of kick-butt fighting (swords too!) and a lot of action, but the reader is plopped into a world that some of us just won't understand. I know an author is supposed to show and not tell, but a little explanation at the beginning of the book would have gone a long way to keep me interested and I would have enjoyed it all that much more.

The style of writing is a tad choppy, the inner dialoguing and grandstanding seemed to be in excess and the fact that you could never get a firm hold on the protagonists (Yancy) age was annoying at best; one minute talking like a hip-hop speaking teen and the next sounding like a 70 year old man. I felt no empathy with Yancy even though he really has a hard time of it. Actually none of the characters - main, secondary or tertiary, elicited any emotion from me. So much was dumped on the reader - chapter after chapter; something new to fight, something bigger and badder, just more - it just appears to be a hopeless cause after a while.

What I did like is that Yancy seems to have more going for him than he seems to know about magic wise and that bodes well for future books. Though he came close to being a 'mary-sue' figure in this book, Yancy and the author managed to squeak by on that one.

This books pages seemed to have been multiplying while I was reading it. The info claims it is only 217 page long, which should take me at the most (if it's a good book) 4 hours to read...nope it took me what seemed to be forever, and that tells me a lot.

As much as I hate to say something so sexist like this - here goes - this really seems to be a 'mans' novel. It is filled with a ton of fighting,machismo, swearing,Vietnam war stories and the blues (music that is) as well as magic. No world building, no explanations, you are just plopped into the world with no explanation and need to fend for yourself. I kept thinking maybe I'll get an explanation later in the book.

This was difficult for me to finish.

ARC supplied by NetGalley.


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