In an alternate universe to our current time, mages are considered threats to human population. They are required to be registered the Department of Occult Supervision and must use a band that suppresses their magic. If not they are considered rogues. Unsanctioned use of magic can result in prison sentence (or even death).
The idea felt familiar to me since I consumed hundreds of Merlin fan-fictions few years back; the ban of magic was one of the recurring theme. In fact I remember one of them had Merlin using a wrist-band like this himself. I didn’t have any problem being immersed with the world-built. The premise wasn’t difficult to understand.
I WOULD love to get some context into it though. Were mages considered threatening since the beginning of time? Or were there a significant event that turned the opinion against them? Like the Salem Witch Hunt? Why would they need to register and use the bands? What happened to mages before the bands were created? Were the laws different between the United States and the rest of the world? And so on…
It also drove me up to the wall when I read about terms that wasn’t explained beforehand. Like CALM bands … what does CALM stand for? My mind kept guessing the meaning (was it “Control and Lessen Magic?” or something?). Or how the character suddenly talked about AMID; only few chapters later, he explained that AMID is “AntiMagic Integrated Defense”. See, I need these things explained, author!
Apart from that I found this book to be appealing. I thought Byron was a great and sympathetic protagonist. He started the journey being unaware about what horrible things his family’s company, Cole Industries, really did to mages. I didn’t think Byron was ignorant, but Byron was “wrapped inside a bubble” by his position as part of the Cole family. Byron didn’t have enough friends who could open his eyes about what the mages were going through
After Byron was saved by Levi, he saw for himself the horrible treatment that Levi received. Only because Levi was an unregistered mage and used magic. Byron realized that everything was not completely black and white. Like I said, I thought Byron was sympathetic character. He had a kind heart. It was easy for me to see why his close friends were willing to fight with him, even if it was dangerous. Heck, even the “enemies”, like Levi’s ex-boyfriend or other mages would help him.
I felt like I didn’t know a lot about Levi, though. While it was also easy to care for Levi — considering that he spent the majority of his time in this book being tortured for his magic, then tried to control his fear and trauma in order to help bring down Cole Industries, so you couldn’t help wanting him to be saved — I still had questions about him. Was he close with his mother? Did all of his family members have magic? Why did he seem to stay away from the mages community? Why did he broke up with Sam? There was still a lot of Levi that I want to know more.
I guess, I couldn’t say that the romance was stellar since I didn’t felt myself rooting for Byron and Levi 110%. Personally, I felt Rogue Magic focuses more on the suspense/action part rather than the romance. But because that part was excellent for me — it kept me on the edge of my seat — this ended up as a satisfying urban fantasy read!!
I will keep eyes on Kit Brisby’s next books for sure!
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: Rogue Magic
Author: Kit Brisby
Genre: MM Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 81,000 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: January 30, 2017