Title: Queer Magick
Series: Queer Magick, #1
Author: L.C. Davis
Format Read: eBook
Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Queer Magick sucked me in with two of my favorite things in fiction: an odd, but unapologetically interesting premise and lovable characters. It’s also chock full of more schmexy monster men than you can shake a stick at and a healthy diversity of queer representation. Needless to say I quickly became infatuated.
The writing style and storytelling made reading Queer Magick feel like reading a cozy, without the murder (at least within the timeframe of the story presented) but with a healthy dose of the mystery. Perhaps the small town New England setting and my upbringing on Murder, She Wrote played no small part in this. Rest assured, however, that this book lies firmly in the M/M romance genre. I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot. You can read other reviews for that, if you’d like. Let’s just say that - cozy or no - things get biblical… in more ways than one.
While there are a host of characters presented to the reader, this volume mainly follows two in particular - Holden and Daniel. Davis does a fairly good job of developing the entire main cast of characters that are present in Queer Magick, but does the deepest dives into the lives of Holden and Daniel. This is achieved by presenting chapters that alternate perspectives between these two men. As I have said in other reviews, this is one of my favorite narrative structures when done well because it allows me to live inside the head of both characters, thus creating a far richer experience in a novel where personal backstory and psychological narrative are important. I only hope that this type of structure is continued in the rest of the series, expanding to include time spent with the other main characters.
Not everything comes up pumpkin pie and warm apple cider (I have Autumn on the mind, but also the book is set in the Autumn) with Queer Magick, though...
Pacing was pretty uneven. Don’t get me wrong. There were moments where it was spot on, especially in the beginning; however, parts in the middle feel unnecessarily rushed, with a final return to normalcy at the end.
Speaking of ends, there be cliffhangers here. This will come as no surprise to any that have read other reviews on this book; however, I’m not as mad about it as those other reviewers seem to be. There does seem to be a distinct lack of a plot that can be used as evidence of an obvious boundary dictating when the volume should end, but I was oddly ok with it. If this might bother you, though, perhaps you’ll want to wait until the entire series is done before you dive in, as I suspect most of the books in the series will be this way.
Finally, while I truly appreciate the uniqueness of the underlying story arc Davis presents (a story arc I can only assume will underpin the entire series), it became more than a bit convoluted at times. I find that rationalizing irrational things is often unnecessary in fiction. Just let them be what they are.
All-in-all, I can roll with these small flaws, though, for the sake of finding out where this delightfully crazy story goes. Keep bringing the schmexy monster men and letting things get even more biblical and I’m all yours!
PS - I did want to point out that there was one very small bit of the book that nagged me throughout my reading and still does. In one of the early scenes, the reader is given the impression that unprotected sex with a random stranger shouldn’t be a problem for Holden, because he’s a witch - as if his magical ability will protect him from contracting disease. Healing magick is definitely part of Holden’s host of powers, but this particular intimation still stuck out to me as odd, unnecessary, and slightly problematic. I know I’m reading a fantasy novel, but it’s an odd inclusion to prove the point of Holden’s potent healing magic, especially considering it is already demonstrated aptly elsewhere in the story. It didn’t ruin the book, but it certainly stuck with me and not in the positive sense. Maybe it’s just me...
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