A Quarter of Magic
By Zoe Tyson
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Self-published available through Amazon
(Digital copy was provided by author for an honest review)
Description as listed on Amazon
Fantasy Adventure for Young Adults from Zoë Tyson. In a World born out of magic lives 14 year old Miloney Merren. In his World humans are ruled by an immortal species of creature. And the creatures have one major rule. A human must never have magic. Unfortunately for Milo, he does... And it’s getting out of control. Will he be able to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to help his family and friends? "When magic becomes dangerous, you need to remember one thing. It will either define you or kill you."
Pair that summary with this beginning....
"There were three things that Miloney Merren wished for on a daily basis.... And you have what I would say are the makings for one great book.
One, was that he wished he lived somewhere else. Two, he wished he could swap his sister for a nicer one. And three, he wished the horrible creature that stood in the corner of his classroom would die.
Today was no exception. Milo still fervently wished for all these things. But unfortunately, none of these wishes were possible, because one, he wasn't allowed to live anywhere else -ever. Two, no amount of magic could turn his sister into someone else. And three, the horrible creature that stood in the corner of his classroom was immortal."
I was immediately drawn into Milo's world eagerly reading to know more. More about Magic, more about potions, where do the exiled go and what the heck is a Terramang and why are they so vile?! Unfortunately, I wasn't drawn in for very long. I found myself getting distracted about half way. I wanted to love this book so much more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book, but it just wasn't for me.
What I did enjoy about this book was the concept. People have Magic! And it's not like casting spells type of magic, but more along the lines of abilities; sensing emotions, seeing the future, turning invisible. How cool is that? Anyone found with Magic is exiled to a place called Orlost where eventually they have their magic taken from them, rather harshly too. Orlost is a whole other world, in fact there are several worlds all linked by portals and each portal is guarded by a Crosspatcher. I really liked the idea of different worlds and I wish I had gotten to see more of them, specifically ones the other kids who team up with Milo came from. I love seeing the worlds that authors create in their books.
There were a few neat plot twists and an interesting character or two that the kids meet in their journey, but I couldn't over look a few things that brought the story down for me. First of all, it read like a middle grade read, which doesn't bother me at all, I love middle grade, but there were several times that the kids didn't sound like kids. They often used words that I wouldn't imagine 14 year-olds using in every day conversation. Also, I'm the type of person that likes to be shown things instead of told and it felt like whenever there was a unexpected occurrence a character piped up with an explanation. I like to figure some things out on my own and as they happen. One of my biggest issues though, was that I got lost a little too easy. Certain things happened during the story that just sat funny with me. Two characters disappear only to show up towards the end with very little explanation as to their disappearance. It was like their game pieces were suddenly swiped from the board. And while I'm all for killing characters to create a drive in your main character or evoke emotion in your readers, there were a couple deaths that seemed pointless.
While this book may not have been my cup of tea, it doesn't mean that someone else won't love it. If Magic and adventure sound like your thing give it a look. It's definitely worth giving a try.