Read my reviews of previous books in the Magi Accounts series:
This fascinating urban fantasy world Notaro has created is an interesting dichotomy of how things are objectively terrible for the people of one of the main characters even while his life, personally, is starting to get better. In this book, Notaro reminds us right away that life is still not great for the magi in this version of the United States. However, it is lovely to see the small ways in which Mads and Jude have come to trust their place in a shifter pride. At first, I wondered how their actions would come back to bite them, but I was pleasantly surprised at how this plot thread is picked up by Mads’ partner Cosmo using his position of power to attempt to make things better.
Outside of the home, Mads, Jude, Cosmo, and the rest of the pride who work with them are still waging a war on two fronts. Mads is walking a pretty fine line between keeping his extraordinary abilities a secret and doing his best to save lives, which was already stressful enough beforehand. Here, we get a fascinating new wrinkle in the interdimensional tear issue that gets legit scary, especially with how it is revealed and the potential repercussions.
Part of me assumed that this was the book’s “big problem,” so I was surprised to check my Kindle and realize I was barely halfway through the story! Instead, our heroes also confront, multiple times, the people of their world turning to darkness (like, aside from the regular prejudiced humans). This leads to some developments in the bond that already exists between Mads and Cosmo. I love when fantasy authors take things they’ve established in previous books and switch them up to keep things continuously fresh and surprising for readers. Notaro uses this trick to play right into the epic finale in a way that is both satisfying and logical.
She also ties the finale into this novel’s developments in the relationship between Mads and Cosmo, keeping the romance aspect of this paranormal romance alive even though it is between a fairly established couple. Notaro also understands that just because Mads now “has” Cosmo, he doesn’t need to lose his long-time magical partner Jude. In a (real) world where so much emphasis is always placed on romantic partnerships, this is a lovely reminder that different bonds are equally important.
I had a minor worldbuilding quibble during one scene where I wondered where the snipers were in a magical battle that occurs in a world also armed with tech. (Quick reminder to all readers and writers that magic is a tool, not a solution.) However, it’s brief, and Notaro recovers nicely. I also can’t tell whether one of the big reveals at the end was telegraphed too much or whether I just really wanted a certain character to be the bad guy.
Overall, I was completely satisfied and entertained by this book. It may be the third in the main series, but we’re far from done with this world and many of its problems. I look forward to reading more, and I especially appreciate the way Notaro is winding secondary novellas into the time between. I can’t wait to jump into the stories she’s teased about secondary characters next.