Read my reviews of the previous books in the Magi Accounts series:

Our Hearts That Tie Us (#0.5) | The Scars That Bind Us (#1) | A Kiss to Revive Me (#1.5) | The Shackles That Hold Us (#2) | A Date to Impress Him (#2.5) | A Purpose That Restores Us (#3)

This novella is another side story to the main Magi Accounts series. Similar to previous “.5” stories, it adds to the world-building of this unique world without significantly advancing the main plot. It is different in that it features point-of-view main characters who are not Mads or Cosmo! Ash and Charlie are not meant to be a different version of the pairing we’ve come to love, but instead, represent a fresh perspective on this world. I enjoyed seeing Ash’s third-party impressions on Mads and Jude from another fellow magi.

A minor quibble I’ve had about this entire series is that the alternate insult terms feel forced and contrived. For some reason, that ramped up for me in this book, especially when I also found the flirting between Ash and Charlie rather immature for how old they are. However, I willingly temper my critique with an acknowledgment that these characters seem like they should be older based on their life circumstances (Ash by force, due to his magi race, and Charlie only slightly more willingly). The high school-esque banter escalated from 0 to 60 at the book’s midpoint, when the characters fell into bed together (metaphorically speaking, since I’m not referring to the earlier platonic snuggles). It was a bit whiplash-inducing, but afterward, the burgeoning relationship felt a lot more natural as the full connection between the characters deepened.

As much as I enjoyed Charlie’s sunshine personality, I do wish I could have visited Ash’s point of view for more than the prologue. I would have loved to see Ash’s acceptance of Charlie and some of his own emotional healing (and character development) at closer hand. Overall, I love these side stories that allow Notaro to fully explore elements and delightful and fascinating side characters of this immersive fantasy world without distracting too much from the main storyline.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars
Amazon | Goodreads | BookBub

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.