By Christian Cura
My rating: 3 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.92
Format Read: Ebook
Goodreads summary: Meet Kara Hartman, a photojournalist who is hiding her magic from the world. Traumatized by her brother’s death, she wants nothing more to do with magic. But just when she thought she could neglect her gift, it becomes apparent that the universe has other plans for Kara. When she discovers that an old foe has broken out of prison, hellbent on destroying her new life, Kara has no choice but to embrace the only power that can stop her.
Disclaimer: I received an early copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
In the Midst of Magic is an urban fantasy novel that takes place in a world where the magical beings (mystics) and nonmagical humans coexist openly. Demons roam the streets, and magical cops (enforcers) police them alongside demon hunters. The world is set up for an epic story, and for many more stories to come after it.
One of the best aspects of this book is the world building which Cura clearly put a lot of time and thought into. The world is just unique enough to be interesting, without intentionally subverting popular themes that are popular for a reason. I would most certainly read another book, even with a completely new cast, that takes place in this world simply because I think there is so much more to be explored there. It’s so rarely that we read a book where the magical and nonmagical beings coexist in such an integrated way, and I really loved that about In the Midst of Magic.
More granularly, the main character in this story is Kara, a photojournalist who has been hiding her magic for two years, ever since her best friend became an evil rogue and killed Kara’s brother. The premise of the story sets it up to seem like Kara starts practicing her magic when the best friend, Charlotte, comes back to kill her, but the truth is a little more complicated than that. There’s a separate evil force that takes up 3/4 of the novel itself, and it isn’t until towards the end that we wrap back around to the conflict between Kara and Charlotte.
I did enjoy the plot of the novel and thought that it was an interesting setup. Kara ends up in an enemies-to-lovers type relationship with demon hunter Selene, and I appreciated the way their growing relationship wove itself into the narrative. They had interesting backstories and I genuinely cared about them and their success.
The aspect of this novel I didn’t like as much was the fact that at times, it felt like a series of fight scenes stacked on top of each other. As is my complaint with most of the action movies of the world, there were simply too many fight scenes that took up too much of the story. I would go so far as to say that 50% of the book was made up of fight scenes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Cura is talented at writing these scenes, but it did cause me to lose interest occasionally and begin to skim these chapters.
All in all, I enjoyed In the Midst of Magic, and would recommend for anyone who enjoys urban fantasy that’s filled with action packed fight scenes and a romantic subplot.