Thursday, January 9, 2014

Reviewing Your Universe

Magic Academy by Jillian Keep
Published by Pathforgers Publishing
Rating: 3 Stars

 Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want?
Firia is. She’s a human serving in a society run by magic-wielding elves. She can do some magic on her own, and her goal is to win a competition at the yearly magic contest from which academies recruit their students. But she knows she’ll never win without help. So she summons a demon and binds him to her in order to boost her magic.

The results are everything she hoped for. She wins at the competition, gets into the top magic academy and begins her training as a sorceress. Then things get interesting and complicated. Firia is attracted to her demon Varuj, as well as Mae’lin, a very sweet elf attending the same school.

She must study hard and practice hard in order to pass her exams and stay in school. Varuj and Mae’lin both help Firia succeed in different ways, but she is confused and torn between her feelings for both men. Firia doesn’t want to hurt anyone but knows she must make a choice between the life she wants and the life she could have, and between the men that can give her either.

Magic Academy is a high fantasy concept at its best. However, I would NOT classify this as YA ever, nor would I call it New Adult. This book has a new adult plotline defined by erotic elements. Let me be the first to say the sex scenes were smokin’ hot. Unlike other reviewers, I didn’t get the heebie jeebies by the tone, verbiage or pairing.

Varuj is a demon with a demon nature. His description and actions followed the world’s rules and fit his character development. Firia’s burgeoning social and sexual enlightenment also fit her character development. All of this worked for me.

My biggest issue with the book is the large amount of “telling” versus showing. Another stumbling block for me was the ending. I got to the end and went, “Huh?” I kept trying to turn a page on my Kindle, thinking it was digitally stuck. Instead, the story had concluded with a rushed climax (no pun intended) and a cliff-hanger ending. If this is a standalone book and not the first book in the series, wow. There needed to be more resolution with the storyline for readers to get a conclusion without a HEA.

Would I recommend Magic Academy? To certain types of readers, absolutely. Will I read the next book in the series? You bet. I like Ms. Keep’s voice. I think her writing will improve, and I really want to read more of Firia and Varuj’s story.

*Netgalley arc provided for honest review