Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ebook review: Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 318 KB
Publisher: Audacious (May 1, 2011)

Blurb: More than three hundred years after the most terrifying witch hunts the world has ever known, it's happening again.

Young witch, Stella, has to put her faith in strangers just to stay alive but she might not be any safer in their midst than from the danger she is running from.

There is more than one dark secret in her new family: √Čtoile’s sister is spoken of in fear and sadness; Marc is supposed to be a powerful witch but is missing his magic; where does the owner of their safe house vanish to every day and why does Evan have the eyes of someone not quite human? There is only one secret that someone will do anything to keep quiet, but whose secret is it and will Stella have to pay the price for silence?

My review: It is an exciting time to be a writer. With the advent of epublishing, more authors can get their stories out on the market and readers can certainly benefit from this treasure trove of choices. Some are better than others (as it is with traditional publishing too), and when I find one I really like, it truly is special. Camilla Chafer's Illicit Magic is such a book.

My first impression of main heroine Stella was of a too self-absorbed twenty something English woman. She was alone, lonely, came across as sad  and her thoughts dragged down the pace in the beginning. But there was something that kept me reading: despite her lonely ways, I liked Stella's humorous, self-deprecating voice. She said things the way she saw them and wasn't afraid to second guess herself or cause one to chuckle. Soon I learned that Stella, as a child, had gone from foster home to foster home, and was now fiercely independent, worked temp jobs and lived in a tiny 'dumpy' apartment. She didn't have friends or family. What she did have were these 'weird' abilities to occasionally make things happen (just from thinking them) or, better yet, to disappear. On the night she is followed home from work and subsequently attacked by some utterly strange beings from a sinister organization called The Brotherhood, my opinion of Stella changed, as did my investment in her life.

Stories are usually about journeys and Stella's sudden trip was one I was glad to be on. Watching her grow from shy, unknowing young woman to a fledgling witch learning to handle her magic certainly worked its magic on me. When she is helped out of the attack by Etoile and taken away to the U.S. for safety, the novel picked up and never let go from then on. Stella's new life was an interesting one, filled with a plethora of intriguing characters. The story had a wonderful flow to it and added some mysteries to figure out along the way.

Stella finally finds a family among the magic users she lives with in Meg's house. Etoile and her sister, the adorable Kitty, brooding Marc, and the dark and sexy Evan. I enjoyed the scenes where Evan teaches Stella how to work her magic and how she becomes more confident in herself. There were some instances where I wasn't sure of the English terminology and the occasional typos did stilt the flow at times. I hope the next book focuses a bit more on the other witches and on their world of magic since this beginning book set up quite a believable foundation. I'm looking forward to reading more about Stella and her chums. Illicit Magic offers a lot of action and laughs, features a lovely romance and a heroine definitely worth cheering for.

Rating: I really liked it

Favorite excerpt: "Whether my companions were lost in the film or in their own thoughts I couldn't tell but it did give me the opportunity to look over them. When I looked at Evan, careful to barely adjust my head, I found him already observing me and I held his gaze a long moment before he returned to the book he had opened. He seemed to have been searching my face though I couldn't decipher what for, but I noticed he didn't turn the page for some time even though he looked lost in concentration.

When I looked away I saw Marc watching me too, so I gave him a little smile and refocused my eyes on the screen, though my thoughts were on Evan. I couldn't help wonder what he might teach me, and quite why I had been lumped with him when he seemed so openly hostile to me.

I knew one thing though.

I was desperate to learn. As much as I appreciated everything that was being done for me, I wanted my life and I wasn't prepared to just be kept indefinitely. The only way I was going to get some semblance of my life back--it was clear to me now--was to be able to control my magic." (43%/location 1984-2000 of 4668)

Cover comment: How cute is this cover? I first thought this was YA and older readers may like this (some sexual situations). I love the simplicity of the glowing orbs and the model posing as Stella. This cover says "Read me!"

Book source: This ebook was given to me during a book tour for my totally honest review.

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