Viki’s review: Trace of magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Even the most powerful tracers can’t track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Lock Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I’ll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions.

Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she’s on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war

Title: Trace of magic ( Diamond City Magic #1)
Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis
Published: September 30th 2014 by Bell Bridge Books
Genres: urban fantasy, romance

My thoughts:

So I stumbled upon this book, well series in my quest to discover new to me urban fantasy stories because my favorite ones are running out so I need a new supply. I really wanted to like this story because the synopsis is quite promising and I loved the cover too. However in the end I was really disappointed in it.

The world building is really interesting and has a lot of potential. I especially loved the picturesque and beautiful way it described the city itself but the world doesn’t really expands over city limits. That part really got me, I also liked that there is no insane amount of info dump in the very beginning of the story. However when it comes to the magical system, it’s intriguing but the description of it is really spares. There is really little explanation to the workings of the magic and it cause a lot of uncertainty in me while reading. I mean how I should completely understand the events, if it’s only throws made up words around without clearing up their meaning. So yes, I saw the possibilities in the world but it left a lot of black spots for me too.

The plot starts out slower than I expected and they get to the main point quite late in the story but it was interesting. Although if the characterization were better then I think the storyline could have been more dynamic and flowing. But there were a couple of very cool parts in it that I enjoyed immensely.

Now for the characters, they were the ones that mostly dragged the story down for me. No matter how much I tried I couldn’t like Riley personality. She has a horrible personality in my opinion. She is really judgmental and quite vocal and nasty about her opinions of others. Especially when it comes to Clay, he never done anything wrong towards her but she judges him based on rumors. Then she doesn’t even leave him to explain or prove himself. And since she was so hostile towards him for me the whole insane attraction and insta love thingy wasn’t believable at all.
Other than this she is not the smartest character either. The only thing that goes for her is her talent, she blindly follows it without any rational thinking or investigation skills she should have with her line of work. It shows a lot of times when she looks over obvious clues. All in all I didn’t like her.
Then there are the other characters whom are not just few and far between but also quite one dimensional.

So overall, this book failed on the side of the characters and no matter how many great ideas it represented or the numerous mysteries its left with at the end I still couldn’t give it a better rating.


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