Review: “Phantom Magic,” Linsey Hall

Pros: My favorite book set in this world so far
Cons: A bit formulaic
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Linsey Hall’s Phantom Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Seeker Book 5) is the culmination of Del’s subseries in the Dragon’s Gift world. Del was forced by the Shadows to open a portal between the Underworld and the living world. She managed to get away, but the portal’s still open, disgorging thousands of demons upon the world. Now it’s up to her and her friends to close the portal and stop the Shadows and the demons–particularly before the humans notice!

In the course of this series I’ve sometimes had occasion to ask “why didn’t they do X?” Or “how was she able to do Y?” This time I’m pleased to say that nearly every time I found myself asking that, my question was answered not long thereafter. I’m still really confused about all the details as to how Del’s ability to bring back the past works, though, and I still wish Hall hadn’t tried to introduce a history-changing ability into the mix. It’s just too unbalancing and awkward. Hall even has to resort to vague “the Seer says it’ll be bad if we use the ability that way” deus ex machina-type solutions just to keep Del from preemptively ending the story.

I’m fond of Del and Roarke as a couple and I think they have more chemistry than Cass and Aidan. The romance angle in these books is still low-key, though, and definitely PG-rated, so if you’re just here for the urban fantasy you’ll be fine. Honestly I’d be happy to see it bumped up a notch in Nix’s installment.

The fight scenes remain excellent. In fact, it’s kicked up to another level. The climax of the book involves a cast of thousands and I’m surprised it wasn’t reserved for the climax of Nix’s five-book series! It’s hard to imagine where Hall will go from here, frankly.

This is definitely my favorite book by Hall so far. I actually shed a few tears near the end, which is always a good sign! This wraps up the tale of the Shadows, the demon uprising, and Del’s family mysteries, so enjoy!

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