Review: “Hunt for Magic,” Linsey Hall

Pros: Interesting setup; great action
Cons: Some one-dimensional antagonists
Rating: 4 out of 5

In book one of Linsey Hall’s “The Amazon” (book 26 of her “Dragon’s Gift” universe) Rowan had to keep her demon-touched power secret, start integrating her Dragon God magic, make nice with her new (and hot) teacher Maximus, and stop a couple of monstrous demon-birds from feeding on humans. In Hunt for Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Amazon Book 2), Maximus has come to ask for the help of Rowan and the Undercover Protectorate. There’s a massive annual race held by the magical community each year, and the prize is something the evil witches want. He asks Rowan to join him in the race to figure out what’s going on and why they want the prize–not to mention stop them from getting it. If Maximus and Rowan succeed, the Protectorate gets the prize–and it’s something that could help them save a lot of lives!

Given how many books we’ve gone through so far, and how much action there is in them, the race makes a nice way to create whole new surreal situations and obstacles for our heroes to face. There’s a witch’s house full of literary references and monsters (Sherlock Holmes’s ghost, Dracula, etc.), a Cinderella’s Ball to attend (and not get tossed out of!), and a gladiator ring in which to face off against competitors and demons alike (that’s bound to bring up some bad memories for Maximus). I just about had flashbacks when one of the dancers at the ball nearly bit Rowan’s head off for accidentally bumping into her; I swear I met that woman on the bus a couple of weeks ago.

As usual, the representative for the Order of Magica (and the other guy who accompanies him) is a very one-dimensional antagonist. Pretty much all members of the Order we’ve dealt with have only been used as a threat to keep our main characters acting secretive about their powers, and unlike many of the other characters they have little to no depth. Which is a shame, because when she wants to, Hall creates some fun characters, even if they do tend to be a bit formulaic.

Speaking of formulaic, Rowan’s books-so-far seem to be slightly less so, if just because of the darkness that pollutes her (thanks to the things the Rebel Gods did to her in the past). It gives things a slightly darker edge and gives a greater feeling of risk and uncertainty to the development of her powers. Which is to be treasured, because the one thing the formulaic nature of these books takes away is any real feeling of risk and uncertainty. Still, they make excellent comfort reads. You can be sure to enjoy spectacular heroics, a little PG-rated romance, and adorable sidekicks when you pick one up!

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