City of Dark Magic
By Magnus Flyte
Released: November 27th, 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Genre: Young Adult
I have to admit, City of Dark Magic was quite alluring for a variety of different reasons. First and foremost, I am a huge fan of mystery novels and the mystery aspect of the novel – as well as the inclusion of magic, alchemy, music, and history – had me enchanted. What I didn’t anticipate was the huge ride I would be taken on from page one!
Admittedly, this novel isn’t like others that I had read or reviewed in the past. I thought it would be something similar to an urban fantasy intermingled with mystery and while it did have some elements of that type of genre, this novel had so much more. Crime, murder, sex, and adventure just to name a few. The whole book was like a roller coaster ride; as soon as one small plot seemed resolved, another would pop up and take its place, oftentimes leading to an even larger plot. There were a lot of bits in the books that seemed rather superfluous at first, but would then turn out to be a rather big clue to the mystery that, Sarah (the protagonist), was trying to solve. It was a wild ride – one that you would have to suspend your reality for and just enjoy in the moment. So, if you like books with logical meaning, this book probably isn’t for you. But then again, magic hell portals that turn out to be multi-dimensions and toenails with hallucinogenic properties aren’t run-of-the-mill aspects of a book – which is one of the reasons City of Dark Magic is so tantalizing.
I’ll be the first to admit that Sarah wasn’t my favorite character. In fact, there isn’t much about her that is very likeable. I would have appreciated a young woman who struggled to get her doctorate and make it big in musicology; one that would immobilize a man with a single well placed kick to the testicles…. As long as she didn’t sleep with and let every man in the book touch her. It seemed as if her promiscuous tendencies didn’t really add to her character and only served to well… put sex into the book. On the upside, many of the side characters in the novel prove to be more interesting. Pols and Max especially, I would have enjoyed learning more about. Even Nico. While Sarah might not be the best person to see the book through, the others are definitely interesting and prove to make the book highly amusing and suspenseful.
The writing, in general, is very nice. The novel takes place in Prague – a city of mystery and romance – and it undoubtedly hard to capture in words. Magnus Flyte described the place with beauty thought and the witty humor and sarcasm found throughout the book is particularly entertaining. The whole mystery of the novel includes Beethoven and the letters addressed to his “Immortal Beloved.” Throughout the book, we are given clues and with the help of Sarah, Max, and the others we come to learn that some secrets are buried deep in the past – and probably should remain there. The plot gets fairly complex and will keep you guessing and turning the pages until the very end.
The end, unfortunately, didn’t live up to my expectations. I had expected an action packed resolution. And while it was certainly action packed… it was, in a way, anticlimactic when it came to finally defeating the bad guy. I won’t give too much away, as I hate spoilers, but I did feel a little cheated. Then again, with a book that exudes peculiarity, I suppose I shouldn’t have expected anything less.
Overall, a very entertaining read! Just be sure to leave your conceptions of reality behind before cracking it open!