Friday 26 January 2018

Book Review: Mentor by T.S. Barnett

About the Book

Nathaniel Moore is a myth. He's a witch too powerful to exist and too clever to be caught. He's kept himself young for two hundred and fifty years with life-stealing dark magic and left a long trail of bodies in his wake, but no matter how many Chasers the Magistrate sent after him, not one of them was the challenge he wanted.

Elton Willis, a model Chaser for the Magistrate, expected the ultimate villain when he cracked the cold case and tracked Moore to a cheap apartment in Yuma. What he got was an infuriatingly carefree man who smokes like a chimney, laughs at puns, and treats his young apprentice like a daughter. It's an uncomfortable discovery for someone determined to bring the man to the Magistrate's gallows.

Further complicating the issue, Elton has accidentally let loose one of Nathan's old enemies--a lich with a vengeful attitude and a thirst for human souls. Now the Chaser is forced to choose between taking Nathan in, which would leave the murderous monster to roam free, or teaming up with the object of his obsession to take the lich down.

The obvious answer, of course, is also the option that's the biggest pain in Elton's ass.

My Review (4 / 5 Stars)

Cool story. I got into it very quickly, and there weren't many parts that I skimmed over.

It's about a young girl, blessed with magical ability. She's adopted, so her parents are what are called "mundanes" in the book's world. They can't do magic, and in fact don't even believe that it exists.

Thankfully, she befriends an old man in the same apartment building. He's a powerful witch, but his life is nearing its end, and so he agrees to help her learn to harness her new abilities.

Most of this happens off-camera before the story even begins. We're given a brief introduction to her situation, and the action starts. Nothing is as it seems, as our heroine is dragged along on a whirlwind adventure featuring flashy, powerful magic and fantastic beats. Here be vampires!

The magic seems to be based on real-world magical practices. I can't speak for the authenticity of the spells, not being a practitioner myself, but the author writes confidently and doesn't explain much. It's as if you'll know what she's talking about if you're part of the lifestyle. I quite liked it, and even though I didn't understand what half of the incantations meant, it DID feel natural.

The editing is very good. There's nary a typo to be found for the first ten or fifteen percent of the book. After that, it feels like the editor or author got a LITTLE lazy, because you do see the occasional missing word or punctuation mark. Still, it's a hell of a lot better than most other books I've read, whether traditionally published or not.

And then, one of my biggest bugbears: I got an epub of the book off Instafreebie, and in my version, there wasn't a linked table of contents. I don't know whether that's a thing in the Amazon or Barnes & Noble versions, but it can be frustrating.

Either way, great story. It kind of blurs the lines between Paranormal Fantasy and Magical Realism, because of its descriptions of the magic involved. I settled on Paranormal Fantasy, though, because of the aforementioned vampires.

Click here to find out where you can get your hands on a copy.

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