*I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.*
Blurb: Fans of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones will enjoy this fast-paced urban fantasy adventure series filled with magic, action, and kick-ass characters.
One little stone holds the key to multiple realities… and their survival.
On secondment from the British Archaeological Museum, curator Hayley Bevan is in New York cataloguing the exciting discoveries from an ancient Buddhist temple. But beneath the ordinary exterior of the world, there’s a magical underground operating on the fringes of society, and Hayley is about to discover more than she bargained for.
One impulsive act catapults Hayley out of her ordinary world and into one full of danger, wish-fulfilling stones, and doorways to alternate realities.
Can Hayley find her place is the world of magic, or will she fall victim to a ruthless killer hell-bent on getting what he wants?
Enter the Ley Line World and join the Relic Guardians: Zoe Stark, the no-nonsense witch and bounty hunter, and Hayley Bevan, the museum curator newly endowed with magical powers, as they race against time to recover magical artefacts, defeat their enemies, and save the world from impending doom.
Another fast-paced magical adventure from the authors of Ancient Magic; Hidden Magic is the second book in the Relic Guardians series, and picks up just BEFORE the end of Ancient Magic, but with a different character and in a different place.
I loved this smooth continuity between the two books, that allowed them to both stand alone as individual stories, but also wove them together to create a wider story arc, with Zoe Stark making an appearance by phone and then later in person.
Hidden Magic focuses on Hayley Bevan however, and I actually found Hayley easier to identify with than Zoe. While Zoe is Lara Croft, Indiana Jones and a bit of James Bond, all rolled into one professionally badass bundle, Hayley is more of an ‘everyman’ character. She has a relatively normal job, and her reactions are brave but amateurish in terms of adventurer-skills. Even once she attains some power her instincts and actions remain real and believable to an ordinary person caught up in extraordinary events.
It was interesting to discover more about the rules and limitations of the magic in this world, and that in addition to being born Magicai, the power can be bestowed on (or maybe unlocked in?) someone who was previously unaware that magic even existed. I hope we see more of the reality/ies accessed by the leylines in future books, and I would quite like to know more about how some of these artefacts became imbued with their magical properties.
There was a real surprise for me in terms of a particular character (no spoilers!), but not the relatively minor reveal quite early on in the book. No, I was surprised at how Hayley (our everywoman) dealt with her problems at the climax of the action. I didn’t see it coming, and found the scene and the ending that resulted both shocking and somewhat emotional. I really liked the direction the authors took Hayley with this installment and am totally intrigued to find out what happens to the intrepid team of Relic Guardians next.
My understanding is that the next installment will bring back Jamie, of Rogue Magic fame, and the individual talents of our heroes will begin to combine to form a kickass team (The Warrior, The Scholar, and The Thief). I can’t wait to find out more!
I laid my bag on the table and drew the curtain, plunging the room into darkness. As an afterthought, I moved back to the door and quickly placed the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the outside handle. Then, after switching on a lamp, I removed the statue from my bag and placed it on the table.
Oh, God. I’d taken it.
– Victoria De Luis & Meg Cowley, Hidden Magic
Hidden Magic is released TOMORROW (26th July 2017) – find it on Amazon here.
If you’re interested, you can find my review for both Ancient Magic (Book 1) and Rogue Magic (a short story sitting at 2.5 in the series) here.