April 8, 2016

Review: Burned by Magic

Burned by Magic (The Baine Chronicles, book 1) by Jasmine Walt

Burned by Magic

Genre: New Adult Fantasy Steampunk
Edition Reviewed: Ebook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Burned by Magic (1)

In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.

Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she accidentally loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.

Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage in the city to her side.


First it needs to be said that this book is edited right. I did not want to bash my brains out due to grammar errors. The writing isn't too bad either. It has life and a flavor to it. Sadly the overall story, events, and characters bored me. I fell asleep while reading. Had to skip a few parts that basically went exactly how I knew they would. (For a read-every-word girl like me, that's not a good sign.)

The first thing I need to touch base with was the world building. The idea of a world where humans evolved into mages, and then the mages experimented on humans that then created shifters is awesome. When first diving into the story I thought this was an urban fantasy read. It felt like it. It revealed we were not on our earth, but a totally made up one. Cool. Then all of a sudden a steambike pops up and whams me in the face. OK. I rolled with it because the idea that this is a made up world with steampunk technology thrilled me.

So it was a steampunk fantasy world!

Maybe? The technology felt off because there was a power plant and lots of things that didn't quite fit a steampunk world. Such as sweatpants. And I'm assuming they are sweats, because that is the term used for them. Sweats in fantasy/steampunk worlds are usually “loose pants” or “baggy pants”. “Work out pants.” So on. Because the type of technology to make our kind of sweats does not mesh with the world.

I'm a picky reader. I felt like Walt simply wanted me to feel in the blanks. Assume a lot of things about this world. Which sucked.

Ah, the cast of characters. Who all felt barrowed from other stories and pieced together. Definitely urban fantasy characters. Who did and said the things I expected them to. The lead was supposed to be witty and snarky, but I found her more stupid and irritating. Rude. The male interests where boring and so typical that no attempt was made to flesh them out.

Oh, and the lead is magically attracted to the rude—excuse me mysterious/misunderstood—Chief Mage. AKA the man with all the power that seems like a bad guy but isn't. Of course she's drawn to him despite herself.

The mystery of her mentor's death and the “silver murders” is tacked onto the lead's secret being found out and so on. It's all rather boring. And well typical. (Yeah, I'm tired of using that word.) Actually it may have behooved this series to get us to care about the lead and her world before playing all of its cards.

The names of the characters have already left my head. Instead I remember them as stereotypes that did their stereotypical things. That just happened to be cut into a stereotypical UF plot. Which is a true shame as the basis of this world was so unique. With an underwhelming romance and boring plot. Despite the fact that this is supposed to be a fantasy steampunk world. It all falls short because it's so busy following the steps of a Urban Fantasy book that it forgets to be itself. To build emotions and distinguish its characters from the many others out there. To build the world and not just the buildings and rooms. To have the world figured out enough to clue readers into the hows and whys. Thumbs up for solid editing. Thank you.

Sexual Content: Sexual humor, minor dark themes, and overall clean.


2/5- Average/disappointing, library check-out.

Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Burned by Magic (1)
Bound by Magic (2)
Hunted by Magic (3)
Burned by Magic (1)
Bound by Magic (2)
Hunted by Magic (3)
Burned by Magic (1)
Bound by Magic (2)
Hunted by Magic (3)

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