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Fatal Magic (Unstable Magic #2)
by Emily Bybee
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 2019
Wild Rose Press
Someone wants Sydney dead. Only problem is, she has no idea who. Pushing her off a cliff, thinking the deadly ocean waves will finish their dirty-work, was their first mistake. The near-death experience opens channels of uncontrollable magic, which Sydney is told should have remained dormant. As if finding out magic is real and hit-lists aren’t enough, Sydney discovers her family lied to her. They were witches too. But they’re all dead. And she’s left to fend off the psychos after her blood with only Luke, her childhood crush turned steamy college student, on her side. Turns out being a witch isn’t as awesome as you’d think, especially when your magic has fatal consequences.
About the Author
Emily grew up loving to read and escape into stories. She began writing her own at the age of twelve. In college she focused on science and graduated with a degree in Environmental Biology. After college she began writing again but quickly realized she had failed to take a single writing or grammar class. Luckily, she’s a quick learner. Emily now lives in Colorado with her wonderful husband, three amazing children, and way too many animals. She still enjoys making up stories and can’t seem to leave out the paranormal elements because they are just too much fun.
Blog Tour Organized by:
Fatal Magic is a Young Adult Contemporary Paranormal Romance and is book two in the Unstable Magic series written by Emily Bybee. I received a PDF review copy of book 1 Fractured Magic and book 2 Fatal Magic as a reviewer on the Fatal Magic Book Blog Tour organized by YA Bound Books. As I stated in my review for Fractured Magic, I would not have picked up either of these books if not for this blog tour. I’m not hugely into the YA Romance since I find angsty teens to be annoying. However, the main character of the first book wasn’t that bad so I was able to enjoy the mystery surrounding the plot.
Fatal Magic starts up several months after the first book of the series and actually has a completely different main character, though Maddie from Fracture Magic does make an appearance. In Fatal Magic, the main character (a completely normal human being) is a rich orphan in boarding school who while attending her uncle’s funeral is pushed off a cliff by someone. While trying to survive the plunge into the ocean her magic powers activate. But she doesn’t know this at first.
The main character Sydney turns out to be a “defect” in the magic world. Which means her magic doesn’t work right, but defects are the only kinds of witches who are capable of harnessing the Power of the Earth, so the council is hunting them. Unfortunately, Sydney’s crush doesn’t know that being a defect is now a good thing, so he and his witch mother convince the girl to keep her powers hidden. This also means that he can’t break off his arranged marriage with another witch so that he can marry the magical girl he actually loves.
Sydney’s childhood crush and the love interest of the story is Luke. Child of a powerful male witch and a lowly female “Earth witch”, Luke and his mother have been part of Sydney’s family since before her parents died. He’s the quintessential male counterpart; heroic, dashing, protective, chivalrous…but also a conniving pig coward who doesn’t have the integrity to be honest with Sydney about what is going on in the witch world and how it affects her personally and their relationship. I spent most of the book rooting for him to die because I was so mad at him.
I hate stories where there’s a cheating jerk but it’s okay because his betrothed/girlfriend/wife is terrible. It’s not cool, it’s not okay, it’s not justifiable. Cheating is cheating. And those Sydney’s love interest is betrothed in an arranged marriage with a very unpleasant person, it did not make his sneaking around and lying about it to Sydney okay. I was so excited for what a strong young woman Sydney was written as when she left his ass. But then the badassery of feminism and standing up for herself just kind of crumbled. It was also kind of weird reading about magical “channels”(which is the part of the brain/body where magic flows through? It wasn’t super clear) and was so weird because in my science fiction/fantasy series Maker of Fate, Gods of Necromancy, and Navigators “Channels” are the portion of the nervous system where psionic energy is conducted and where physical contact is made for psionics interfacing with technology. So, it was creepy reading someone else’s books with such a similar theme. But probably wouldn’t have been so disconcerting if not for the fact that I was not a big fan of the main character.
Overall, I rate this book a 3 out of 5 stars which is a step down from the first book of the series. The main character is annoyingly angsty. She makes decisions which are ridiculous, and I’m curious how someone with such colossal bad judgement could have survived through to her teens. By no means am I saying this is a bad book. Because it’s not. It’s just not quite at four stars. Fatal Magic continues the riveting story of revelation and discovery about the secret world of witches which Maddie introduced readers to in Fractured Magic. And while I wasn’t as fond of Fatal Magic as I was of Fractured Magic, I do still want to read the rest of the series.