Counterfeit Magic: Get a feel for Armstrong’s world

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Counterfeit MagicCounterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong

This year Subterranean Press has published several novellas written by authors who’ve been on my radar but not necessarily at the top of my To Be Read stack. These little books are a perfect introduction to such writers because they’re easy to read in a few hours and I can get the “feel” or “flavor” of the authors and their worlds without spending a lot of time engaged in a longer novel, one that may not even be the end of the story.

Kelley Armstrong’s Counterfeit Magic is a perfect example. This 140ish page story takes place in Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld setting and features some of the characters from that world. Though I haven’t read anything by Armstrong before, I had no trouble jumping right in and immediately connecting with the same characters that Armstrong fans already love: Paige, Lucas, Savannah, and Adam.

The quick plot ostensibly involves a murder mystery at a supernatural fight club where Paige and Savannah infiltrate by setting up Savannah as a fighter. Those scenes were fun and the novella offers some sexy full-page black and white illustrations, some which portray Savannah in the boxing ring (see a few of them here).

But the real plot goes deeper and affects the characters more personally. Some of the “bad guy’s” reasoning seemed a bit illogical, and the tension wrapped up a bit too quickly, but I didn’t really mind this in a novella. More importantly, even though these characters were new for me (and the story was short), Kelley Armstrong succeeded in making me care about their lives. I liked them from the start and am interested enough in their past and future histories to pick up a few more Women of the Otherworld novels.


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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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