Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: Dark Magic

Author: James Swain
Title: Dark Magic
Narrator: Stephen R. Thorne
Publisher: AudioGO
Length: 10 hrs 48 min (unabridged)
Publication date: Dec. 1, 2012
Setting: Contemporary New York
Genre: Thriller/Suspense, Paranormal

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peter Warlock is a well-known magician. His magic show regularly draws a large audience into his theatre, including his own fan club. What nobody knows is that Peter really has supernatural powers. Together with a group of six friends Peter holds weekly seances. During those meetings they communicate with the spirits and try to discover what the future holds in store. Peter's life in particular is getting chaotic when one day he sees something dreadful during one of the weekly seances: thousands of people dying, without apparent reason, in Times Square. Peter tries to figure out what will happen and how to stop it, but what can he alone accomplish? Should he contact the police to warn them? This would mean breaking one of the psychics' most elemental rules: Never reveal your powers to outsiders, especially not to officials.

This story gripped me from the start. Especially with a new author and/or new narrator I usually take some time to getting used to them. Not with Dark Magic. Stephen R. Thorne has a very nice voice that I enjoyed immensely listening to. It immediately formed a mental image of Peter in my mind that never left me during the book. I'll certainly not hesitate when I see another book narrated by Stephen R. Thorne.

Apart from the great narrator I also enjoyed the story itself. It is vividly and compellingly told without losing itself in side-plots. Instead it follows a red thread. Enough background to give you a mental image of the events/places/people but not so much that you lose focus of the story over it. Just as I like it.

In another review I read that the characters are flat and the way the psychics are portrayed is cliché. I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. I liked the way Peter and his psychic friends are portrayed. This might be because I didn't read many similar books lately and found this take on things, even if it is traditional, very enjoyable. This is a kind of "magic" that I could actually believe to exist. Also the characters were well-developed in my opinion. Peter certainly has his strengths and weaknesses. I also didn't have any problems in picturing the secondary characters and liked many of them; even the FBI agent.

The only problem I had with this book was at the end (last two chapters). I would have prefered some things dealt with in a different way. I won't give any particulars here because that would be a bit too spoilery. However, the end didn't really diminish my enjoyment of the book in the whole. Just my personal preference. The end certainly leaves the possibility for a continuation in which those aspects might be covered again.

All in all I really enjoyed this audiobook. After doing a bit of research I realized that another book featuring Peter Warlock will appear this summer and I'll probably read (or listen to) that as well. Of course I would be all the more willing to get that if an audiobook narrated by Stephen R. Thorne was produced again. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

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