Thursday, March 20, 2014

Young Adult Review: Lives of Magic (ARC)

Lives of Magic (Seven Wonders, 1) by Lucy Liederman, January 28, 2014. 384 pages. Published by Dundurn. Source: publisher.
Seventeen-year-old Gwen is settling into her new home in Oregon and looking forward to senior year when she is kidnapped by Kian, who warns her that she is in terrible danger. An ancient war was fought between magical Celtic warriors and three evil magicians. Those magicians are alive and well and need Gwen's magic to regain their power. If they succeed, they'll be unstoppable. To save the world, Gwen must unlock the magic trapped in her memories of a past life in Britannia.

As Gwen starts to recover her lost memories and awakens to her power, she suffers the consequences of a divided soul. Gwen and Kian travel to New York and then to England to find others of her kind. Gwen, Garrison, Seth, and Moira need each other to solve the puzzle of their last days in ancient Britannia. They are only as strong as what they remember, but a troublesome history threatens to doom the world. One way or another, a deadly showdown is inevitable, ready or not …
First Sentence:
I wasn't always doing exercises in the rain, jumping around with my feet submerged in mud.

While there were many things I enjoyed about Lives of Magic, like the story behind how/why some Celtic warriors were sent forward in time and how those of them were linked by many things, there were a few things that really bothered me about this book, but mainly in regards to Gwen and how she reacted to her situation.

To say I was curious over how she would be able to tie two of the themes of the story together would be an understatement. I really enjoyed watching the way the story unfolded and seeing each of the characters develop throughout the storyline. While I did have some issues with a couple of the characters and their choices, there is much within Lives of Magic that I enjoyed while reading it. The writing being one of the chief things-even if it was a little slow at first.

So, while I did have some issues with Lives of Magic, I really enjoyed Lucy Liederman's writing. I thought she did a great job of combining historical fiction and magic, mixed with modern times. It was definitely interesting to see how the past and the present were combined to give the story a more whole picture; especially when it came to why and how Gwen and the rest of the teens were sent to the present.
    But, what really makes the two sides of time to their stories interesting is that, for the most part, some of them have no idea who they were in the past or of their connection to those in their group. So it was interesting as things began to come to light because the inter-relationships between them were very complex; yet the more you learned about the "them" of the past, the more you were able to understand some of the back-story to the book. So, yeah, this was definitely the best part of the book for me.

What kept me from giving this one over three griffins is Gwen herself. I was none too happy of the way she acted when Kian basically abducted her/used his ability to influence her decision to join him. It bothered me beyond words to read about a character so easily lead around because it made it seem that she was incapable of choosing anything. As you can guess, I don't particularly care for how Kian got her to come along, or that she continued to stay around.
   While it is understandable that curiosity can get the best of everyone when things go strange, it is no reasons to just go along with the flow and basically forget that you didn't really choose to go along of your free will. Even though this detail was non too reassuring, I enjoyed the historical fiction aspects of the story and am curious to see how it will all play out in the end.

Final Verdict: Lives of Magic- While there are definitely some things that I did not enjoy, the back-story and writing are what make this an interesting read.

Lives of Magic earns 3 out of 5 griffins
 This book was receive din exchange for an honest review.

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