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Hiding-Magic-mask200W
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front Patch 10-15-09 75W

“The story is alive. I kept reading even when my eyes were closing at night.

“I love this book, not only because of the new, fresh twist to the whole average vampire story, but because it is so funny!”

5 stars1Amazon An entertaining read  When I  started reading "Hiding Magic", I thought I'd sample the first few pages and then put it down--magic isn't my favorite subject for reading. But a couple hours later, I came to--I was definitely hooked. In spite of the magic in the story, which Rhamey handles well and believably, I related to the characters and their various problems, which seemed realistic. The magic is well thought out and logical, the villain is villainous, the hero heroic, the love story sweet. An entertaining day of reading.

4 starsAmazon A great pate turner Hiding Magic is a great sci-fi read that really relies more on the strengths of the story than on over-the-top super powers. Yes, there are certainly people with special abilities in the book, but that's not the hook that keeps things interesting. There's a tense game of cat and mouse being played between the two main characters and a tough as nails homeland  security agent who's convinced they're terrorists. Throw in a  megalomaniac scientist who wants to wipe out humankind with a bio germ and you get a pretty fast paced story.

It's an easy read too. I finished it off in a couple of sittings and never found myself thinking any of it was completely unbelievable. I mean I know it's about people with the ability to manipulate life-energy and that looks like magic to  us . . . but once you accept that, everything that happened in the book had a reason behind it. Nothing just sort of showed up. Also, I won't spoil the ending for anyone, but I will say it didn't turn out quite the way I expected it to. That's always a bonus for me.

I would have given 5 stars, but a few of the characters were a bit clichéd. The homeland security guard for instance was as single minded as a female version of Jack Bauer. A minor nit that I wouldn't let keep you from a really good read. If you like a fast past story with light sci-fi elements, I highly recommend this.

4 starsAmazon  A good contemporary fantasy read
Contemporary fantasy isn't one of my usual genres, but there were some elements that seemed to be quite inventive. The plot was non-trivial, with multiple  factions and with some of the characters having family complications, and it was coherent with no significant plot holes. Pacing was relatively constant, with few slack scenes. The resolution took me by  surprise -- although it was, in fact, quite in keeping with the story. A solid ending is a big point in favor of any novel.

The  characters generally felt real, although the antagonists maybe not so  much. The antagonists had credible motivations, but I'd have like them to have more of a life and perhaps some occasional doubts about what they're doing.

Stylistically, the novel is written from multiple viewpoints, one of which is first-person and the rest being  third-person. It also was written in present tense. Overall, the writing style was a bit avant-garde for me. Readers younger than I -- that would be almost everyone -- probably won't find the style to be as peculiar as I did.

© Ray Rhamey 2014   ray (at) rayrhamey (dot) com 206.291.8758  420 Morton St., Ashland, OR 97520

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