How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember? Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past and the only clues to his identity were a piece of paper with his name on it and a propensity toward magic. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer and a successful thief for hire, but it turns out that those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet. When they cause a job to go bad, threatening a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her. But with his enemies closing in and the barrier holding back his memories beginning to crumble, Nate is forced to confront his forgotten life in the hope of stopping an enemy he can’t remember. Crimes Against Magic is a dark, fast-paced urban fantasy torn between modern-day London and fifteenth-century France.
©2013 Steve McHugh (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Ozzymandias on 29-05-16

Crimes against literature

Disappointment is my new official pastime, I download a book get thrilled by the premise and disappointed by the delivery of the author.

There are a few things that "narked" me off about this book. The first that I will mention (but not the worst) is the poor use of swearing. Well thought out and judicious use of swear words in a book can elevate it, appropriately increasing tension, comedy, realism or overall entertainment of the story. I found the swearing in this book to be ill conceived, overused, offensive, and lacking in purpose.

Secondly, the author has fallen into the common trap of new authors telling a first person story from the point of view of a shallow and unlikeable character. As a reader I thought the lead character was a thoroughly unpleasant thug that the writer tried to cast in a better light by putting him up against even worse characters. As if to say "hey look, I'm not a serial killing baby-eater therefore I must be good person"!

Thirdly, the character is a womaniser, and unpleasantly so. I just didn't like that. Again, the author tries to play it off as if he is somehow the good guy in all of this. But he's a jerk and as the story unfolded, my dislike for him increased.

Fourth, but of course not in order of importance, this author cannot write dialogue. "I said", "he said", "she said", no sense of connection with the characters. The quality of the dialogue is poor. Abjectly so.

Fifth no sense of being engrossed in the story or in the realism of the events or characters. I felt that the hero was overpowered and it was too easy for him to regain his memories. Because the hero was too overpowered, the bad guys were simply ridiculous and though the story had a high tempo in that lots of things happened at high speed I simply didn't care.

Sixth over the top. Simply being able to imagine acts of extreme violence, sex, etc doesn't mean that you can have the desired effect on your reader. The author is unable to connect the extreme nature of event or environment with the reader in a way that they should care. I see this a lot in modern films and books and it makes me laugh because of the amateurish nature of the delivery. ANYONE can conceive of extreme things, especially nowadays when the news brings such events to our ears daily, hourly or even more frequently. The author has to make it MATTER to the reader or else it is slapstick or just tasteless.

There was also something about the narrator I just did not connect with, I felt he was somewhat dislocated from the story. However I will underline that the story was not poor because the narrator was poor, the story was poor because the author was inadequate to the task.

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43 of 49 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Gary on 25-07-17

Badly written, badly performed

This book reads like a juvenile fantasy and much of the dialogue I found cringeworthy or just bad - "He was kneeling on the floor, his hands a raw mess of boiled skin and flesh. They'd been against the edge of the sphere he'd created. 'You've crippled me!' he shrieked" is from late in the book. There's also the occasional part where the full manufacturer's name for a weapon is given ("an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare AWS Covert") which just reads like the author thought the guns were SO COOL (or made the character so cool) that they needed to be named in full, even if it doesn't mean anything to the reader. The dialogue wasn't helped by the reading style of the narrator, elongating odd syllables and having a weird cadence and strange choice of tones for dialogue compared to what is described in the text.

The main character is also the definition of a Marty-Stu - all the women want him, all the men want to be him or kill him. The only women he doesn't sleep with almost on first sight are either in an abusive relationship or too busy murdering people; He easily beats or kills anyone he faces in combat and if the bad guys have the temerity to capture him, the main character is surer to be saved by deus ex machina than through any struggle on his part.

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23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Escapism Artist on 06-08-14

Testosterone IV Drip

I really enjoyed the world of the book, but then, I'm a sucker for anything that brings Arthurian stuff into a modern or magical setting. Crimes is a quick romp through a new urban fantasy setting, and for the most part I enjoyed it, even as it made me cringe. The reader did an excellent job with the material, but despite that, I'll be returning the book. I like fluffy brain candy as much as the next girl, but I still want a little more to my "diet" than a swimming pool's worth of cotton candy.

Reader Beware:

The main character is apparently made of pheromones, because he meets a female, any female, and if she's of age, she wants in his pants. There are a couple boring and completely unnecessary sex scenes.

Strong female characters played by Lady Not-Appearing-In-This-Book. There's even a tearful damsel in distress who is left broken-hearted after confessing her love for him, only to be rejected because he's too dark and dangerous to live in her safe world. Keep in mind, she's the daughter of an Irish crime boss stereotype.

Gary Stu. 'Nuff said. This book is not about a character's growth from comfortably lost amnesiac to self-discovery. This book is about a badass being a badass until a woman sacrifices herself so that he can be a super big badass.

Eventually, I couldn't envision the character anymore, just a giant James Bond style movie poster of Harry Dresden cosplaying John Taylor with two nearly-naked women twining about his legs as he holds aloft a giant, throbbing mcguffin.

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53 of 60 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Wesley on 28-10-13

A good start to an interesting series

I was only able to give this book 4 stars for Story because although I really liked the book, it felt somewhat incomplete. Maybe it was the way it swapped back and forth between the two time lines, I don't know. Please don't misunderstand, I did like the book a lot, but each time I started really falling into the one time line story I was pulled back into the other. The two stories were well thought out and presented, my complaint isn't's just that, well, maybe I'm not a fan of the split time line method.

That said, I still had to rate the overall and story a full four stars. It was that good I think.
The performance I gave 5 stars because the narrator is truly an artist. His narrating was good enough that often times I forgot I was hearing a reading, he had me so engrossed in the story.....know what I mean? It's hard to explain but please trust in this, James Langton is an artist and he really brought out the best in the novel.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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