Crimes Against Magic : Hellequin Chronicles

  • by Steve McHugh
  • Narrated by James Langton
  • Series: Hellequin Chronicles
  • 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Ozzymandias

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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- Gary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-10-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio