Saturday, April 26, 2014

REVIEW: Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh

Crimes Against Magic (Hellequin Chronicles, #1) Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

CAUTION: major spoilers

+ the protag

Nathan was a Gary Stu. Most of the female characters he met wanted to bed him. All of the female characters wanted to be saved by him. It didn't matter if the ladies had powers of their own or that Nathan was amnesic and dazed, they wanted him on that fucking white horse riding to their rescue (figuratively speaking). I expected a Gary Stu, but I didn't expect Nathan to be a James Bond type. I was annoyed how practically all the ladies were made damsels in distress to elevate him as the hero.

As far as his badassness went, Nathan was too short of it for my liking. I thought there were a few decisions he could have made better. For instance, Nathan should have known that once the bad guys identified him, they would identify his allies because it wasn't as if his social connections were a well-kept secret, especially when you're a famous thief. Running to your allies to recuperate? Are you kidding me? That'll be the first place the bad guys would look. What kind of a thief doesn't have several safe houses and caches? Not a very bright one, that's what.

The third thing I didn't like about Nathan was how he got emotionally attached to people so easily. It severely weakened his character development as an assassin in the past and an amnesic thief in the present. Trust wasn't a luxury he could afford. He acted too carefree for an eternal denizen of the underworld. I was bewildered when in a late chapter of the past Nathan divulged his entire life story to a dude he had only known for a few weeks. One, it was blatant info-dumping. Two, what kind of an assassin tells their life story like a celebrity confession on The Oprah Winfrey Show? Aren't assassins supposed to be, I don't know, SECRETIVE? *facepalm*

+ the plot

The plot alternated between the present and a few timelines in the past. I hate flashbacks but I was okay with them in this book. Some of them anyway. My patience wore thin towards the end because the action was rising to the climax and the flashbacks were interrupting that groovy train.


The ending was nice, but I did not care for the epilogue. Mordred was one of the two evil bosses and he escaped like a cockroach in the last chapter. In the epilogue, Nathan found him and sniped him. What the fuck?

It was talked a bunch of times about how Mordred and Nathan were always close to killing the other but never could because the other would escape his doom. Think Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. And finally in the epilogue, Nathan sniped him in a New York minute, which he should have done from the start. Sniper rifle was invented for a long time, long before the amnesia incident, and Nathan never once thought to use the goddamn weapon to take out his archenemy till now? Furthermore, what kind of an evil genius is Mordred to not have anti-bullet magic on his person? The characters were idiots!

I like wrapped ends but that epilogue was a deus ex machina. One plot hole and it made book 1 of the series pointless. Oy.


I rate Crimes Against Magic 3-stars for I liked it. Despite a Gary Stu that wasn't much of a Gary Stu and a plot hole of an epilogue, I enjoyed most of the book. I liked Nathan's violent side. It was an odd contrast to his bleeding heart side.