‘Crimes Against Magic’ is one of the first debut novels I have had the pleasure of being asked to review. It’s author Steve McHugh had obviously spent a massive amount of time building the world of the story. The plot without spoilers, is about a magic user named Nathaniel Garret. An amnesiac thief for hire, whose past comes to catch up with him after a job goes bad.
This is nothing new, most stories you will read are just that, nothing new. With this being said the way, an author handles tropes and used subject matter, is the difference setting apart books and stories being told in this changing world of publication.
Steve McHugh in this debut novel sets himself apart in the urban fantasy genre. The main character to me is like James Bond with magic being directed by John Woo. He takes some very well known creatures of the fantasy genre and makes them savage, brutal, beings putting an edge back onto the fantastical. This makes ‘Crimes Against Magic’ a hugely exciting journey.
This is not a flawless masterpiece but as I said before this is his debut novel. There are some newbie author habits/mistakes in the novel. One of these I picked out was character diversity, as he uses alot of blond female characters. Another is Nathan himself. He is untouchable, taking out werewolves and other supernatural beings with relative ease. Very Bondish indeed. I must say the MC does take one savage beating at the hands of a well crafted villain.
All in all this is a well written and put together story with well done flashbacks to give you a movie like quality. I typically HATE flashbacks, but McHugh gives you exposition and character development amidst supernatural action. The action is well crafted and choreographed sequences.
This being an urban fantasy story there is magic. The system used to govern magic use in the story is well thought out, and ties directly into the stories plot. I can’t go into more detail, because it would spoil rather pivotal scenes and events of the story.
‘Crimes Against Magic’ is an exciting, fun page turner of a story. An impressive feat from a debut author well worth being picked up.