Mark's Reviews > Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin
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's review
Aug 26, 10

bookshelves: fantasy

I liked this book.

I didn't think I would, and that was because I did indeed fall into the trap of judging a book by its cover - which I seriously dislike, and the font makes me think it's a comedy a la Discworld, from which I run screaming (not Discworld so much but comedic fantasy in general).

In any case I was pleasantly surprised.

The worldbuilding is really good - anyone who can paint a picture so vividly and with so many layers in the readers head in such short a time earns my admiration (given I write pages in my own work to get the same effect ). The voice of the main character was strong and nonirritating (the book is in first person and while I don't love that I am getting more use to it) and the pace was fast. So fast in fact it became one of those books I couldn't stop reading.

Up until the last third of the novel.

I am not entirely sure what happened. it feels to me that Shearin may have revised the first two thirds of the book more than the last. I can't explain it any other way.

The characterisation changed. I no-longer recognised the character of Raine, she had become a stranger to me. And the 'romance' in the story, for me, lacked chemistry or romantic tension. It just missed the mark.

It was also in this section that I had issues with the dialogue. It felt to me that the characters started taking in circles; that Shearin was sounding out the plot through the dialogue - and yes, you do use dialog to do this... to a degree; but you never want your readers to notice it ('Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! I am the great and powerful Oz!').

Maybe I wasn't following the detail as closely as I ought but I also felt that there were some big leaps in plot logic between points A and B.

I was gutted. I really liked this book, the way it started, how the world was built up in the readers mind, the pace and the fluidity of the prose...

What happened? I don't know.

I will read the book two. Lots of authors improve as they go on so and I liked what did work in this novel enough to see where it goes.
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