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Magic City: Recent Spells

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  252 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Bright lights, big city... magic spells, witchcraft, wizardry, fairies, devilry, and more. Urban living, at least in fantasy fiction, is full of both magical wonder and dark enchantment. Street kids may have supernatural beings to protect them or have such powers themselves. Brujeria may be part of your way of life. Crimes can be caused (and solved) with occult arts and ev ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 20th 2014 by Prime Books (first published May 7th 2014)
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May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of UF, shorts
Short stories are perfect for those moments when I know I don’t have much time, and don’t have patience for interruptions (really, is there anything more exasperating than having to stop reading during a denouement? Or during a chase?) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this collection. As I don’t often read short story collections in the modern UF genre, all were new to me, although a peek at copyrights reveal all were previously published. Still, most people will recognize the au ...more
May 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
“Street Wizard” by Simon R. Green: MEH. About as exciting as going through somebody's day planner.

“Paranormal Romance” by Christopher Barzak: STRIKE TWO! This one isn't much either. It was just kind of there. Nothing really exciting about it. The main character pissed me off when she ditched her blind date, stiffing him with the bill. That was just plain rude, he wasn't a bad man just not her type so it was really an asshat move. The author also made it abundantly clear that the main character h
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
This was in Read Now section on NetGalley.

The main theme for this anthology are various ways magic can be manifested or used in cities, whether it is an ancient Babylon or a modern day New York, or just a nameless city anywhere in the world. Everyone can find something they might like here. The stories don't have the same strength and value, but that all depends on personal preference. Some are really good, others are ordinary and it is not surprising that there are those that are boring. I gues

Disclaimer: thank you to Diamond Book Distributors and netgalley for giving me a copy of this book!

Magic City: Recent Spells is an anthology based (some more loosely than others) around the theme of cities and urban fantasy. I'm not usually that big a fan of short stories; I'm a fan of long series, and novellas, and the like, tend to end far too quickly! Despite this there were some really enjoyable tales in here. Surprisingly, it was often the stories where the initial character introduction di
Sharon L
May 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Visit my blog The Acciental Reader

Before I start, I have to admit I really don't like this book. REALLY.

Which is why I'm going to border on bitchy (assuming, I'll be able to control myself).

You see that line I markered? ( Some of the best stories of urban enchantment from the last few years gathered in one volume full of hex appeal and arcane arts ) That's a total lie, in my very honest and very direct opinion.

This is an anthology with stories about magic. I don;t know what about you (though
Althea Ann
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the introduction: "Are these stories 'urban fantasy'? Well, that's a term that started out defining one thing, was accidentally applied to something else, and is now changing yet again..."
The stories here represent the 'one thing,' the 'something else' and maybe have a few extras thrown in. Personally, I prefer the original - but this is a pretty good mix.

** “Street Wizard,” Simon R. Green
Not so much a story as an introduction to what 'urban fantasy' is about. A night in the life of a 'str
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Magic City anthology reminds me why I love science fiction/fantasy. This collection features some outstanding stories and authors. It does also contain a few duds which I'll leave unmentioned. There are also a few which are quite forgettable. I will focus on the ones which excited me. When a short story generates an exhilaration which ends abruptly when the last word is typed, I love it.

In STREET WIZARD by Simon Green, the story is tightly written with my kind of humour.

Never even react. It’s ha
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got a copy from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

As usual when anthologies are concerned, there are stories one will like, and stories that won't cut it at all. What I can say about this one, before I ge to the stories individually:

1) Those are reprints. If you're relatively new to urban fantasy as a genre, and/or usually don't read anthologies, I think it should be all right. Otherwise, you may already know quite a few of those stories.

2) It may not be tremendously representative
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley
I suspect that I wasn't the only reader who was attracted to Magic City by the popular authors displayed prominently on the cover. In retrospect, I think the collection provides precisely what it advertises: pleasant short stories from some of the biggest names in the genre. At the same time, I simply didn't expect the striking difference from my usual variety of short-story read. I generally stick to "Year's Best" variety of anthology, which tend to go for the most bizarre, imaginative, and mem ...more
Carrie Mansfield
May 01, 2014 rated it liked it
eARC provided by Net Galley in exchange for review.

2.5 stars.

Review can also be found on my blog:

There are two kinds of anthologies.

The first kind is when a bunch of authors get together to weave new tales around a given theme. The upcoming Rogues, edited by George R. R. Martin, is one of those. The second kind is simply a collection of previously published short-stories linked together only by an introduction.

This is the later.

The stories contained within have been publish
Erin Burns
Feb 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This is a collection of previously published short stories, so really the only new information is Paula Guran's introduction and the way they are indexed. Each story is prefaced with the city and the type of magic it has.

It's a little hard to decide just how to rate a collection like this, especially when none of the material is newly published. However, considering how eclectic it is, it's likely
Eleanor With Cats
I didn't like every story in this, but I'll buy anthologies for one or two stories if I love the authors and have enough money, so this is a rather decent anthology by my standards. This is one of Prime Books' Recent Somethingsomethings anthologies, which have been getting beautiful cover art recently. They collect stories the editor likes from anthologies published in the last few years. They always have several stories I've read already, but they generally have several good ones I haven't.

CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
Simon R. Green: this story had an interesting premise and I would've loved to have read a full length novel of it but as it stands it's pretty much just a long description of some guys night. If I wanted that I'd read a day planner.

Paranormal Romance - Christopher Barzac

Well the main character was a little bit of a bitch but with a better description of her, perhaps it wouldn't have been so. About the only one who seemed interesting in this particular story was Corrinne. Although I'd read more a
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel, short_stories
This collection of 24 short stories of urban danger and magic might be one of my favorite collections to date. I don't read many, but the stories were varied, all well-written, and engaging.

I don't want to take the time to go over each of them, because the ones I didn't like as much are still good stories, they usually just hit a trope or character type I just didn't like as much.

I really enjoyed "Grand Central Park" which is a new take on the old jealous, cruel faerie world trope. The characte
All Things Urban Fantasy
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
***Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy***

Short stories are a difficult form to master in any case, but when it comes to sci-fi and fantasy, the author has an even tougher challenge: building an entire world in just a few pages. As with any short-story collection featuring multiple authors, some of the contributions to MAGIC CITY: RECENT SPELLS, edited by Paula Guran, are more successful than others. Ultimately, I think the anthology does a great job of showcasing many different interpret
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
An anthology of reprints, this anthology shows how magic really sparkles when grounded in reality – without the natural, how can there be no supernatural to juxtapose? A novel needs to have its own reality (limitations, and such) even when different from our own reality, to show the magic, however common it may be in the fantasy world, in order for to be both believable and engaging. In this anthology we see a range of urban fantasy set in Chicago, New York, London… but also in the ancient city ...more
Marta Cox
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories that are filled with magic and sure to appeal to lovers of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Whilst I have previously read one or two of the stories here I thought it was a great idea to put so many different authors together as this way the reader can try out different writing styles.
Some of these stories are quite humorous whilst others take a more serious tone. I've long been a fan of Patricia Briggs and had previously read her story but with the exce
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
ARC received from NetGalley.

An entertaining anthology of previously released short stories from some of the most popular authors in urban fantasy. I would have liked to have given this collection a higher rating since some of my personal favorites are in this collection.

Editor Paul Guran provides a thoughtful Introduction to the anthology in which she explores the boundaries of the mundane and the magical in the contemporary world; recognizing that as the world has changed, magic has adapted t
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
3.5 star - pretty good. On the whole this was a pretty decent collection, with lots of little magical tidbits from a wide variety of authors.

This was an open approval on NetGalley, and seeing some of my favorite big name UF authors in this collection I jumped in, only to discover what others have mentioned - all of these stories are previously published some as early as 2002.

Turns out that I'd read the stories from the authors that lured me into this collection, and liked them when I read them
May 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This anthology's stories were fairly dark, even the few that ended well. All anthologies use a couple of well-known authors to pull in readers (sell books) and several less-known authors writing on some kind of theme. This anthology borrows a Briggs story and a Butcher story that were in separate anthologies several years ago. The "theme" is urban magic, but the stories don't support any other theme at all. Disappointing attempt to sell dead trees.
Picked it up for the Patricia Briggs short story. It was a reprint of her "Seeing Eye Wolf" short. Wonderful story but not new.
Chantale Canadian Book Addict
Only 2 of the stories I liked and the rest were boring. I wouldn't waste my money on this.
Angela Verdenius
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed some of the stories. A good mixture for every taste.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I read most of them. Good short stories, interesting (all about magic users in a big city). One was two pages, others many. Some great authors I have read, some new to me. Fun stuff.
Things you should know:

1. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purposes of review.
2. This is a reprint anthology. If you read a lot of anthologies in the field, you will probably have read some of these before. I had read three, though two of them were among the best ones, and I enjoyed reading them again.
3. It still has some worthwhile stuff in it, especially if you're a fan of the big names in urban fantasy (Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs) and haven't read these
Originally reviewed on Words in a Teacup

Anthologies are a bit of a box of assorted chocolates. This one is no different: you go hunting for the delicious coffee cream ones, but the box seems to contain only weird crusty chocolates with bits of dried pineapple in it. And this is doubly frustrating because the box promised you to be full of chocolatey coffee goodness! Ok, I'll stop with this weird analogy because it's making me crave chocolate. My point is, it's really difficult to rate anthologie
Hoped for new novels from my already known authors, but unfortunately those were all reprints :(
May 03, 2014 is currently reading it
“Paranormal Romance,” Christopher Barzak (4 stars)
This was an adorable little short story about a "love witch" who struggles with her own personal life. Reluctantly she accepts her mother's help in the dating department only to end up on a horribly matched blind date. Things end up so much better than anticipated.

“The Slaughtered Lamb,” Elizabeth Bear (4 stars)
What happens when a werewolf drag queen stumbles upon some illegal Fae activity? Lots of fun and mayhem. This was a cute story with a HEA
Fangs for the Fantasy
The first thing I’d advise on reading this book is not to read it like I did – in one sitting. You get a big bumper 24 stories in this book – and 24 stories in one stretch where none of them are connected directly made for a long read. And I don’t think they were well connected – “magic” and “city” are particularly specific enough themes, especially in the Urban Fantasy genre, to make an anthology out of. Especially if you’re going to throw “fae” in there as well

I think the first story, Street W
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: This book was received as a free review copy, but the following review is my own, truthful opinion.

I love short story compilations. They’re a great, accessible way to find and sample new authors without committing to buying a full-length novel. But they can sometimes be a gamble. Not all compilations are equal. You can find yourself disappointed when the first couple of great stories give way to mediocre, forgettable and occasionally, plain dislikeable tales.

I’m pleased to tell you t
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Paula Guran is senior editor for Prime Books. She edited the Juno fantasy imprint from its small press inception through its incarnation as an imprint of Pocket Books. She is also senior editor of Prime's soon-to-launch digital imprint Masque Books. Guran edits the annual Year's Best Dark Fantasy and Horror series as well as a growing number of other anthologies. In an earlier life she produced we ...more
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