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The Madness Project

(The Madness Method #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Cavnal has been at peace for nearly a century. Magic, once revered, is now the object of contempt. And anyone unfortunate enough to be born with its powers has been banned from the nobility and pushed to the fringes of society.

All his life, Prince Tarik has known that if the world discovered his secret—that he was born a mage—he would lose everything. But when a wave of v
Kindle Edition, 580 pages
Published November 2015 by SisterMuses (first published September 29th 2013)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  117 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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S. Usher Evans
I was pointed to this book by my friend Kristin (so a friend of a friend).

In the first two or three chapters, I was confused, especially as the POV switched from the girl to the boy (I am sure I will mispell both names). Four pages into the first chapter from the girl's perspective, I realized that I was in the shoes of another character.

Then I stayed up all night to read it because I couldn't put it down.

The book has several themes which I did enjoy - the gray between what we've grown up to
Feb 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bought this book because I LOVED "The Lost Road Chronicles" by the same author. It truly is madness!

This story touches on topics of identity, race, and peer family, for sure, as well as disparity between the poor and the rich. It is written in first-person, alternating between Tarik and Hayli, which makes for an interesting read (and also forces you to read the chapter header to know who "I" is). Each of the characters were unique and distinguishable from the others.

This fantasy steampunk world
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
You'd have to be mad to miss it! J. Leigh has wow'd me with her incredible writing talent, ambition in the realm of intrigue, and imagination that is - yeup! - not of this world! It makes sense for her to choose fantasy as her canvas - boundaries are the fiction in that realm. This book does not disappoint..just make sure to schedule your day free of other obligations because you won't be able to set it down for long!
This book was simply incredible. From the characters who were so real and endearing to the plot so complex without ever getting confusing or boring, I loved every minute of The Madness Project. The dialogue was great, and even though there were two narrators in the first person, I never forgot who's POV I was reading. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good magical read with mystery and intrigue.
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing.
So original.
Absolutely loved every page.
Soraya Corcoran
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this novel. The pacing is a little on the slow side but there was plenty of intrigue to keep me interested from start to finish. There is a lot of build-up for both the character relationships and the different threads of the plot, most of which all come together toward the end.

I loved the steampunk feel and the overall setting. It was different from my usual fantasy reads. The magic was awesome, especially Hayli’s. And for a magical world, it was still relatable.

Hayli is a wond
Em Jay
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-wins
**I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway**

Holy actual dang, this was a good book. It's stories like these that make me angry simply because they're not more popular when they definitely deserve to be.
For a doorstopper, it didn't drag. Tarik and Hayli were both complex and empathetic main characters. Tarik especially had a vivid mind to be in, and the buildup of lies and madness he had to deal with were almost claustrophobically real as a reader. Even the secondary characters were grea
M.H. Thaung
This book had a nice mix of magic, political intrigue and action. I'm a sucker for settings where those with special abilities are underdogs, and I found both Tarik and Hayli sympathetic characters.

For me, the middle of the book dragged a bit. I think this was because there were so many different parties with their own agendas that I didn't manage to keep track of them, and so I couldn't appreciate the significance of the (many) twists and reveals. Additionally, for a fair chunk of Tarik's PoV c
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was way better than I expected.
I didn't have high hopes, because lately I haven't found most books to be worth reading, but this one definitely entertained!

I'll admit, at first I found it a little boring. But in all fairness, I usually read before bed, so I am already tired. The plot and storyline are surprisingly good and the characters are likeable and hateable at the same time. I don't remember any grammar mistakes either. Language was used in all the right places, not forced or shocking
Barbara J Maich
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great novel

The Madness Project was well written. The storybook begins in a palace and the Prince is sent out to find whoever tried to assassinate the king. This journey to the streets was hard for the pampered Prince but the journey takes many twists and turns and he finds out who the real
Prince is. The book grabbed my attention from start to finish.
Prince Tarik finds many stumbling blocks and finally realizes what his true nature is and sets him on a dangerous path to help all the street ra
3 star

Huge portions of the book were immensely powerful but the ending isn't really satisfying. He has character arc but the story feels more open than resolved. The ending itself rqises many questions. So 3 star is as generous as I can be. Sad.
Andi Houtsch
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Madness Project is not a book to be missed. The first in what will likely be a trilogy of epic proportions and storytelling genius, TMP introduces us to the world of Cavnal and its capital, Brinmark where steam-power rules and magic is forbidden. Bralick brings the city to life as thoroughly as someone who has lived there all their life, and gives us characters that we cannot help but become emotionally invested in and attached to.

Written in first person but told from the opposing perspecti
Lynne Stringer
The Madness Project is set in the land of Cavnal, which bears a striking resemblance to Earth in the early 20th century. The main difference is that there are people who can use supernatural powers (mages) and the government of Cavnal is trying to get rid of them.
This scenario provides a great premise for what proved to be a fascinating and intricate story full of political intrigue, betrayal and a little bit of romance. I enjoyed reading about Tarik and his journey and I loved Hayli as well, no
Told between 2 points of view, a prince trapped in a political game and a street-wise young girl who sees something good in him even when he doesn’t, this story unfolds within a steampunk setting full of magic and danger around every corner. The author sets a good pace and weaves a complex (and sometimes dark) set of events and forces at work in a gritty and action-packed plot. The cruel world of the slums and their rule of life are set in contrast to the royals and elite full of arrogance, prej ...more
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book you will want to read again and again. The characters are so masterfully developed, you will feel that you know them (and identify with them) and yet there is a mystery around them that is intriguing and captivating. The story is absolutely fascinating as well....with modern themes in a fantasy world setting that is believable, strangely familiar, and yet very original! I loved the twists and turns, and the "masks" that hide more than just face I have never read a steam-punk/fanta ...more
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i received this book for free through the making connections group, the author was kind enough to post it. first reaction to this book...wooooaaahhh, yea it was just that good.i really enjoyed this book from the depth of the characters to the amazing story, which i have to say doesn't portray just one genre, we have fantasy, a bit of steam punk, a pinch of romance, lots of magic and even though i'm not a big fan of politics i enjoyed the roles played in this book, makes it more interesti
Ian Murray-Watson
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good, well-written book. Characters are interesting and develop nicely as the story goes on. The treatment of the mages evokes comparison with the 3rd Reich. and is surely intended to. The author clearly has no illusions about the way people can be led to despise minorities, and will abandon principle when it comes to dealing with people they have been conditioned to believe are less than human. It's also a convincing love story, even if one would like to bang the heads of the characters ...more
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Madness Project started out a little slow, but it was worth it. Everything that happens in the book is tied together. The author wrote well and took her time with developing the story and the characters. I could not find many flaws. I have to say the dialect was a little off putting for the street rats at first, but it grows on you, and it definitely flavors the story. Nothing was done without reason. I love a good, meaty book and this one did not disappoint. I immediately read the next book ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Full of detail, twists and turns, and expertly crafted. The differences between our world and theirs are just right, interesting and full without being difficult to follow. I feel the author knew exactly what she was talking about every step of the way. The depictions of mental illness were realistic and relatable. The mix of sweet and painful was perfectly balanced, making the whole thing captivating and believable. i've reread it a few times now and it is just as much a fun and wild
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-read, meh

I won this book in first reads giveaway but this has no affect on my feeling or thoughts. I have no completed this book so my rating is based on what I did read almost half. (45%)

I really couldn't get into this book despite my repeated attempts. The world building was mediocre up to what I read. I did find the charecters charming but I wasn't drawn to them as I normally am or should be. It just felt alittle flat. I hate doing this books but I'm going to set this aside and come back to it as mayb
Hannah E
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! I was drawn to it because I loved The Lost Road Chronicles, also written by J. Leigh Bralick. The Madness Project is definitely an addictive read- as soon as I opened the book, I felt very drawn to the characters and their developing stories. I am very impressed with how Ms. Bralick's writing has matured, and how she writes just as easily and descriptively in steampunk-fantasy as she did in sci-fi/fantasy. Definitely looking forward to the sequel!!
Kristin Wallin
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author is a friend of mine and I enjoyed her other series, but when reading this one, I was very impressed by the growth in her writing. Her characters were more complex and developed than the DaLR trilogy and also a bit edgier. The magic concepts were consistent within the world and definitely showed her striking out on her own. Great work and I eagerly await the sequel.
Elizabeth Jane
This is a whole new concept of mages and magic. I found it very interesting. The division between non-magic people and mages is very different too. Normally mages run the show! I also enjoyed how the two protagonists loved each other from afar. Made the adventure more suspenseful. Definitely waiting impatiently for the next installment!
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
It was AMAZING and I do not use that word lightly. When I first started it, I was a little confused but when I got more into and started to understand the plot I was addicted and could not put it down. After I finished it I reread it again and again it was THAT captivating!
Jun 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: revolt
SO SLOW. I really had to work to finish this one.
Elisa C. Hamilton
Slow start but gets better

I thought this book took a while to get into. It was hard to read because of the accents and magic story line, but if you push through its worth it.
Fun read

Would benefit from a tighter copyedit, but an enjoyable read. I enjoyed the characters of the Hole, and the steam punk like society.
rated it it was amazing
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rated it did not like it
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J. Leigh Bralick is a fantasy author by day and an RN by night...or vice versa, depending on the day. She originally got her bachelor's in medieval history and MA in political philosophy, but decided on a career change when she realized she didn't want to teach, and no one was going to pay her exorbitant sums of money to use her learning to invent fantasy worlds. (She still holds out hope on that ...more

Other books in the series

The Madness Method (4 books)
  • A Dark So Deep (The Madness Method Book 2)
  • A Sea Like Glass (The Madness Method, #3)
  • The Hollow King (The Madness Method, #4)

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