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Fledgling God #1

Misfit Mage

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He went searching for a fresh start. He didn’t expect to find unusual friends, fierce enemies, and primal powers.

Jason thought that it was the end of his life after being hunted and attacked by a band of ruthless thugs. Instead, he tapped into the source of creation and emerged from his Death Experience with magical powers.

As a new mage, Jason finds himself part of a wonderful - and dangerous - new supernatural world. He also finds himself in the middle of a mage war as he becomes part of an unlikely group of protectors who are defending a mystical mansion from those who want to destroy it.

Jason has little power, and the band of misfits are on the losing side, until he discovers he can see and manipulate magic at a remarkable level. What he detects begins his journey into discovering how his new powers really work, and just might be the edge that they need to survive.

If you like witty dialogue, diverse characters, magic that feels real, and intense action, then you will love this LGBTQ urban fantasy. Buy Misfit Mage today and step into a new enchanted world.

339 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 26, 2019

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About the author

Michael Taggart

8 books132 followers
My first career was a gunslinger.
At 10 years old I learned everything I needed to know from Louis L'Amour and after rigorous practice in front of my bedroom mirror, I was ready to take on the bad guys. Later, I became a spy after reading some Tom Clancy - and infiltrated the kitchen and the living room and learned all the secrets available from living in a small trailer.
I finally found my true calling when I became a White Wizard and saved Middle Earth. Gandalf took me on as his apprentice and we had many adventures together. I rubbed elbows with Harry Dresden and the Iron Druid, but I always wanted to make my own world.
Finally, Jason, a down on his luck poker player with mage potential showed up, and together we create a whole new supernatural world based in Louisville Kentucky. Now I have the best job of all. I tell stories about the plucky band of adventurers and the strange and wonderful house they inhabit.
It’s a good life and a fun times!

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5 stars
633 (45%)
4 stars
424 (30%)
3 stars
213 (15%)
2 stars
70 (5%)
1 star
47 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 277 reviews
Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,334 reviews1,472 followers
January 28, 2020

Me:
Oh, wow! I loved the premise and in-depth world building in this story, with its unique take on contemporary magical fantasy.



Also me:
*GAH!* OMMF GOD. Please, make it stop!

Spheres and matrixes and magical healing dust-bunnies.

Yes, you're giving me detail, but fuuuuuuck. This is *all* the detail, page after page after page after page after page after page, and I'm losing my will to fucking live!



Bottom line, there was a LOT to like in this story; however, a good editor could've lopped AT LEAST a hundred pages of description off of the reported 339 pages, which I honestly feel would have made the story more entertaining and easier to digest.

I'm rating this book at 4 *inconcise* stars and look forward to the next book in the series, while also hoping that the next editor brings an industrial-strength machete for the edits.

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Profile Image for Duncan Husky.
183 reviews13 followers
August 19, 2019
Rating: 3.4 out of 5

I wanted to like this book so much! I am a complete sucker for the Undiscovered Hero trope (aka "Yer a wizard, Harry!") and that's definitely in play here. The world it is set in is interesting, the characters engaging and funny, and the plot is a fun one. So why didn't it wow me?

The problem here is entirely in the writing. The author spends way, way too much time telling, not showing. As an example: early on, the main character is injured and must spend an extended time recovering. Days pass and many conversations are had with the supporting characters, and yet in all of that this is not a word of dialogue. Instead, it's "X talked to Y about [topic] and learned [thing]."

And then there's the world-building. I strongly believe that if an author is going to have magic (or politics, or complicated relationships) then this should all be laid out on paper ahead of time so that when the author writes the story they have a reference to keep things consistent. The issue here is that several entire chapters are spent describing the specific mechanics of magic performed by the main character. This complexly derails the plot and removes any sense of urgency for the reader. Now, I want to say that what is described is interesting, and if I was reading a book about how to construct a theoretical system of magic that is coherent and believable, this would be great! But that's not what the reader is here for. Instead it's page after page of exposition and painfully detailed descriptions.

I think of it this way: A good approach for something like this would be the blind men and the elephant, where the reader learns small parts of the cohesive whole as the story progresses, and maybe pieces it all together by the end of the story (or series). Instead, this book has a detailed description of every square centimeter of the elephant.

Even after all of this, though, I would be willing to check out a sequel, because I really do like the characters and setting. I can only hope that the writing is whittled down a bit so that the plot is in the forefront and the minute details are perhaps less explicitly described.

A final note: this is definitely not a m/m romance book. As others have noted it falls more under queer urban fantasy (which I enjoy as well!).
Profile Image for Wende.
1,077 reviews7 followers
June 13, 2019
Wonderful

This is a new author for me and I loved this book. I read it in one setting and enjoyed it so much. My only gripe is the next book is not out yet. I hate waiting. I also returned it and then bought it. I am not giving up this book. It is mine!
Profile Image for Beth doesn't write  enough reviews.
613 reviews34 followers
November 22, 2019
Intriguing!

This is a really intriguing look at magic. Very descriptive and easily understandable.

I’d like some more world building & maybe some history but I loved all the characters & looking forward to more in the series.

Needs a bit of heat & sizzle though...
Profile Image for PaperMoon.
1,324 reviews52 followers
July 26, 2019
I might have been sucked in by the 5 star reviews and the cover art - but this didn't really cut it for me as an urban fantasy. The VAST amount of word space spent in delineating / explaining how magical power works by allegorical comparison with science and nature did not draw me into the plot. The action fight sequences with baddies were good but then the momentum drops as the MC kept getting seriously injured and had to painfully recover from drastic wounds. As I was fast-forwarding entire sections, I couldn't help thinking the book was being pitched at a tweenager audience.
Profile Image for Tamara.
220 reviews2 followers
June 11, 2019
A decent beginning of the series. The writing style wasn’t consistent but I liked the characters & it has potential.
Profile Image for Katie.
716 reviews12 followers
August 23, 2019
Just wow!!

That was... AMAZING!!!!! So, I usually only read romance books, but this one looked really interesting and I like a good book about magic! This one kept me up until 3am reading! I LOVED the incredible detail about Jason's magic and how he used it. It was so unique and I just couldn't stop reading!! I enjoyed the dynamics between Jason and his housemates and I can't wait to read the next book!
Profile Image for Edwin.
30 reviews
March 8, 2021
If your very talented high school freshman were to write a book this would be a good first draft. I liked the characters well enough but the incredibly naive and clumsy handling of exposition and language was more than I could bear. The over compensation and padding of the book by adding unnecessary boring details made me finally give up and delete volume 2.
Profile Image for Joscelyn Smith.
1,749 reviews13 followers
June 18, 2019
A great series starter

I knew that I was going to enjoy this when the very first paragraph had me laughing out loud and was right. This was a fun, funny read with an amazing cast of characters and I can't wait to see what happens next.
Profile Image for Natalie .
2,332 reviews32 followers
November 28, 2019
It was different and I liked it. Wasn’t sure what to expect. I saw the title, the series name and then skimmed through to see troll and incubus. That was enough. The first few lines I thought it was a comedy but bloody hell are there rough parts. It was enjoyable had witty moments and plenty of violence.

I liked all the characters and what they mean to one another. The magic style is different, a little complex at points but I liked the imagination thing. The explanations did feel a little dragged out towards the end.

The ending itself was abrupt with questions left, right and centre. I have no idea what’s going to happen next but I’m looking forward to it.
June 29, 2019
This was Fantastic!

This book checked all my happy boxes. Urban fantasy? Check! Complex gay protagonist? Check! Smart, funny and creative plot with a new take on the genre? Check! Warm and fuzzy moments that just make you smile? Check!
I can't wait to find out what happens next in this series. I hope the author's creative juices are flowing freely, and we won't have to wait for long.
Profile Image for Sally.
94 reviews29 followers
May 14, 2022
I honestly didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did but I drawn in from the very first sentence. I love the world that Michael created and I love how in-depth he went with explaining their magic and how it related to the characters. I love how fun it was and the action was pretty great as well. I finished it in one sitting and now I can’t wait for book 2! Such an awesome read
854 reviews31 followers
May 18, 2022
Okay. Urban fantasy. Told from the pov of the "misfit mage" Jason, who happens to be an opinionated out young gay man. The world he lives in is Modern America, with people of all colours, backgrounds, genders and sexualities.

I'm really enjoying Jason, the other characters, the plot and the world building.

I have a real predilection for "problem solver" stories. Examples that spring immediately to mind are The Martian, The Delphi science fiction series, and this series. Where much of the story is detail about the MCs are solving an immediate problem such as "how do I feed myself for the next year on mars?" or "I have just found a whole bunch of fantastic alien technology - what do I do?" or "I need to design a magic force field...?"

Once I finished book 1, I immediately jumped into book 3.

ETA: promptly roared through books 3 and 4, as well, back to back. None of these books are short. I'm very pleased at this author's ability to plot thoroughly and well. I'm looking forward to book 5. Where is it?
250 reviews
March 25, 2020
This book is awesome. I always feel short-changed when I read a book about magic but there is no explanation of the wonders that magic can do. This book does that in spades. I love the main character. The magic is fabulous! The plot is fast and exciting. It's just perfect and I cannot wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Karen.
2,291 reviews
July 2, 2020
OMG!!!OMG!!!OMG!!!......I loved this book. I was just sucked right in and it was hard to put this book down. I picked up this book through Kindle Unlimited but loved it so much that before I was even half finished I purchased a copy so I will always have it. I will be reading this one again. It was so funny. Well written with kick ass characters. I am going to be dying waiting until the next book comes out. Awesome. Mr. Taggart is going on my must have favorite author list. Sept 2019.....Second read through....Loved it just as much the second time. Can't wait to see what comes next......1/21/20.... Everytime I read this book it just gets better. I can not wait for the next one.....7/1/20...Awesome again. I am so looking forward to the next story.
554 reviews
June 2, 2019
Solid fantasy world, MC and other characters are well rounded personalities!

I first picked this up under KU but after reading this story I had to purchase the book. If you’re looking for hot sex and a quick story you’ll be disappointed. If you’re looking for characters and a storyline that will keep you glued to a book you’re in the right place. Jason, the MC, is neither weak nor extraordinarily strong physically but he is a person who has learned to survive despite being tossed on his own at a young age. Now he has to learn that there’s more in this world than he thought. Great characters and good solid storyline, loved it! Can’t wait for the next one!
April 25, 2020
I couldn't put this amazing book down!
The first person format allowed me, a stage actor, to BE Jason.
In fact, I saw, felt, experienced every situation, every emotion, every character hed.
The "he said" and "she said" disappeared and I was them.
I heard their distinct and individual "voices" in my head and I "lived" this book
I especially loved Jason's scenes of rebuilding his body.
Thank you, Michael. I eagerly await Book 2.
May you and yours stay safe and be well.
Jim Nugent, a NYC actor living in Hell's Kitchen.
45 reviews
June 25, 2019
Great start!!

So this book was so so good. I can’t wait to see how Jason grows over time. He’s got such an interesting perspective I really like it. I will say it’s a bit of a slow burn though, so there are parts which seem kind of slow. That being said the overall story and the characters all make up for any minor slow sections. I would really like to see this turned into an audiobook though. I think that would be amazing.
Profile Image for Anna.
861 reviews16 followers
August 3, 2019
Amazing! I can’t wait for the next book. Bermuda Moses and Jason <3
Profile Image for Achim.
1,058 reviews62 followers
March 6, 2020
If you're looking for a tale with an ingenious magic concept and engaging characters imbedded in a interesting although more drafted than in-depth created world full of witches, trolls, incubus and fierce kitten living in a mystical house then you don't have to look further, just start reading but if you need romance mixed into the story, wouldn't mind a bit of smexy times on page and get easily distracted if said magical concept is loosing itself in nerdy details then this book might not be on top of your reading shelf.

I loved Jason and his way with magic by creating tiny detailed cartoon characters, his interaction with the other people in the house but a lot of times when his magic wasn't about his minions it got tiresome and I found myself skipping entire paragraphs to get things going again. Surely I lost some information that way and didn't get the feelings I always look for in this kind of story. At the end I got the impression of a long introduction of a series I like to follow – just please put the focus on romance, adventure and world-building, there's no need for more magic details (but keep the minions and if necessary your view on Excalibur) if not this 3 star rating might be a bit generous in hindsight.
Profile Image for Tony Hinde.
1,271 reviews22 followers
April 14, 2021
This was a surprise winner for me. I'd normally bypass a story with LGBTQ tags, as they are so often romances... not my thing. While Jason is gay, the story is not primarily about his love life. It's an urban fantasy with one of the most interesting magic systems I've come across. The scene where Jason is building his internal power was so good. There's obviously so much more detail to dive into in future books.

The bad guys are a little faceless for my taste. Why are there so many of them? Is their method of power acquisition so much easier than the Home crowd? I'm looking forward to finding out. Also, I'm not sure if the concept of a sapient home is an homage to Ilona Andrews Innkeeper Chronicals or is parallel thinking. I like it either way.

The driving force behind the story is Jason. He's such a likable guy... the sort of person that apologizes to furniture if he bumps it. His quirky creations are wonderful - just another thing I want more of.
Profile Image for Lyndsey.
477 reviews48 followers
July 16, 2019
Ok readers... I really enjoyed 95% of this book. My issue.... while the world building was really cool, there were parts that seemed like lecturing vs. story-telling. And because I love me some smexy times, I was really sad there wasn't much from the romance front. I hope the incubus can pull his weight next time.

By the way, this story is by a new author and I hope he continues writing because I would love to see more of this world. Please, please, please don't take three years. I really can't wait that long!

Happy Reading Lynz
3 reviews
January 9, 2020
A good start to a fascinating world

I found this book to be a very fun an and easy read. I feel like each of the characters were wonderfully introduced and I enjoyed getting to know them. I can't wait to read what happens next. I'm officially hooked on this series.
Profile Image for Paul Kirchhoffer.
20 reviews2 followers
April 1, 2020
Good book

This a pretty good book. I am not much for modern fantasy but the world this author built is really freaking cool
9 reviews1 follower
April 23, 2020
Wonderful beginning of a series

I loved this book! It’s well written and has an exciting plot. It is also one of the few fantasy novels I’ve read where the main character is gay without hijacking the entire story. I’m eager to read the he next book in the series. (And check out Michael’s picture in the author page-woof!)
Profile Image for Alycia Luster.
259 reviews22 followers
April 19, 2020
Fantastic!!

This was awesome!! I want more please!! I really like the world building and story set up. This should be an amazing series!!
Profile Image for Meredith.
283 reviews28 followers
December 28, 2019
A fun read. I enjoyed learning about the magic system along with the main character. All the characters were very engaging and their relationships and interactions were enjoyable to read about. I won this through a GR giveaway.
Profile Image for Sean.
50 reviews
November 23, 2020
Wow. What a great book. It's been a while since I was this excited about a new novel/series. And it's been a while since I finished a new book within 2 days! 4.5 stars!

So many amazing things about this book. The characters! The world building! The character development! It's so refreshing reading such a unique book. More on this later. This book could've been a masterpiece. It just needed a few little tweaks. But I'm going to start with the positives this time (I know right?! So unlike me lol).

Main Character, Jason:
A gay man as the main character in the fantasy genre (specifically urban fantasy) is a treat in itself. But there is soooo much more to the character (yay character development)! Jason is funny, charismatic, sarcastic, witty, compassionate, thoughtful, hard-working, and resilient as hell (author please be nicer to our boy please). Jason's character is not purely centered on him being gay; it is just a part of his larger identity, as it should be. Well done, author!

Two things I will say: There were hints about Jason's pasts like the I wished was shown more in the first book, but I'm sure the author will flesh out Jason's backstory in the other books. It just felt slightly forced referencing the past traumas throughout the book without elaborating on them within the first book.

Second thing: the properties of Jason's magical abilities. I'm not sure if the author did this on purpose or not, but there still seems to be some mysteries about Jason's magic (i.e. is he purely a spell-slinger or is he also maybe a natural. Do hybrids exist?) that I thought would be addressed in the first book. At least for now, however, it is refreshing to have a MC that has average amount of power, rather than a super duper special Chosen One or a guy with absolutely no power.

Other characters:
Everyone was amazing! Especially Penny and Bermuda. I want more about all these wonderful characters! Sure it would be great to learn more about the main villain and her motivations for but I'm sure the author will build more on these characters in the next book. Would love to hear more about the House and the other branches.

Plot:
It was pretty original. Exciting, right amount of mystery, fun, entertaining, funny. It was great, but I don't have a lot more to say about it. There's a lot of unique flavors, even with the typical urban fantasy tropes of a mundane-to-novice-mage story. However, it was the characters, the details in the world building, and the narration that really made this story a masterpiece for me. My one critique was how long it took for the House to get introduced (as a character and explained). Us readers knew there was something special about the House because of the capitalization, but nothing was explained until many chapters later. The conversation about the House could have been included earlier.

On a related note, pacing:
Here's the bulk of my critique. This was probably the only "issue" I had with the story. The author spends a lot of time illustrating and elaborating on the mechanisms of the magic, i.e. how magic worked in his world. For me, this was what made this book one of my favorites, which I will go into more below. But there were a few chapters where there are pages and pages detailing the specific magical maneuvers and mechanics behind the spells in the middle chapters that slowed the pacing a little. I wished the editor caught this and suggested adding in a little more dialogue or plot in between to make the pacing more even.

Related to pacing, the introduction of the characters were a little jarring. They just appeared . Jason was not given the opportunity to seek out these new characters, or meet them normally. The introduction of new characters came off a little deux ex machina because they were always introduced to the readers when Jason was on the verge of being attacked, or close to death.

The pacing felt noticeably slower when the mechanics of magic were being explored/explained (which might be understandable since most of the time, these lagging moments coincided with I wish the pacing of the plot felt slightly more even or averaged out at some points in the story, such as adding in more dialogue/plot in the middle chapters, to delve into more of his interactions with the other characters (because they were gold!) and for him to process.

Okay, I lied. I'm leaving the best for last, WORLD BUILDING:
I've read a lot of stories related to magic, abilities, and everything in between. Jason might have the most unique version of magic I've ever read. The little creations he is able to create with his magic are characters in their own right. I burst out laughing multiple times while reading Jason's creative logic and his interactions with his creations. And I think it was precisely because how much he cared about his creations and how he refused to treat them like mindless servants that made me love him. In a way, he was able to give his creations life, character, and dignity, something I don't think I've ever seen (except maybe with robots and computerized characters).

The mechanics of magic was so well thought out. The author possesses an amazing imagination. The detail! Jason had a lot of trial-and-error moments testing out how his particular magic worked, which just made the story so much more realistic! He wasn't just amazingly talented and didn't just miraculous figure out everything; he had to try, fail, try, fail, and try again. Honestly, it illustrated Jason's resilience, which greatly added to his character.

I love how magic worked in this world; magic did not "magically" solve every issue. The characters had to work extremely hard figuring out the specific mechanics behind the magic (runes, energy, colors, sound, affinity) before they could apply them. Again this added a realistic layer to the world, which did not diminish the wonders or fantastical elements of the world at all! The only books I could compare this level of detailed magic are the greats: Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher, and the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I'm sure other fantasy books go into detail about how magic worked in their world, but many of them go into too much detail, derailing the pacing of the story with the explanations. This book had just the right amount of detail to illustrate the magical system, feeding into the plot. After reading those sections, I understood the magic (except maybe the matrixes chapter because of minor pacing issues). As an aspiring author trying to create his own magical world who's thinking about the mechanics and details behind the magical systems, I greatly appreciate reading this masterpiece!


I can honestly say that this story and the writing is phenomenal. It is already great, and if the minor issues were addressed I know that this would be one of the best books I've read. I'm so excited to read the next book!!!

Lastly, I will just leave you with this image:
Profile Image for Cindy.
118 reviews
June 12, 2019
Urban Fantasy at it's finest

A hugely entertaining read! So good I read it in a day. With a remarkable different take on mage magic, it didn't just redefine urban fantasy, it blew it out into orbit.
I loved the snarky dialogue and the theme of found family (as opposed to your given family) and that life is what you make of it. Lemons/lemonade
Tremendous world building and character development, a must read for all scifi/fantasy lovers. Free on KU, take a chance, you won't be sorry!
Dear Michael, please write faster, I can't wait for part 2!
Profile Image for Oliver Folke.
16 reviews
January 29, 2022
4.2/5
It was a great ride! At times dark, sweet and hilarious. Starting with book 2 right away.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 277 reviews

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