C.G. Drews's Reviews > A Criminal Magic

A Criminal Magic by Lee   Kelly
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bookshelves: adult, historical-fiction, read-2020, magical-fantasy

There is truly no better way to capture my attention than by whispering both CRIMINALS and MAGIC. Like, yes and please. (I need a thousand more books in this style!) The first 100pgs really had me captivated too, like it just was getting everything right.

We have this 1920s world with gangstas and bowler hats and street smarts...and sorcerers. Magic has been outlawed, so it went with the prohibition vibe, but instead magic is outlawed and sorcerer's have to hide and they make this alcohol called shine. Drinking it is like an acid trip or something but HEY. we all like to hallucinate in our spare time (apparently?). It was a great twist on history. It has a ton of criminal/mafia plot too, which I very much enjoyed. Alex was an undercover cop in the Shaw gang and Joan was a sorcerer for the Shaw gang.

Like I said: packed with elements I enjoyed. But then...after 200pgs? Things did bother me that lessened my pure love for it. I found it really hard to ship Alex/Joan? Because, um, Alex is an asshole without much depth and he and Joan only MEET halfway through. A convincing romance in 200pgs isn't easy to pull off. (view spoiler) I also felt the stakes never rose as the book went on, and I wanted to be scared!! I wanted to worry!! I did not worry!!!

so look, I really really liked a lot about it, but I felt it had so much soaring potential and didn't quite reach it due to me not being invested in the characters.
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Reading Progress

August 10, 2016 – Shelved
August 10, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
January 9, 2020 – Started Reading
January 9, 2020 –
page 100
23.7% "and I'm loving this!!! the magic system is really captivating to me 😍"
January 13, 2020 – Shelved as: adult
January 13, 2020 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
January 13, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
January 13, 2020 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
January 13, 2020 – Finished Reading

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