Celia's Reviews > Secret Ones

Secret Ones by Nicole Murphy
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's review
Jun 14, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011-books, australian-author, spec-fic, fantasy
Read in June, 2011

"So, who are the secret ones?" someone asked me when I was reading this book. "Um - a secret race of people with magical powers called the gadda," I answered. It's not a terribly fascinating premise. (Also, gadda? Eh.) I mean, I appreciate the attempt at originality - this is paranormal romance/urban fantasy without vampires or werewolves - but when your secret paranormal race are basically humans with fantastic magical powers... there's not a lot of tension there. Oh, they can't have sex with humans - that's pretty much the only drawback. So that could have been a point of tension if the main character, Maggie, had fallen in love with a human. But she doesn't.

The gadda are supposed to hide their existence from the human race, which seems to be pretty easy, as any time something magical happens in front of a human the gadda simply exert their magical powers to make the human forget or think they saw something else. However, for some reason this issue of remaining separate from humans is a huge issue within the gadda community, which is essentially split down the middle between "purists" and "humanists".

This book is very much the first book of a trilogy - what I presume will be the main plot (the theft of the Forbidden Texts, capital letters and all) gets very little airtime. Instead, we're preoccupied with Maggie, her love life, her family, and monsters that keep attacking her grandfather. The only thing we get resolution on is her love life, and there's a lot of little side plots that go nowhere. I think the parts of the story with her family were the bits I enjoyed most - it's a nice dynamic. But I felt plot-wise this book was really scattered.

I just don't think paranormal romance is my genre - and this book is much more paranormal romance than urban fantasy. I have the second book and I will read it - it looks like the narrator has changed, which is a pleasant surprise. Maggie was becoming a little too perfect and all powerful.

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