Karyn Silverman's Reviews > Unnatural Magic

Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2019-reads, arcs, nook, specfic

Brilliant. Thoroughly original world within the gas lamp/faux-tourism parameters I like — along the lines while being nothing like the Brennan dragon books. Wonderfully diverse both from a real world perspective and within the world created, and I love that it’s a world with real issues related to race and class but it’s also a world in which almost everyone seems to be bisexual EVEN IN UPTIGHT DAESLUND. The various countries and their interactions are background but thoroughly real, so that the world feels radical but also thoroughly lived in. I loved all three perspective characters (maybe Jeckram most, he’s so dry and cynical, and Tsira’s voice least, but she is fantastic), and am willing to forgive that I 100% knew who the murderer was from the first moment we got to know the character. I foresee many mystery-fantasy mashups in the future, based on some foreshadowing at the end, and while the mystery plotting is weaker than the character or world development, it provides a solid propulsive plot to keep the pages turning (although also I could just read the adventures of Loga and Onna in wizard society and be fine with that, darling). Splendid.

Oh! Also some real gems of descriptive writing; I highlighted a few that I especially delighted in:

The stories nestled themselves into her head and created a sort of horrid wax mold into which her brain poured her own petty anxieties.

A dark-haired young person with a face that suggested he had spent his entire childhood watching his bread and butter fall to the floor butter-side down.

He was used to wirelessly crashing about in other people’s sensibilities like a wild boar in a laboratory.

She was in the habit of apologizing for making faces that men thought weren’t very pretty. It occurred to her, very briefly, that she resented being made to think about her face when she was trying to focus on the contents of her _mind_.

...if using the phrase _delicious magenta taffeta_ doesn’t make you some sort of radical, then there’s no reason for the word!
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Reading Progress

October 23, 2019 – Shelved
October 23, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 24, 2019 – Started Reading
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: nook
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: arcs
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-reads
October 26, 2019 – Shelved as: specfic
October 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

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