“Mage Amina Langston thought surviving the supernatural apocalypse, which killed fifty percent of humankind and changed most of the surviving population into paranormal beings, was the biggest challenge in her life. That is, until she and her brother go on the run from non-gifted humans who want to steal their magical blood to make a power-giving serum. Now she’s in search of a handsome stranger who keeps appearing in her dreams and a secret paranormal city to help free those still held in captivity for their blood.
During her journey, Amina befriends several other magical beings also searching for the mysterious town, including a sexy were-jackal who distracts her from locating the man of her proverbial dreams. However, when the group finds the city, it’s filled with dangerous magic and a barbaric were-pack. Facing these new troubles, will Amina take down her human pursuers and save the other paranormals she left behind or end up in greater peril?”
Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Who’s driving this thing?
Amina Langston. A powerful witch who is just discovering her magical capabilities in a dystopian USA after a magical plague sweeps the population, turning some into magical creatures and killing others. Amina is a character I could really emotionally invest in. She compulsively helps others, which, in this new world, is a dangerous thing. She is always looking forward rather than back and determined to solve her problems with as few casualties as possible.
Amina is one of the first black protagonists I have ever read and definitely the first I have read this year. In fact the whole cast of characters are diverse and it’s super refreshing. I mean, why does all the interesting stuff happen to white people?
What’s this all about?
The world is an unsafe place now. Trolls, giant dogs and magical quicksand are just some of the dangers people now face outside of the towns, safe havens for humans and supernatural people.
Amina and her brother Charles travel together trying to find safety in this hostile, new magical world. After saving a group of humans from danger, they are abducted and imprisoned in a supernatural prison. Harvested for their blood to create a serum to empower humans, the magic prisoners are pumped with a drug to suppress their powers.
During her time in the hospital, Amina is contacted telepathically by a man named Philip who claims to want to help her escape the clutches of the man in charge: David. Sociopath and sleazebag both!
After a jailbreak, Amina and Charles go in search of a magical community to help them take down the organisation and save their friends. Before long, Amina and Charles find Philip, who runs his own magical community. From day one, Philip’s leadership unnerves her, but she and her new friends are determined to dismantle David’s tyrannic regime.
What’s so great about it?
This book is just my cup of tea. Dystopian magic realism with a female protagonist and a race to destroy an evil regime. Love. This.
The magic in this world is awesome. Different species separate different magical capabilities and the magic itself is so unpredictable. Mystic Bonds is set during a time when magic is quite recent so everyone is still figuring out what they can do, which can lead to some catastrophic, revolutionary and sometimes funny revelations.
I loved most of the characters in this book, they are diverse in both ethnicity and personality and I was especially intrigued by Felix, a gentle giant who has no idea what species he belongs to or the full extent of his powers.
What’s not so great about it?
This book lacks focus. It felt like David, the main antagonist, didn’t really know what he wanted. In the beginning, while he expressed interest in Amina sexually, he also wanted to use her extensive powers to help further his cause. But during the climax, all of that seemed to disappear and he gave up without much fight.
Another pretty big issue for me was the lack of imagery. Descriptions of people and places were listed and brief, though people were described more thoroughly than the places. In a dystopian it is especially important to really set the scene and it fell short.
Should I get it?
I still enjoyed Mystic Bonds and I’m going to read the sequel, but this might not be for everyone. Urban fantasy and magic realism fans will probably like this one for the world especially!
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book? Let me know what you think!