Saturday, October 4, 2008

"To be read" pile down by one

I just finished Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin, and I really liked it. I didn't expect to, to be honest. The whole first chapter had me almost putting the book down repeatedly--it was pretty much two lines of dialogue, one paragraph of exposition, over and over, to the extent that I actually wondered if maybe I'd picked up a sequel instead of the first book in a series. But after the first chapter, things improved.

I love Shearin's worldbuilding, and the plot is solid. Raine Benaris, an elven seeker--she finds things people want found and other people want to remain not found--stumbles upon an amulet of unimaginable power, which links itself to her with near-fatal results. She can't take the amulet off, it's feeding her new magical skills she doesn't want, and she's attracting the attention of lots of unpleasant people as a result.

The book reminds me inescapably of Jim C. Hines's short story "Blade of the Bunny," oddly enough. It's got the same light tone, bantering and not-entirely-honest good guys, and a dangerous item. That's fine in a short story, but at times while reading Magic Lost, Trouble Found, I really wished for more depth of character. I also found the chicklitty, streetsmarty narration a little tiresome.

But it's a fun book, and I just put the sequel in my shopping cart over on Amazon. And now I'm going to go update the recommended books list over there. --> (Even though I also have to go rewrite part of the masquerade scenes in Stag in Velvet because I dressed the king in a peacock costume, and everyone will think I copied.)


Lisa Shearin said...

Hi Kate,

I'm so glad you enjoyed Magic Lost, Trouble Found. I think you'll find that the second book in the series (Armed & Magical) not only moves at a faster pace, but also goes into much more character detail and depth.

And don't change your king's costume on my account; I'll know that you didn't copy. ; )

Take care,

K.C. Shaw said...

Well, as long as you promise to back me up if anyone ever comes up to you and says, "You know that other book that has a big masquerade near the end? That writer copied you."

Incidentally, the men in your book are to swoon for! I can't wait to see how Raine handles them in the second book. :)

Anonymous said...

Having someone think you copied something is the sure sign you didn't read the other, supposedly-copied thing beforehand.

K.C. Shaw said...

Let's hope so, because I have some rather amusing (to me) lines about the peacock costume. I don't really want to change them.