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Magic's Design Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2009

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Paranormal Romance; 1 Original edition (February 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765359634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765359636
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,653,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A sweetly satisfying love story barely manages to compete with a myriad of fantasy elements in this stand-alone from C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp (the Tales of the Sazi series). Upon awakening from one of her periodic blackouts, Ukrainian egg artist Mila Penkin meets the injured Talos Onan, an Overworld Police agent bent on capturing Vegre, a criminal who escaped a magical underground prison. To her surprise, Mila heals Talos psychically. She soon learns that her mother stole her memories and discovers her connection to the ailing Sacred Tree of Life. Mila turns her healing magic to reviving the tree while helping Talos to thwart Vegre's evil plot. Some subtle foreshadowing builds powerfully, but too often the focus on small details and confusing political machinations means the bigger picture is lost. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Unexplainable blackouts make everyday activities others take for granted a big challenge for Mila. She couldn’t imagine her life becoming more bizarre until her lodger disappears through a magic portal and two men appear in her stead. Talos had traced his comrade topside only to lose her to an enemy bent on gaining absolute power. He needs Mila’s help, and she is just starting to remember her long-buried powers. C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp join forces under a new name, but their trademark intricately detailed and densely complex fantasy romance continues in a novel perfect for readers who love sci-fi but are just dipping their toes into romance. --Nina C. Davis

Customer Reviews

I am looking forward to the other books Cat Adams has written.
Shana Meyer
Let's hope we get more opportunities to visit Agathia and all the residents of this magical, mystical world beneath the surface of ours!
Kelley Hartsell
The romance was nice and slow but there was entirely too much detail.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sans Merci on February 8, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I find books like this one painful to read because of all the logical inconsistencies in the characters' behaviors. Mila, the heroine, was ostensibly memory-blocked, so cannot remember how to perform the healing that she was once trained to do by her "baba" (the Ukrainian sterotypes are pretty tiresome also), but immediately after she is told this she is able to heal someone without any instruction at all, and also recollects somehow that it is illegal in the world(s) she inhabits to block someone's memory in this manner. In addition, two strange men, dressed in inappropriate garb for Mila's world, arrive at her house in time to try to keep her roommate from being dragged away by a (sigh) Evil Wizard - and then all the ladies who belong there flounce off and leave the two intruders to snoop about all on their own after the attempt to save the roommate fails. Yes, that's something any rational person would do, leave ominous strangers to rifle through their personal possessions unsupervised. Oh, and Mila has been having seizures ever since her mother blocked her memory, evidently, and yet her so-powerful Baba didn't figure out it was the memory block causing this over a period of years? Say what? And this is all in the first 50 pages of the book!

The authors have facility with language and the rudiments of an interesting plot, so this could have been a decent read. The gaping holes in that plot, however, and the inconsistencies between the information given about the characters and the actions they take, make it impossible for me to suspend disbelief to the extent that would have been necessary in order to enjoy this book. Too bad.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch on February 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Talos Onan is a midlevel commander in the Overworld Police Agency (OPA). The agency is tasked with the duty of protecting Earth from all magicians intent on doing crime. Talos, born into the mage guild of firecrafters, is one of three officers who attempted to halt a secret underground prison break. When they fail, Grand Master Vegre escapes. Vegre is an infamous fire mage. He is the only Guilder known to control the Creeping Darkness. It is a spell that removes heat and light so completely as to achieve total darkness over an area. Vegre and his minions intend to totally change the world to fit his desires and rule over all people, whether they can utilize magic or not.

As for magic, it has become scarce. The Sacred Tree of Life is the source of all magic in the world and it is dying. The only guild house able to heal it is the Parask, the soul-conjurers. However, all magicians in this generation were told that those of the Parask Guild betrayed them and doomed millions of humans to death. The Parask were shunned, outcast. Many were executed.

Mila Penkin works for a law firm. New Year's Eve is approaching and she has booked the office party at the Palace Hotel. Mila has always had the gift of healing, but her memories have been blocked. She recalls nothing of magic or her training. With the help of her grandmother, Baba Nadia, Mila must somehow break the mental barrier and remember her soul-conjuring training. Then they and the attractive constable, Talos, must save the world and heal the Sacred Tree.

*** Lots of "verve" in this story. It has a wonderful plot, but the story does not flow smoothly at all. There is A LOT of background information that readers must wade through.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FFMOM VINE VOICE on April 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I won't give a synopsis of this book as others have done so quite sufficiently. As to whether I liked it, it was okay. I liked the main characters, Mila Penkin, suppressed mage and egg artist, and Talos Onan an otherworld police officer. I had more of an emotional feel for Mila's character as she was strong and capable. Talos didn't come through as clear. I wasn't really drawn to him. The romance was nice and slow but there was entirely too much detail. One whole chapter is dedicated to Mila going to her job as a paralegal and filing a motion or brief and involved finding a computer and getting the brief typed and getting it signed and getting a partner to approve it and dictating changes and it was way too much. The story was bogged down too many times by infinite detail and pointless dialogue. I did finish it as I have read all of the other series, the Sazi and the Thrall, but this book did not excite me or give me any inclination to want to read more if there is more in this series. I can only say I was glad when I was through with it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The writing team of C T Adams and Cathy Clamp, here writing as 'Cat Adams', have produced yet another book. Their speed of output is very impressive, as is the evident thought that they put into making their books something more than your standard paranormal romance.

'Magic's Design' is a standalone novel, as far as I could see, but I felt most of the time whilst I was reading it that I was missing rather a lot of information. It's set partly in our world but also in a magical world underneath the earth whose inhabitants worship four special trees but whose inbuilt magic is dying. When Talos, an agent sent to live in the normal world, discovers some strange goings on, he also runs into Mila, a woman with a gift of healing... but perhaps more.

This is where the book gets complex. The world created by the authors is very unusual, with painting of hens' eggs a significant step in a battle against evil. Who would have thought it? Mila as a heroine is a bit too unlikely - she suddenly finds herself thrust into a bizarre world of magic, painted eggs, special trees, etc, but seems to cope with it all marvellously - while also trying to do her normal job in a legal practice at the same time as saving the world.

The romance between Tal and Mila was fairly subordinate to the overall plot of the book, and for this reader the plot didn't quite work. I wasn't ever entirely sure what was going on as there were so many changes of direction and so much magic and other stuff that the reader couldn't predict. Although the authors' style is good, I was just too confused by the events of the book and didn't find it entirely satisfying.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009
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