|Digital List Price:||$4.99|
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
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Crimes Against Magic (The Hellequin Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 415 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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As I said, something that’s very important to me as a reader is respecting the reader’s intelligence by providing intelligent protagonists and antagonists who actually use their brains and almost never make stupid mistakes. Too many authors rely on the stupidity of protagonists to get themselves into situations that require a whole book to escape. The author also respects the readers’ intelligence by keeping plot devices such as magic and magical beings logical and consistent. The author succeeds here in that where magic and magical beings are used in the plot, and they are key to the plot(s), they are always subject to well laid out and easily understandable magical laws of nature.
Another thing that is important to me as a reader is complete stories. In my opinion ending a book with with a cliffhanger is an amateurish and insulting way of forcing the reader to keep buying books. Author Steve McHugh takes a far superior approach with the Hellequin series in that each book is its own separate story with its own conclusion. Each installment then builds on previous stories and together build toward an overall series plot that leaves you wanting more without ever feeling cheated or left hanging. As of today I’m up to book-six in the series and will continue buying and reading them as long as the author keeps writing them.
Finally, a comment on the Audible version, the quality and consistency of the performance is very important to most readers. In this case, voice actor James Langton performs brilliantly. He has enough vocal range and the talent needed to give each character their own distinctive voice and because he is the voice of the first 5 books there is a consistency of voices, personalities, and pronunciation that makes the story easy to follow from book to book.
The book scores major bonus points with me for totally defying the initial trope by the end. Apparently once you remember your dark past, you can choose not to magically turn into a goody-two-shoes and instead of becoming the paragon of virtue and redemption go back to being yourself once more.
A few things to note for those who care.
There is lots of violence. It is an action book, and though there is some sex, it isn't too graphic, and though the main character is a man who is attracted to beautiful girls, this is not a romance. So if you want a 'they got to know each other and talk about their feelings' book, then this is not for you. There is mild cussing, but only when it is called for. Ex: if a truck almost hits me kind of thing. Though I try not to cuss, especially in front of my kid, when a semi came into oncoming traffic to pass and almost hit me last week.. some words were said.
Note: Some of the lower-rated reviews complain about editing. I was intrigued by the positive reviews, but poor editing (something I do professionally) is a red flag for me. I downloaded the sample, thinking this might be a candidate for the "Shelf of Shame" I use in writing classes. For sure there are some glaring gaffs, but not many more than what I see in many "professional" books from major publishers. The character, pace, and story are so compelling I breezed right along without a lot of editorial turbulence. Proper editing would've gotten it another star from me.