Book Review : The Mage in Black

On June 2, 2010 by Aimee

So about a year ago, I met Jaye Wells at a local writers meeting and bought her first book more out of interest in the writer than the story. Of course I loved the story and “waited” patiently for the 2nd one to come out. It was released recently and off I went to pick it up and read it.

I think I started it about 3 days ago and finished tonight. Must have been hooked.

The writer pet-peeve that I have on the mix of present tense in past tense flows all through the book. I swear I can’t stand it and will actually rewrite a sentence in my head to avoid reading it mixed. If the word ‘now’ pops up, I’ll skip it. If ‘But’ or ‘And’ starts a sentence, I’ll start reading at the 2nd word. Call me crazy, but hey … it’s a work around that lets me read! And since I like the character in this series, I have to read it!

On to the book … in this 2nd book of a three-book series, we are with Sabina Kane again as she moves from LA to NY to restart her life. Of course nothing is going to go smoothly as someone wants her dead. There were some great scenes in the bar, the back room fight hall, an office and a desk (those scenes are always good) and other places too. Gigul was back and we meet Valva. The names are hilarious but all fit based on how I read them at least.

I’m used to series that are tied, but unique perspectives. So, for example, book 1 is tied to book 2 and book 3 and book ‘x’ but book 1 is from the point of view of one of two characters and while those characters are in the next books the points of view shift to other characters. So for a series to move on with the same character’s POV, this was a little new for me.

The problem I have with it is that I see the series as really one book, broken into three. Granted I haven’t read the third ‘cuz it’s not out (and I will read it when it is released) but it’s not three completely separate stories. It’s one stories told over time. In this 2nd book, I wasn’t sure what the real plot was? Sabina’s acceptance of change perhaps?

She started out unhappy, ended unhappy. She started fighting, ended fighting. So you’d think there was no change, but she did or rather her loyalties and acceptance of love and family and being a leader came more to the forefront.

The books are romance … yes there are romantic elements, but this isn’t about two people’s relationship … it’s about Sabina. It’s like watching Shrek, then Shrek II, then Shrek the third and then the new one. The stories are all the same and you know what happens with most 2nd unfortunately.

I struggled a little with not understanding where the story was really heading and in the end, felt like there was a lot of duplication used to make it longer — multiple fight scenes in the back room, multiple ‘let’s catch and beat up Sabina without saying why’ and I wondered why they needed to be there. Why couldn’t some of that have just pressed forward to the end result.

But, of course, that’s not my call, silly! That’s the author’s! It’s her story to tell and that I can respect. So while I felt some parts went on a little long, the action in other areas pushed me through as if I’d ridden a Ferrari at top speed. How else could I have finished the entire book, without skipping a single line of text (and I do that often when I’m bored)?

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely, but not without having read the 1st one. It’s a series and you really need to understand the character before you dive into this one. So take the time, get the 1st and the 2nd and happy reading!