Monday, July 30, 2018

Book Review: 'A Weapon Of Magical Destruction (Agents of A.S.S.E.T. Book 1)' by Katie Salidas

Las Vegas author Katie Salidas whose works blend genre styles. She is equally at home with paranormal themes as she is with kinky and naughty romance (though the latter is written using her nom de plume Rozlyn Sparks. Katie is the host of the Indie Youtube Talkshow, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom. She is a USA Today bestselling author.

Katie introduces a new series with a heroine Sage Cynwrig who is so well sculpted that she likely will be around for a full series of books celebrating pop culture, fantasy, and intrigue all mixed well with Katie’s blend of humor. She places an emblem at book’s opening that describes the A.S.S.E.T of the series – ‘The world is full of magical creatures and artifacts. The Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce is on the front line, maintaining the balance of power, ensuring humans remain safely oblivious to the dangerous magic around them.

The flavor of her writing is evident in the opening lines – ‘“It’s not a tattoo, it’s a birthmark,” Sage insisted as a pair of curious eyes landed on her deformity. The eyes were always first. Then came the questions. A cycle that repeated with every new person she met. Tattoos were cool, but the hideous way her veins splayed out like broken tree branches underneath the pale skin of her wrist was far from beautiful, and definitely not intentional The disfigurement she shared with her mother looked like a toddler had attacked her with a permanent marker. Why did people have to be so nosy? “You going to charge me?” Sage waved her credit card to be swiped, hoping the cabbie might find something else to focus on. Discussing her embarrassing deformity ranked alongside jury duty or paying taxes as far as she was concerned, and yet everyone she met seemed to find it a fascination. Soon as she paid her fare she could be released from the vehicular prison. “You want a receipt?” The driver’s tone held more curiosity than his question deserved. His gaze lingered at her wrist, and she could see the wheels turning in his bald head as the cabbie silently tried to figure out the strange design. “No.” She snatched her card back before he could hold it hostage for interrogation, and exited the cab with her bag.’ And so we are introduced to Sage.

The synopsis whisks us through the plot line - ‘Gamer girl Sage Cynwrig knows her way around a pair of twenty-sided dice, and has forgotten more spells than you'll ever know. But when her mother is killed by a weapon of magical destruction, fantasy merges into a strange new reality. Her birthmark morphs into the Tree of Life, her boss goes full troll (warts and all), vampires start hitting on her, and shadowhunters stalk her in the darkness. Had Sage been warned about her special lineage, before her mother's murder, she might have agreed to join the Anonymous Supernatural Security and Elimination Taskforce (A.S.S.E.T). When agent Grey Maddox shows up to recruit Sage - filling her head with stories of an ancient race of people chosen by the gods and uniquely gifted to withstand the forces of magic - she dismisses him as a fraud. he truth is, bearing the mark of the Tree of Life is like a homing beacon for dark magic. And when a supernatural pick-up artist tries to kill her, Sage learns she's the next target for the weapon of magical destruction's deadly power. Magic is no longer a game. It's real, deadly, and inescapable! If Sage hopes to survive, she'll have find the key to neutralizing the weapon before its power is unleashed again.’

A fine start to a series that will most assuredly find a devoted audience. Grady Harp, July 18

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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