Monday, June 11, 2012

Dark Magic by James Swain

James Swain's Dark Magic takes readers into the fascinating world of magic with a twist. What if a group of psychics got together to prevent evil from taking over, warning the police about events ahead of time? Who would want to destroy this group of people?

Peter Warlock is one of the world's foremost magician, a young man who has a cult following in his professional life. However, once a week, he gets together with a small group of psychics in New York City who have the ability to see what evil is coming in the days ahead. One of those Friday night predictions changes the group, and Peter, forever. He sees people dying, and the Grim Reaper in Times Square. And, when the man Peter saw in his trance shows up at Peter's theater, he knows he plans to kill him.

Peter has knowledge that must be passed on immediately, but he's also aware of the need for secrecy. One of his friends is already being used by the government because of his abilities. And, Peter doesn't even know the extent of his own powers. The friends who raised him after his parents were kidnapped and killed, have kept secrets. His parents were once part of a powerful group of psychics who changed history, but after leaving that group, the Order of Astrum came after them. Now, someone has plans to destroy Peter and the other psychics before that disaster occurs in Times Square. Together, Peter and his friends must oppose that terrible plan. But, Peter's lack of information and need for secrecy could destroy everyone he loves, including the love of his life.

I found the premise of Swain's Dark Magic fascinating. Can psychics band together, see the future, and prevent evil? Or, can a group of psychics band together to see the future and profit by it? Swain is a professional magician himself, and all the elements of magic are wonderful in the book. However, the relationship between Peter and his girlfriend, Liza, lacks heart. Liza doesn't come alive in this book except as a whiny, demanding woman, so it's hard to see what Peter sees in her. The relationship is the weak element in Dark Magic. Is it there to make Peter seem more human? Peter comes to life when dealing with magic and the other psychics. His relationship with Liza falls flat and doesn't add anything to the book.

Forget Peter Warlock's love for his girlfriend. Read James Swain's Dark Magic for the magic and the war between good and evil. That war succeeds on so many levels, in history, with the psychics, within Peter himself. The war between good and evil is the energy and power in the world, and this book.

James Swain's website is

Dark Magic by James Swain. Tor. 2012. ISBN 9780765329943 (hardcover), 352p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Mary Kennedy said...

I'm a huge fan of James Swain! This one looks paticularly good, love the plot, the connection with psychics, magic etc.

Lesa said...

Oh, good, Mary! I hope you enjoy it.

Jane R said...

I'm not sure this is the type of book for me, but I have my eye on it for my husband. He really liked the Dresden Files series by Butcher. Maybe this one will be a winner too.

Lesa said...

Oh, Jane. Has he tried the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne? Next best thing to the Dresden Files. And, since I haven't been happy with the last couple books in the Dresden File series, I'm even more pleased to read Kevin Hearne's books. They're Hounded, Hexed, Hammered and Tricked, so far.

Jane R said...

Lesa, thanks so much for the suggestions! My husband is pretty particular about his reading material but he has developed a list of favorites. He's always on the lookout for a new author and I will definitely put a Kevin Hearne book in his hands.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Jane. And, even if he doesn't like it, let me know. I'll be curious.

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