Grumpy Old Wizards

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Grumpy Old Wizards

Last Free Dates: 21st Nov 15 to 25th Nov 15
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...Teen and young adult readers might enjoy it. It is an interesting example of the paranormal genre, with an original and unique world...

Josephine is a powerful eighty-year-old wizard, her aging slowed by her magic. Because of her power, the government insists she wear a restraint ring at all times, but when a serial killer begins attacking wizards her powers may be the best way to help. The only catch is that she doesn’t want to.

There is some excellent world-building, and the background to the culture is intriguing. For once there are very good reasons why powerful mages are distrusted and the government insists they register – and there’s a body count to prove it. The plot is complex but holds together with no holes that I spotted, and it kept me reading to the end. On the flip side, it is rather repetitive, and unfortunately predictable. I spotted the killer within a chapter of his first mention, and there are no really believable alternatives.

The characterisation varies. While we follow Josephine closely and only see people through her eyes I actually found the supporting cast more sympathetic. The detective may be getting annoyed with her and getting her up early, but he is trying to save lives. I find it very hard to be sympathetic to the lead, because she does come off as self-centered. She doesn’t just look younger than her age: she acts like a teenager. Josephine can be hard to like. She’s been asked to help catch a serial killer, and insists that her quiet retirement takes priority. Hiding out at her friends to avoid the police sounds cute, until you remember that the killer is killing a new victim nearly daily and she’s their best chance of catching them. I remain in hope that someone tells the victims’ families.

Her feud with the neighbour is probably supposed to be funny, but just came off as juvenile and in places extremely dangerous to any bystanders – another good reason for powerful wizards to be restrained. There are some darker undertones in this world, and an underlying debate in this world is similar to Marvel’s Civil War (the comics, not the film): how many casualties do you allow before oversight is required, and at what point does the oversight and constraints become worse than what they are stopping?

The writing is fluid and simple, with an easy-to-read style that kept me turning the pages. There were no grammar errors or significant typos to take me out of the story, although on my first read I did skip sections as they seemed slightly slow. On my second read for the review I went through everything, and I hadn’t actually missed anything critical.

I didn’t click with this book, and there other examples of paranormal fiction I prefer but YA readers might enjoy it. It is an interesting example of the paranormal genre, with an original and unique world.

Rating: 3
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Discussion

rz3300 (12 September 2016)
Well I am not really one for the paranormal genre, although hearing that it has an "original and unique world" is pretty intriguing to think about. I think I am also passed the young adult phases, at least I hope so at my age, but I still think that there might be some potential here. I will have to look a little more into it.

djbook (13 September 2016)
Seems like an interesting read. I just went through its preview on Amazon as well. Looks like I need to read Josephine's intriguing story. The writing seems thorough too. And the book has 400 positive reviews which tells me I am in good company.

jessica (13 September 2016)
I've read it :( . It really isn't that good a book. The plot is kind of predictable and the characters are bland. It's kind of like the author thinks eighty-year-olds think like teenagers.

djbook (13 September 2016)
*I've read it :( . It really isn't that good a book. The plot is kind of predictable and the characters are bland. It's kind of like the author thinks eighty-year-olds think like teenagers.* Lol. Well in that case, I am gonna pass. Thanks for the heads up :)

skye (2 October 2016)
This had some good ideas, and it was not a bad book. It simply is not one I would go back to.

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