Magic in Manhattan, Book #2
Heat Factor: They have some great conversations, but then it’s fade to black
Character Chemistry: “We haven’t discussed the particulars of our relationship, so I shouldn’t feel jealous and possessive, but I dooooooooooooooo!”
Plot: The second act adds to the drama and the relationship angst
Overall: If you haven’t read Spellbound, go back and start there. If you have, what are you waiting for?!
As one would expect of a second act, everything that seemed to be resolved at the end of book the first becomes a bit more complicated. There are new magic issues to address, including a new relic and a mysterious thing called the lodestone and the bad guys who were only referenced in the first book. Arthur and Rory are struggling to come to terms with the ways that their social differences keep them apart more than if they were both members of the same social class. Arthur’s pulled away from what he wants to do because of family responsibility, and he feels left out when his magical friends continue their mission without him. Arthur’s ex shows up and causes trouble.
Drama, drama, drama!
What I liked about this book is that Rory and Arthur are having a lot of feelings, but when they arise, the two men are able to address them without a lot of melodrama and angst. And there’s the comedic component of Rory trying to rein in his jealousy and being outed by the rampaging magic of his ring. (First happens when they’re at the speakeasy and Arthur, who’s waiting for Rory, gets hit on by another man whose hat is blown away in a bizarre indoor gust of wind. (Rory’s magic ring controls the wind, for those who did not already read book one.)) This book deepens Rory and Arthur’s relationship, even while pointing out the many problems they face if they try to have something long term.
Arthur still has his stern daddy worrywart thing going on, which at times made me chuckle. Early in the book Rory tries to do something with his ring and ends up busting up the ice on the river, nearly drowning, injured, and freezing, and Arthur’s response is:
“And you could have died,” Arthur cut in tersely. “Christ. Fair warning, no amount of cute will change how apocalyptically cross I’m going to be once we’re safe.”
He can’t even be mean when he’s angry! Lol. “Apocalyptically cross” indeed! Ha!
In terms of plot, everything is gearing up for the final showdown with the mysterious and terrifying baron. His minions have arrived in New York and are murdering people and stealing magic artifacts, so it’s all very exciting. Rory is learning how little he actually knows about not only his magic but any kind of magic at all. We also get a few morally ambiguous characters, which should make the next book more interesting.
Short story, this book definitely falls in that space where the middle act doesn’t necessarily stand well on its own (although it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger or a depressing finale (UGH, the middle book of Arden St. Ives…), so that’s a net positive), but it develops the characters and the drama in such a way that I think will make the finale much more interesting.
Let’s see, shall we? On to Wonderstruck…
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