Review: Illicit Magic by Camilla Chafer

Illicit Magic (Stella Mayweather #1)
by Camilla Chafer;
Editions: ebook
Published May 1st 2011 by Audacious
Source: review copy
More than three hundred years after the most terrifying witch hunts the world has ever known, it’s happening again.
Young witch, Stella, has to put her faith in strangers just to stay alive but she might not be any safer in their midst than from the danger she is running from.
There is more than one dark secret in her new family: Étoile’s sister is spoken of in fear and sadness; Marc is supposed to be a powerful witch but is missing his magic; where does the owner of their safe house vanish to every day and why does Evan have the eyes of someone not quite human? There is only one secret that someone will do anything to keep quiet, but whose secret is it and will Stella have to pay the price for silence?~ Goodreads Blurb

A book tour stop brought to Butterfly-o-Meter Books by Bewitching Book Tours.

Witches. Haven’t read a lot of PNR with them for some reason. I’m diversifying my PNR reads so I thought some witching romance was in order.

The plot of this novel was interesting. It combined some elements that generally work very well for me, romance, some mystery, some action, some humor. By large it would have been a hit, but combinations tend to be unpredictable. Though there were a lot of lines that were fun to read, I somehow didn’t feel it all the way. The mystery angle was reaching me but I didn’t get quite intrigued enough, and the romance part felt a bit understated – by that I mean I would have liked it more with more romance I think. As it is, I’d have some trouble saying what category this falls into, aside UF and maybe PNR-ish. I would have liked one direction of the above mentioned to have been stronger.

The characters were fun, enjoyable to read about but they didn’t really cross the page, so to speak, or the screen in this case. This may have been the case because the humor didn’t really hook me all the way, and the emotional angle wasn’t the main focus of the story though there were emotional moments and scenes. What came across most was tension, because to me the fight scenes spoke more then others.
Stella was cool, though I kept flashing back to the “Stallaaaaa” dock moment of the movie An Awfully Big Adventure – after seeing that movie, the name has been forever compromised. I shudder whenever I encounter it. Anyways, aside all my shuddering each time someone mentioned her name, she was cool. Evan was really cool and probably my favorite character (yes, predictable, I know :P).
By large, the characters seemed entertaining but somewhat conflict-free. Since I’m the kind of reader that loves conflicted characters I didn’t much respond to them.

The whole concept of the Brotherhood and the Council, that sort of paranormal world order idea is the sort of thing I love to read about, so I would have liked that part maybe to be more present in the row of events. I’m sure it is in the next books of the series, but I would have liked to read more of it in this one as well.

All in all, I say this is an entertaining read, with characters that could develop really nice throughout the series and a plot that has a lot of potential.
If this sounds like the kind of read you’d enjoy, stop by on April 6 to enter the giveaway for one ebook copy of this novel.

Do you sometimes feel PNR gets a bit too action-oriented and loses sight of the romance angle? Do you like that blend, romance & action?

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