Publisher: Independently Published
Date of publication: April 13, 2023
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase Links: Kindle
August Silvershield is a dead man walking.
He and his group (Ashes) have dedicated their lives to opposing the Magicom tyranny and how they control, sell and distribute magic.
And Magicom are hell-bent on his capture.
Pink, August’s sister, is a recently qualified mage and practitioner of the four elements of magic. Strong-willed, talented and independent, she’s determined to make a name for herself at Wing (the institution that trains and assigns its mages to contracts throughout the Island of Blake) without her brother’s help.
But the siblings’ worlds inextricably collide when Pink’s first contract leads her and her Wing friends directly to Magicom and unimaginable danger.
Can Pink and August defend their friends and themselves while trying to eradicate everything Magicom stand for?
Or will the dangerous quest prove too much, given the blurred boundaries between their friends and enemies?
Find out in this fast-paced epic YA fantasy adventure novel where elemental magic changes everything.
Holding Castle was not the structure of old.The Arcannen Chronicles: Magicom by Adam Joseph
Important things you need to know about the book:
Pace: The pacing of Magicom went between medium and fast. I had no issues with having to reread previous chapters to understand what was going on. There was a little lag toward the latter half of the book (when Pink and August’s storylines merge), but nothing affected me. It was just a tiny bump, which I got over reasonably quickly.
Trigger/Content Warning: There are a few trigger warnings in Magicom. If any of these trigger you, I suggest not reading this book. They are:
- Bullying (mild)
- Classism (moderate)
- Dead bodies and body parts (moderate)
- Grief and loss depiction (moderate)
- Captivity and confinement (graphic)
- Disappearance of a loved one (moderate)
- Explosions (moderate)
- Hanging and lynching (mild, but it is only a threat to flush out the secondary main character)
- Kidnapping (moderate)
- Murder and attempted murder (graphic)
- Physical assault (graphic)
- Torture (moderate to graphic)
- War themes and military violence (moderate to graphic)
- Animal attack (moderate)
Series: Magicom is the first book in the Arcannen. As this is the first book in the series, you can dive right into the book without wondering about the characters’ backstories or previous books’ plotlines popping up.
Sexual Content: Magicom is a reasonably clean book, but there is one scene where two of the characters sleep in the same bed, and sex is implied.
Language: There is moderate swearing in Magicom.
Setting: Magicom is set entirely in the kingdom of Blake.
Tropes: The Hero’s Journey, Magical Creatures, Epic Storylines with Lots of Characters, Best of the Best, Dystopian, Power and Technology
Age Range: I recommend Magicom for readers over 16.
Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):
Since witnessing the death of his fiancee by Magicom forces, August Silvershield is on a quest to expose Magicom for the corrupt company it is. As the ranks of Ashes (his group) grow, the more Magicom wants him captured. But it is after a stunt where Ashes blows up a fleet of blimps and causes numerous deaths that the general starts searching for August and forces him to go on the run.
Pink is a full-fledged mage who has joined the ranks of Wing. She is also August’s sister, a fact that she has kept a secret from everyone but a select few. Her first assignment is to find out why people are going missing in a neighboring town. What she discovers puts her right on Magicom’s radar. Soon, Pink is heading towards Blake’s biggest city to try and find the founder of Wings.
With long-held secrets exposed and their relationship out in the open, Pink and August join forces to take down a common enemy: Magicom. Or will everything they both have been working for be for nothing?
Rox Salvamal: I felt pity for this guy until halfway through the book. Why? Well, his men were killed, and fleet was destroyed because of Ashes (August’s group). But then, there was a pivotal scene around the same time Pink was investigating the mine that changed my mind. He had lost his damn mind. As the book went on, Rox’s single focus on August consumed him.
August Silvershield: I liked him, but I wished the author had explained his backstory (the reason he created Ashes) earlier in the book. Bits and pieces were trickled out as the book went on. But it was when August explained it to another character that I fully understood where he was coming from and why he was doing what he did.
Roeden Mason: I thought he was adorable and very resilient for someone so young. It was interesting to see everyone (including the more major secondary characters) through his eyes. I liked his role in the events at the end of the book.
Sara Arrancove (aka Pink aka Sara Silvershield): I enjoyed her character. I do wish that the author had been more upfront about who August was to her, but at the same time, I liked finding that out while reading. Pink was tough; she didn’t exactly listen to authority, and she knew her mind. Pink was also brave and had a knack for getting herself into trouble. She was essential (along with Roeden) in helping the events along at the end of the book.
Secondary characters: I enjoyed the secondary characters. There were some that I wished I had more background on (Taurus stands out the most in my mind). Others interested me but left a bad taste in my mouth because of their actions (Sol stands out the most). There are characters I didn’t form an opinion on either way (Chadwick comes to mind). However, each character did add depth to the storyline and the backstories of the main characters.
There are three storylines in Magicom. Each of the storylines was well written. I liked the detail that went into most of the storylines. There was one storyline that I wished had more detail. That is because of where it is set and why that person was there.
The storyline with Rox, his determination to flush out August, and the mystery he had going on creeped me out. As I said above, I liked Rox at first. He looked at dealing with Ashes like someone deals with a fly: swat it and hope it moves on. But when Ashes attacked Holding and destroyed most of the blimp fleet and killed a crap ton of people, he changed. As his storyline went on, Rox descended into obsession and madness. He started making mistakes, and those mistakes are what eventually ended up leading to his downfall.
The storyline with August, Ashes, and everyone else in the book was interesting. I liked how the author made August almost a mythical creature from Rox and Roeden. But August was human, and he made mistakes. Mistakes that he admitted to during the book. August also cared for his friends and would do whatever he could to break Roeden’s brother from prison, even if that meant getting captured himself. August’s storyline wasn’t wrapped up, making me wonder what he would do in the next book.
The storyline with Roeden, Chadwick, August, and their journey to find Phantex. I liked seeing everything through Roeden’s eyes. Roeden was determined to find and release his brother. He was also determined to help August, whether August wanted to help or not. Roeden’s storyline was wrapped up, but I did wonder if he will make an appearance in the next book.
The storyline with Pink, the mage school, her new instructor, the investigation, and her eventually meeting up with August was well written. Usually, I like things (like sibling relationships) shown upfront. But in this case, I understood why the author kept it under wraps for as long as he did. Pink was almost stupidly brave and put her life in danger more than once. That bravery and her penchant for not listening to people in authority came in very handy at the end of the book. Like August, her storyline was left open-ended.
The fantasy angle was terrific. I loved the magic system. People didn’t have latent magical powers. Instead, they had to drink a potion (the Arcannen potion) to boost the magic up. It was fascinating, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I also liked that while this book wasn’t exactly a steampunk book, it had very strong vibes.
The end of Magicom was interesting. The author wrapped up all of the storylines except for August’s and Pink’s. I cannot wait to read book 2!!
Many thanks to Adam Joseph for allowing me to read and review The Arcannen Chronicles: Magicom. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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