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City of Broken Magic

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Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling. Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training. Laura, a new team member, has stay Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling. Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training. Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last—and only—sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.


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Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling. Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training. Laura, a new team member, has stay Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling. Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training. Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last—and only—sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.

30 review for City of Broken Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender is the first book in the Chronicles of Amicae fantasy series. The series is set in a world somewhat similar to ours however society and the use of magic are certainly different. For the last five hundred years sweepers have been cleaning up after a weapon that was created and went out of control. When magical amulets run out or are broken creatures are unleashed that feed upon whatever is in their path whether it was the enemy or alley. Laura has convinced he City of Broken Magic by Mirah Bolender is the first book in the Chronicles of Amicae fantasy series. The series is set in a world somewhat similar to ours however society and the use of magic are certainly different. For the last five hundred years sweepers have been cleaning up after a weapon that was created and went out of control. When magical amulets run out or are broken creatures are unleashed that feed upon whatever is in their path whether it was the enemy or alley. Laura has convinced head sweeper Clae to take her on as his apprentice and teach her the way of the sweepers. It’s uncommon for women to be in the work force so Laura has to work twice are hard to prove herself in the dangerous trade where most apprentices are killed before they complete the training. As one can tell from my rating this one just wasn’t for me and that was unfortunate because the magic use and world seemed to be creative. The thing that got me with this book was it was definitely not fast paced as advertised. For example, the book starts off with an infestation that takes the first two chapters to battle and at only 27 chapters in a 400 or so page book this was quite some time. It’s actually taken me three days to get to the end which is so out of the ordinary for me as I kept losing interest and putting it back down. Perhaps those that enjoy a slower build would like the world more than myself though but I will have to pass one continuing with the series. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I really am not that great at predicting which books I will adore. I was so sure I would love this because at the surface it does so many things I appreciate in books; but I also found its pace fairly slow and, more importantly, some of the narrative decisions when it came to the characters unfortunate. Set in a partly industrialized fantasy setting (something I happen to really enjoy), this story follows Laura, newly employed Sweeper working for what is basically a bomb-squad but for monsters (a I really am not that great at predicting which books I will adore. I was so sure I would love this because at the surface it does so many things I appreciate in books; but I also found its pace fairly slow and, more importantly, some of the narrative decisions when it came to the characters unfortunate. Set in a partly industrialized fantasy setting (something I happen to really enjoy), this story follows Laura, newly employed Sweeper working for what is basically a bomb-squad but for monsters (awesome, right?). The world and the premise are brilliant - but the way this story is told might have worked better in a different medium - I would love this as a video game for example. Laura and her boss have to banish different monsters, always trying to find new ways to do so. These scenes, while exhilerating in the beginning, did start to feel a bit stale fairly soon. When the newest team member arrives, the story lost steam for me even more. I found Laura's reaction to him deeply troubling in its lack of empathy and also not quite fitting for her character who before has not displayed this much selfishness. I did really love the world but did not always appreciate the world building itself. There were many super interesting ideas floating around but they never felt organically integrated into the story. Ultimately the world building happened mostly through info-dumping and slowed down the pacing even more. While I in theory appreciate the commentary on women's roles in this society, I found its discussion in the text fairly obvious and not all that original. Laura is quick to assume everybody's reaction to her is down to them being sexist and while that may well be the case the reader was never shown the way sexism is integral to the society but is rather told so. One major problem I had in this context was that while we were told that women were only allowed certain jobs, we were shown many women in powerful positions without anybody reacting to that at all, indicating that this is in fact normal for the society. This made Laura seem particularly thin-skinned and her reaction often overblown. I received an arc courtesy of NetGalley and Tor Books in exchange for an honest review. You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Rizk

    First off, I don't think they did a good job with the blurb. I don't normally summarize a book in a review, but I think this one needs it since the official one is not detailed enough, and doesn't properly fit the book. Here goes: The story is set in a country that uses the equivelent of late 20th century technology. Women are expected to marry, but it is acceptable for them to take on secretarial type jobs. There are some rare, but amazing women working in higher tier jobs (politics, police, etc First off, I don't think they did a good job with the blurb. I don't normally summarize a book in a review, but I think this one needs it since the official one is not detailed enough, and doesn't properly fit the book. Here goes: The story is set in a country that uses the equivelent of late 20th century technology. Women are expected to marry, but it is acceptable for them to take on secretarial type jobs. There are some rare, but amazing women working in higher tier jobs (politics, police, etc.) In addition to technology, they also use amulets for various purposes. Once those amulets run out of juice, human eating monsters come out of them. See full review at: http://tbrnext.com/?p=115 Sweepers are trained in the job of exterminating these dangerous beings. The problem with our MC's city, is that their politicians convinced people that their city is sort of immune to monsters. Anytime there's an incident, it's blamed on the mobs. This means that Sweepers have bad press, and next to no staff. So we have dangerous monsters, and two and a half Sweepers to clean up the problem. However, there's currently a spike in the frequency & strength of the attacks, and Laura (the MC) has to figure out how to excel at her job, work with her new fellow useless apprentice, deal with her taciturn boss, and somehow survive a sudden massive invasion, among other things. I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a lot of The Screaming Staircase series by Jonathan Stroud, although the characters are older (in their 20s). It's got a similar plot and vibe - quick thinking characters fighting a never-ending battle against monsters that think humans make for a good meal. The book is well written, with a good mix between action, character development, world building, magic weapons, and an excellent plot. I liked the sparks between Laura and her boss, Clae, who pisses everyone off, because why not? I'm also happy that while there were potential moments with several characters, Laura remained focused on her job, appreciated her status as a free single woman, and didn't go running off after romantic rainbows, despite family pressure. It ends with most of the big issues resolved, although there's lots of room for a second book, and I'm pretty sure there will be one. Scratch that, there HAS to be a continuation. Basically, this was a great book. It kept me up late into the night. I highly recommend it. Disclaimer: I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . I was excited about this book when I heard about it.  The hook - a group of monsters that eat magic and everything else that they can get a hold of.  The only thing standing in the way are a group called sweepers.  These sweepers are described on Amazon as "bomb squad that defuses magic weapons."  The blurb claims that sweepers are non-magical beings and that a Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . . I was excited about this book when I heard about it.  The hook - a group of monsters that eat magic and everything else that they can get a hold of.  The only thing standing in the way are a group called sweepers.  These sweepers are described on Amazon as "bomb squad that defuses magic weapons."  The blurb claims that sweepers are non-magical beings and that a sweeper named Laura is all that stands between the city and annihilation.  Part of the problem with this book is that the blurb and this descriptions are NOT what the book is about.  Laura is not the last sweeper left standing.  The sweepers are not non-magical.  The sweepers do not feel like a bomb squad at all. The positive things that made me finish the book were: - I loved the characters in this book.  The main character, Laura, was intelligent, daring, snarky, and caring.  This type of character always floats me boat.  I also liked her teacher, Clae, and the other apprentice.  I even liked the side characters like Morgan, Laura's aunt who cares about her niece but just doesn't understand anything about her. - I liked the weird monsters and how they manifested.  I loved the opening scene told from the monster's point of view.  I wanted to know more about the monsters and how they worked. While those things keep me reading, the world-building and plot made it harder and harder to finish the book.  Unfortunately, there were major issues that made this an unlikable read for me. - The Monsters - Well this be the entire reason I wanted to read this book.  I love me some fierce fighting of nasty beasties.  Sadly the fighting was lackluster.  There never seemed to be any real tactics for fighting or finding them.  The two responses seemed to be throwing bombs at them and running away from them.  Luck not strategy seemed to decide every encounter. - The  Magic - This was one of those books where ye be thrown into the magic system and have to learn as ye go.  There are cool hints to how the magic is used.  The main basis for magic use is amulets.  I liked the idea that these amulets are highly regulated.  They have to be cataloged, recharged, and recycled.  However, they also made no sense.  For example, if ye use them as an assassination technique there be no guarantee that the target would die.  Like why try to kill a rich man by putting one in the kitchen - a place he would never go in?  Plus to use one like that means that the city might be destroyed.  Dumb. - Info-Dumping - I don't mind learning the world structure or rules as the story progresses.  I do hate info-dumping.  In this story, the plot abruptly stops so that Laura can give lessons to the other apprentice (a former slave) in history, magic use, politics, etc.  And it is furtively done while her teacher is out.  I didn't find the history or piecemeal magic explanations to be anything but boring and nonsensical. - The Training - This is one of those books where the teacher withholds vital information.  There is only the teacher and two students protecting the entire city.  If the teacher dies then the city is screwed.  So why wouldn't there be an open exchange of knowledge?  Makes no sense.  His method of teaching is mostly to learn on the job.  No wonder he lost eight former apprentices.  They spend a ton of time sitting in the shop waiting for clients or police to inform them of monster attacks.  Shouldn't that time be spent training or investigating?  Also the teacher, Clae, makes the point multiple times that book learning is pointless.  Then DO something. - The Social Structure-  Much of this book is spent focused on how Laura is not in the norm because she doesn't want to get married or wear dresses.  And yet the police chief is a woman.  A major politician is a woman.  A investigative journalist is a woman.  Lots of seekers in other cities are women.  These facts go against the author's own premise of the society. - Diversity - I support diversity in literature.  Yet this book seems set in a "normative" society.  Heterosexual relationships.  Standard gender roles.  Monogamy.  Then randomly, Clae and his student have an awkward conversation about past relationships.  There is a random lesbian relationship thrown in.  In the context of the story, this seemed tossed in to fill a check box and to help set up a future romantic relationship between teacher and student.  I was not a fan. - Plot - There really wasn't a cohesive story line or decent explanations for events.  It felt like the author had filler around the couple of scenes she wanted to write.  This book felt more like a very rough first draft that needed massive editing and rewrites.  This concept should have the reader on edge instead of trying to make sense of what is happening most of the time. Fun concepts here.  I wish this one would have focused on the monster battles and how the monster fighting community works!  Shame because I wanted to like this one.  Unfortunately it must walk the plank!  Arrrr! So lastly . . . Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge! Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/12/31/... Five hundred years ago, a magical weapon was created in the form of an infestation that ate magic, but it quickly got out of hand and became impossible to control. This power burrowed itself into amulets and would grow and devour everything in its path if not contained. Only individuals with talent and specialized training, called Sweepers, can defuse and dispose of these magical ticking time bombs. Enter Laura, an appren 2.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/12/31/... Five hundred years ago, a magical weapon was created in the form of an infestation that ate magic, but it quickly got out of hand and became impossible to control. This power burrowed itself into amulets and would grow and devour everything in its path if not contained. Only individuals with talent and specialized training, called Sweepers, can defuse and dispose of these magical ticking time bombs. Enter Laura, an apprentice Sweeper who works with her boss Clae to rid the city of these dangerous threats. The problem though, is that the local politicians have been deceiving their people into believing that infestations aren’t really a problem anymore. As a result, Clae’s office is severely underfunded, and no one takes the profession as seriously as they should. All it will take is one mistake—or one act of malice—for a massive infestation to level the entire city. This wasn’t a terrible book, but it very clearly could have been improved. For one thing, it’s always unfortunate when a publisher description oversells the story. When I read “bomb squad that defuses magic weapons”, I immediately pictured elite armored special teams and lots of suspense and excitement. Too bad this book had none of these things. I was expecting something more akin to a fast-paced thriller, but instead what I got was a somewhat dry and meandering plot that seemed to lack even a main conflict for the first half of the novel. As a result, the early part of the story felt like it had no direction, a problem also exacerbated by too much info-dumping. While the world-building may have been able to capture the reader’s imagination (at least initially), having no immediate hook meant that any interest I had in the plot rapidly faded. The other problem I had was with the characters. It’s one thing to be progressive and proud to work in a profession not conventionally held by women, but Laura goes through life with an air of superiority I didn’t much care for. Often, she had this attitude of dismissal or contempt for subjects that she doesn’t understand or things that don’t interest her, which drove me crazy. And God forbid we ever forget she’s bucking gender norms and society’s expectations of her, because she never fails to remind us every chance she gets. Then there was Clae, her boss and head Sweeper. He’s tactless, brusque, and incredibly antagonistic towards everyone, reminding me of a more annoying and less lovable version of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I feel like that was exactly what the author was trying for, attempting to channel BBC’s 21st-century portrayal of the famous literary detective, except Clae comes across just plain unlikeable, and Laura is no Martin Freeman’s Watson to pull off the part in this double act. There were a few things I did enjoy. One was the world-building. It wasn’t as well developed as I would have liked, but I was intrigued by the notion of magical amulets that held infestations that could grow into monsters capable of destroying cities. I also loved the concept of Sweepers. In truth, taken individually, all the ideas in this book are great, but as a whole, they feel like pieces of a puzzle that don’t fit together quite right. Perhaps if the plot been clearer and more cogent, the world-building might have reached its full potential. Overall, I think it was a combination of a vague synopsis and disorganized storytelling that made City of Broken Magic a miss for me. It’s a shame because I really wanted to like this one, as there were many ideas in here that I liked. Sadly, they were unable to carry the plot, which struggled to get off the ground, or make me overcome my initial distaste for the characters. Since this is Mirah Bolender’s debut, I chalk most of these up to new-author problems, and if this is to become a series, hopefully the next book will have many of the issues ironed out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Interesting set-up. There are bicycles, cars and dress styles reminiscent of the early 20th century. Steampunk, but not quite. The city itself comes across as a version of Minas Tirith, with added technology. Radios and telephones make an appearance, powered by amulets imbued with magic. The magic system is something I have not come across before, although the skills the Sweepers gain through use of the amulets made me think of Brandon Sanderson‘s Stormlight Archives and the Surgebinding used th Interesting set-up. There are bicycles, cars and dress styles reminiscent of the early 20th century. Steampunk, but not quite. The city itself comes across as a version of Minas Tirith, with added technology. Radios and telephones make an appearance, powered by amulets imbued with magic. The magic system is something I have not come across before, although the skills the Sweepers gain through use of the amulets made me think of Brandon Sanderson‘s Stormlight Archives and the Surgebinding used there. Women are supposed to be wives, wear dresses and are considered whores the moment they do not comply. Nonetheless our heroine runs around in trousers and learns a trade. There is a bit of a wild mish-mash of ideas and concepts going on. Promising start, but pretty much from the beginning there was no suspense for me. I did not dislike the writing, but it definitely did not do it for me. I had to make myself pick up the book every single time. I started some heavy skimming about seven chapters into the book, around the time they picked up Okane. What a disappointing character. When he first showed up, I thought „Oh, interesting, some hidden plot and mysterious forces...“. However, he turned into some mopey, inarticulate teenager. DNF at 52%. The book felt very episodic up to that point. Every other chapter or so there is a gradually worse and more powerful monster to be vanquished. I suppose in the last chapter there will be a dungeon master level infestation and—I had the odd peek at the chapters in the second half of the book—the crucial and predictable reveal. It‘s ok, I suppose, but nothing new or exciting. I received this free e-copy from Macmillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Annemieke / A Dance with Books

    3,5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review I am going to start off with saying that the official synopsis is misleading. It talks about an elite team. It’s not. It says Laura is the last one standing, she’s not. It talks about sweepers being non-magic humans. They aren’t. I feel like the synopsis is trying to sell this book to be a lot more epic than it really is. It’s not. Having said that, I don’t think this is a bad book either. It i 3,5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest review I am going to start off with saying that the official synopsis is misleading. It talks about an elite team. It’s not. It says Laura is the last one standing, she’s not. It talks about sweepers being non-magic humans. They aren’t. I feel like the synopsis is trying to sell this book to be a lot more epic than it really is. It’s not. Having said that, I don’t think this is a bad book either. It is just that I see so much wasted potential. Laura is an apprentice to the head sweeper Clae. At the moment of starting this book they are the only sweepers of their city. As sweepers they have to diffuse amulets that have become infested. Their job is made harder by the fact that the council is selling to their people that they are safe between the walls of their city and that infestations rarely happen. It is why their team is so small and why training is mostly during actual situations. The increase of infestations is worrying. How are they going to be able to handle it with just the two of them? And how can they make the city see that they aren’t safe at all? The whole idea of having to diffuse amulets that have become infested is such an interesting and original idea. But it lacks a little in the world building. The problem I have is that the world building was very confusing. And for a good portion I was just kind of going with it. When they get the new apprentice we suddenly get a chapter full of info dump on things we hadn’t gotten. But that didn’t make it anymore clear and it was hard to grasp what kin was or how the pitts, where they put the diffused amulets, exactly did. I still can’t tell you. And I don’t have a good idea of all the rings of the city. There are also bits that don’t make sense. How Clae never told Laura why the tree they visited was important. And I am still fuzzy on the whole of the city not knowing that they still have so many infestations in the city, ones that aren’t just placed by the mobs. It just doesn’t make sense for them to believe that when the city’s nearby still have to deal with it. Other cities make fun of them for it. On the other hand I did enjoy the characters for the most part. Laura was great to follow. She is very determined to make it in the job as sweeper in a society that would still rather see woman married and taking care of kids or as a receptionist. The fact that she wears pants is scandalous of course. She doesn’t let herself get side tracked by romance (though there is some potential there). She just doesn’t want to get forced into a life that society expects her to have and be unhappy. She has seen how they have treated her aunt (who she lives with). The one thing I didn’t like about her was how she got jealous of their new apprentice. Akane came to them after a job they worked, where he was a slave. Slavery is not suppose to be a thing anymore but when you have money that apparently doesn’t matter. Akane is very different from Laura. He takes this chance at apprenticeship because it is what Clae offers and what else is he going to do? He doesn’t have anything. He is very fearful and clearly heavily impacted by his life as a slave. Finding his way in a job that offers so many new things, danger and with a boss that perhaps isn’t quite so empathic is so hard. I felt for him. I don’t think Clae did right by him. Clae is the head sweeper. The prodigy if you will. Or so he is shown at the start. He is brass, rude and won’t negotiate. But as the story continues we discover things from his family and his past that clearly shaped him to be who he is. Overall I still think this book is worth a read. The world building isn’t as strong as it should be with this setting. But the idea and characters are still great to read about. For now it seems to be a standalone but I am expecting there to be a sequel. While major things were wrapped up, there are still some things left that I think Laura and Akane will want to deal with.

  8. 4 out of 5

    La La

    3.5 on the blog. I went back and forth several times with this book thinking I was going to give it three stars, then four, then three, no four... and again and again, ha ha. However, in the end I enjoyed more of the story than not and in a couple of places it was a solid page turner. I was invested in all the characters. The premise and many of the story elements were quite unique, for me anyway, and the magical system was fresh, too. One of my problems, which has nothing to do with the book, is 3.5 on the blog. I went back and forth several times with this book thinking I was going to give it three stars, then four, then three, no four... and again and again, ha ha. However, in the end I enjoyed more of the story than not and in a couple of places it was a solid page turner. I was invested in all the characters. The premise and many of the story elements were quite unique, for me anyway, and the magical system was fresh, too. One of my problems, which has nothing to do with the book, is wondering why the publisher felt they needed to make the Goodreads and Netgalley summaries complete fabrications. A lot of bloggers, myself included, requested the book based on the summary and were a bit miffed when we started reading and the storyline wasn't near as exciting as it was made to seem. The magical system was on the complicated side, and I think in a few instances it could have been better explained. I didn't find any holes in it, as such, but some items had too many alternate names and forms; and it wasn't necessary. Also, the term "monster" was used for too many different things. The world building was pretty solid, and I am a stickler about both of these things. I liked that the story mirrored some of the socio-political and socio-economic goings on in our own world today. What it all boils down to is that it was good storytelling and I enjoyed reading it; and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    DNF at 28% I just couldn't get into this one. The writing was fine, the worldbuilding kinda confusing, but I just wasn't caring about the characters or the (few) events that had occurred up until this point. Also I'd like to point out the summary is kind of misleading. I expected this to be a contemporary/real world-ish setting and it's not. It's something entirely different. And Laura is not the only member of the squad so.. I don't know why that's mentioned, either? Anyway. Not my cup of tea. DNF at 28% I just couldn't get into this one. The writing was fine, the worldbuilding kinda confusing, but I just wasn't caring about the characters or the (few) events that had occurred up until this point. Also I'd like to point out the summary is kind of misleading. I expected this to be a contemporary/real world-ish setting and it's not. It's something entirely different. And Laura is not the only member of the squad so.. I don't know why that's mentioned, either? Anyway. Not my cup of tea.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melliane

    3.5/5 Mon avis en Français My English review I did not know about the novel, but after reading the synopsis, it’s true that I was intrigued! Well, I must say that already, with the mention of magic, I knew that I was going to want to discover the story! Laura is a sweeper, well an apprentice sweeper and she works with her boss to eliminate magical infestations and it’s really not easy! On top of that, she must also face the morals of people who think that a woman like her should not work in this a 3.5/5 Mon avis en Français My English review I did not know about the novel, but after reading the synopsis, it’s true that I was intrigued! Well, I must say that already, with the mention of magic, I knew that I was going to want to discover the story! Laura is a sweeper, well an apprentice sweeper and she works with her boss to eliminate magical infestations and it’s really not easy! On top of that, she must also face the morals of people who think that a woman like her should not work in this area. Is not it better to be a switchboard operator or even a housewife? But our heroine does not hear it that way and she is determined to become the best one (not that there are many by the way). I found the idea of ​​the novel very nice, but I must admit that I struggled to get into history because I found that the universe was very confusing. We are propelled into it without understanding what is happening and it is true that this aspect was a little complicated. Other than that, I had a good time with the three characters and I was curious to see how the story was going to end.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hélène Louise

    4,5 * Not a perfect book but a near perfect read :) RTC near publishing date

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Berg

    First, I'm going to start with what I like. I like Laura as a character. The casual sexism she puts up with resonates all too well. The book started well, but has a couple of really big flaws. One isn't so much the book as the cover: the blurb reveals a major plot point that doesn't occur until the end of the book. Do yourself a favor and skip the last paragraph so you don't get a mistaken notion of what is going to happen. But the bigger issues for me are the cavalier use of terms, and how the First, I'm going to start with what I like. I like Laura as a character. The casual sexism she puts up with resonates all too well. The book started well, but has a couple of really big flaws. One isn't so much the book as the cover: the blurb reveals a major plot point that doesn't occur until the end of the book. Do yourself a favor and skip the last paragraph so you don't get a mistaken notion of what is going to happen. But the bigger issues for me are the cavalier use of terms, and how the book skirts into colonization narrative territory with the west conquers the east backstory. The book is set in a fantasy world - but it's not. The map is based on Japan. It's called the "Orien" which is one letter away from Orient, which is a term fraught with problems. And spoilers, since these aren't revealed until partially through the book: (view spoiler)[The monsters, which don't have a name for the first half of the book, are revealed to be called bakemono. The native language is clearly Japanese when a few other terms are revealed. But that's not all. The terms for many things in the world are French (Malamare for the "Bad Sea", Beaumaris for the "Good Sea", argent for the silver money) and early on the readers are told the land was colonized from the West, the natives almost entirely wiped out by the crusaders that brought with them magic weapons. What few natives that still live are described as having dark hair. And the evil they are fighting? That was created by the natives as a magic-eating monster to cripple the magic of the invaders. Which it did - but they had no control over it so it ate them too - and now the entire island is under quarantine from the West and any ships who head that way will be shot on sight. So the deeper problem of magic-gone-wrong was created by the natives... which doesn't sit well with me. And this is more problematic because the main character Laura is clearly from western descent. Though Okane is not and three-fourths of the way through the book Clae is revealed to be only partially of western descent, and partially native. The racism that comes from that is handled well once it is revealed. (hide spoiler)] I think the story would have been stronger without the sort of obvious ties to the real world. And the use of colonization as it keeps coming up in the book is... jarring, to say the least. Especially when western views on colonization is so insidiously pervasive in fantasy literature. I understand this is a first book, but I sort of stopped cold about halfway through when I hit what I put in the spoiler above. I still finished it, but I wasn't enjoying it as much anymore. There are some ways that could help the above issues (view spoiler)[If the evil was not created by the natives but is part of a propaganda campaign against them by those who conquered the lands - that would go a long way towards making some of this less problematic. But still wouldn't solve the colonization problem. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christina Hagmann

    City of Broken Magic was a unique book with some pretty fantastic world building and a cast of interesting characters. Without these things, it would only be two stars from me because I felt there was no cohesive plot to follow. I wanted to love this. I even loved Clae as the grumpy mentor. The creativity on the author's part was fantastic, and I'm sure I'll see plenty of books by her in the future, but sadly, this book wasn't for me. City of Broken Magic was a unique book with some pretty fantastic world building and a cast of interesting characters. Without these things, it would only be two stars from me because I felt there was no cohesive plot to follow. I wanted to love this. I even loved Clae as the grumpy mentor. The creativity on the author's part was fantastic, and I'm sure I'll see plenty of books by her in the future, but sadly, this book wasn't for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hélène Louise

    This book was a lovely surprise! I was somewhat worried in the beginning, as classical fantasy tends to bore me rather easily these days... But "City of broken magic" has some real personality and some excellent characters, and consequently my reading was great! To begin with the minor flaws. They're all of the same trend, about some rather confusing points: nothing really problematic, just small ideas you keep wondering about in the back of your mind. Some explanations come rather too late, for This book was a lovely surprise! I was somewhat worried in the beginning, as classical fantasy tends to bore me rather easily these days... But "City of broken magic" has some real personality and some excellent characters, and consequently my reading was great! To begin with the minor flaws. They're all of the same trend, about some rather confusing points: nothing really problematic, just small ideas you keep wondering about in the back of your mind. Some explanations come rather too late, for instance; the town  which seemed smaller for me than it must be, as another exemple. Also that I thought for a while that Amicae was absolutely cut from other towns, except for controlled commerce, and was surprised to see that comings and goings were authorized, that trips were perfectly possible, if uncommon. So, nothing big really. In fact the most annoying point is the book's presentation, which is half false, implying that there are Mages using magic (they aren't really, magic comes from a mineral which can infused some objects and give them magical energy, so using magic is up to anybody wealthy enough to buy magic infused amulets) and also that the heroine will have to fight all alone - false again. In fact the truth is much more interesting and I don't understand why this presentation is so wrong! Well, let's hope that some changes will be made before publishing date... Now that this small matter of vagueness is set, lets talk about the good things! I liked the author imagination and the world building. And if it's sometimes a little fuzzy around the edges it's quite counterbalanced by its personality and originality. One could easily imagine some kind of nice developments in this world, and I hope there will be! The action, which evolves by spurts (as most of the job is about waiting, preparing and tiding) is quite good, reminding me often about the excellent series "Lockwood and co" by Jonathan Stroud. A mix of thorough preparations, specialised magical weapons, courage, quick thinking, mutual assistance and sheer luck. What I liked most in this book, which is a sensitive point for me, is characters' development, which was great. The main characters were real persons, eluding all the stereotypes and clichés so frequently encountered in so many books, people with  background stories which were actually affecting them along the story. I especially liked the heroine, Laura, a very normal person, likeable, competent and courageous but always in a credible kind of way. She may be petty sometimes, but is never unkind and tries to better a nicer person - she's young and still maturing. Indeed one of the main theme is about self-affirmation, especially when the entourage,  even persons well-meant, trie to prevent you to do what you want with your own life. The relationship between Laura and her aunt is especially subtle in this way. In a general manner characters, are never caricatured, being slowly nuanced. Good characters make half of a good read for me, and as the story was also very good...  the book was a hit for me! I really hope that the sequel will be out soon - a sequel clearly implied by the end of the story which, if neatly wrapped up, suggests some nice future developments). "City of Broken Magic" is a book I recommend to all readers who like stories with personality, credible characters, with no gratuitous violence, stories about friendship and family ties, stories which don't yield to the pressure of genres' diktats. It's a debut novel, and it shows a little bit, that's true. But I will take anytime a good and personal story, even greenish, rather than a perfectly controlled conventional bland one! (I thank Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book started off strong with a (sadly, one time only) point of view of a monster (a blobby mass of malevolence who reminded me a bit of Hexxus from the movie Ferngully) being born and seeking out some food. It was a great introduction to a book with a strong, original premise about a world where Sweepers do the work of monster removal in a society that doesn't believe the monsters exist anymore, and consequently has no appreciation for the danger Sweepers put themselves in. I read a review This book started off strong with a (sadly, one time only) point of view of a monster (a blobby mass of malevolence who reminded me a bit of Hexxus from the movie Ferngully) being born and seeking out some food. It was a great introduction to a book with a strong, original premise about a world where Sweepers do the work of monster removal in a society that doesn't believe the monsters exist anymore, and consequently has no appreciation for the danger Sweepers put themselves in. I read a review of this book that said while the reviewer loved the world in this book, they didn't always love the world building. I'd have to agree with that assessment. The action scenes in this book are great, but they are balanced out with perhaps too much exposition and world building. Like most epic fantasies (and first books in a planned series), there is a lot to unpack here. As a faithful reader, I carefully inventory all of that unpacking to seek clues to things that will come later in the book. Some clues (like a lengthy descriptions of the pits and why they're maintained or Clae referring to "Anselm," pay off later in the book) while others (all of the mob business) didn't, or maybe just didn't in this particular book. In other cases the world building just had some odd holes in it (like why would you frequently take your apprentice to a giant tree and never explain to her its pivotal role in protecting the city?) It all felt a little disjointed. Thankfully though, the world building is balanced out by strong characters. (Although I would have liked to see more development on Akane). Laura is a likeable character. Her family drama isn't fleshed out much but we learn a lot about gender inequality in this world she lives in and her need to feel like she is a valued member of society. (I have no idea why the promotional materials for this book said Laura is the last Sweeper. That is true for exactly ZERO PERCENT of the book, and keeps you waiting for a big death scene every time she and Clae do battle.) Clae is an even more intriguing character. I enjoyed the section where he and Laura journeyed to another city to visit other Sweepers and unpack some history. Overall, I dug this book a lot. Just not sure I'd necessarily seek out a sequel. The ending sees our heroes receiving a key, but I'm not terribly invested in learning what that key will unlock. On the other hand, perhaps with some of the introductory exposition now out of the way, this author would be more free in a second book to let these characters run free and play. That might be a book worth seeking out. Thanks to the author and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Arybo ✨

    Your instincts are good. Follow them. 💫 So, this book reminds me of Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, the movie. I don’t know why, I don’t know how. I know that I liked it a lot. There is a world that could be described as a 20th century setting, with trains and bicycles and guns. There are women at work, in important jobs, as political leaders. But there is also the judgement of people about women’s life, women’s jobs, women’s marriage. Laura is the main protagonist: after reading a bo Your instincts are good. Follow them. 💫 So, this book reminds me of Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, the movie. I don’t know why, I don’t know how. I know that I liked it a lot. There is a world that could be described as a 20th century setting, with trains and bicycles and guns. There are women at work, in important jobs, as political leaders. But there is also the judgement of people about women’s life, women’s jobs, women’s marriage. Laura is the main protagonist: after reading a book about magic sweepers she decided to become one of them. She asked to the Sweeper leader of her City (the city is called Amicae) to accept her as apprentice. So she became one of them. The problem is that there are few people who know about their existence. In this world the cities are “created” by magic, but not in all the cities the civil population knows about who control the magic, as the sweepers. Magic and amulets control mobsters, monsters and felins. Out of the city the wild nature is very powerful, and it’s attracted by magic people. I like that the main character is about 20 year old, it seems more realistic and reliable. I like her relationship with her “boss” and with the other apprentice. I like that the book ends with a lot of question. But what I I like the most is the magic system: it fascinated me, it captured me. It was like magic became energy and energy became power. The power, however, must be catalyzed with amulets and magic objects. Oh, I like this theme of the book. An other interesting experience in this novel was to understand the world building. There are a lot of city with a lot of differences: it was hard to understand everything, but I liked it even more. *i received a free digital copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review 🧡*

  17. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I really liked this book! It's a mix of urban fantasy and steampunk, with characters that I cared about and was cheering for. Yes, even cranky Clae. Laura is independent and struggling against sexist family and societal norms. Clae recognizes that she has value as a person, not just as a wife or mother, and treats her as a capable adult. Most of the story moves quickly, and events have a purpose ... I admit that after the first couple of scenes of "infestation" cleaning I skimmed some of those. I really liked this book! It's a mix of urban fantasy and steampunk, with characters that I cared about and was cheering for. Yes, even cranky Clae. Laura is independent and struggling against sexist family and societal norms. Clae recognizes that she has value as a person, not just as a wife or mother, and treats her as a capable adult. Most of the story moves quickly, and events have a purpose ... I admit that after the first couple of scenes of "infestation" cleaning I skimmed some of those. [I skip battle scenes in movies, too. :) ] I look forward to the next book in the series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Interesting ideas, some likeable characters, some (meant to be) unlikeable characters

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This debut fantasy novel showed a lot of promise, but by the end, I was just skimming, trying to finish the book for a review. Laura is an apprentice Sweeper, a professional trained to deal with the magical infestations that threaten her world. Created as a weapon that then got out of control, infestations take root in magical amulets and grow until they begin devouring people. At the most extreme, out of control infestations can destroy whole cities. Sweepers are there to stop them. But Laura’s This debut fantasy novel showed a lot of promise, but by the end, I was just skimming, trying to finish the book for a review. Laura is an apprentice Sweeper, a professional trained to deal with the magical infestations that threaten her world. Created as a weapon that then got out of control, infestations take root in magical amulets and grow until they begin devouring people. At the most extreme, out of control infestations can destroy whole cities. Sweepers are there to stop them. But Laura’s city has long been promoting the lie that they are immune to infestations, and as a result, the population is unprepared, Laura and her boss are the only Sweepers, and a powerful businessman is threatening to mess with the entire system that keeps infestations under control. Infestations have been on the rise, and Laura will need to be ready. I really like the concept of a magical weapon gone out of control, and the infestations themselves were appropriately creepy. However, they didn’t make up for the comparatively weak plotting. Let’s be real, City of Broken Magic‘s plot was basically some strung together reasons for every increasing monster attacks. I saw another review compare it to dungeon grinding in D&D, and that feels accurate. I did like the infestations, but… they relate to the novel’s iffy treatment of race and colonialism. Essentially, the entire continent of City of Broken magic was colonized five hundred years ago, and the native people created the infestations as a way to resist. Only, the infestations got out of control and started devouring them too. The few native people who remain alive are heavily discriminated against. Words in the native language sound similar to Japanese, but we don’t get much insight into their actual culture. So, here’s where I feel I feel iffy: the Japanese sounding language is just sort of sprinkled in for effect and by having the investigation come from the native population, it’s in a way making them responsible for their own genocide and placing the root of the continent’s problems on them, the colonized people. It’s just a lot of stuff that is having my brain go, “Erm, no this is uncomfortable and yikes.” Onto the topic of world-building, it didn’t feel that well thought out, and many of the elements relating to gender especially seemed inconsistent. We’re told over and over again what the expectations for women are, and Laura is constantly struggling with these. Women are supposed to get married, and if they do work, they are in lower, service end jobs like secretaries and telephone operators. Only, that doesn’t match what we actually see. The head of the police is a woman. Journalists are women. An influential city council member is a woman. And the text never comments on the fact that these women are directly going against the established gender norms. Essentially, the expectations placed on Laura seem artificial and a way to generate conflict for her character without relating authentically to the wider world. I started out liking the central protagonists. Laura has pluck, and she wants to go beyond the limits of her city and see the wider world. Her boss, Clae, reminded me sort of Sherlock Holmes: an abrasive, stand-offish character who probably does care beneath everything. Probably because he was reminding me of Sherlock Holmes, I was also sort of thinking of Clae as somewhere on the asexual or aromantic spectrum, like me. Then we find out that he has an ex-girlfriend and Laura expresses surprise, saying she thought he was “romantically stunted.” Urgh. This whole thing upset me more than microaggressions in fiction usually do, probably because I was headcanoning Clae as aro ace. My main issue with Laura is that she’s a bit “not like other girls.” There’s a number of scenes where she mocks other girls for interest in boys as a way to show she’s different and superior… all while she’s still presumably heterosexual and interested in boys. She didn’t have a romance plot in this book, but I have the feeling that the story’s building up to Laura/Clae. Overall, City of Broken Magic had a lot of elements that I don’t think were well thought out or well handled, and it’s also very much a debut novel. The plotting was clunky, and there was a lot of info-dumping. I’m unlikely to be recommending it in the future, but I would consider reading a future novel by Bolender, once she’s matured as an author. I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review. Originally reviewed on The Illustrated Page.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason Wrench

    After reading some of the reviews on here, I admit that I was a bit confused in the beginning of the book. The introduces a number of terms that are used elsewhere in fiction like "infestation," "gin, "kin," etc. that had specific meanings attached to them in this word, but did not resemble those in our world. I do think some initial clarification could have been given to make it easier to dive right into the world. Once I kind of figured out what was going on within the world Bolender created, I After reading some of the reviews on here, I admit that I was a bit confused in the beginning of the book. The introduces a number of terms that are used elsewhere in fiction like "infestation," "gin, "kin," etc. that had specific meanings attached to them in this word, but did not resemble those in our world. I do think some initial clarification could have been given to make it easier to dive right into the world. Once I kind of figured out what was going on within the world Bolender created, I really enjoyed the book. There are a lot of interesting twists and turns that I did not expect. And even though I saw the climax of the book coming from before I finished the first 1/3 of the text (the evil rich guy does something stupid and sets the heroes up for catastrophe), I enjoyed the journey there. I was given the opportunity to read a pre-publication version of the book, and the text still had a few awkward grammatical issues, but I'm sure that will be cleaned up before actual publication. When it's all said and done, I'm not completely sure what I would characterize this book as. It's part urban-fantasy, part steampunk, and part supernatural, and yet it's not completely any one of those at the same time. Overall, I definitely think this book is a good read and would encourage anyone looking for something a bit different to read it when it comes out in November 2018.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Bowyer

    City of Broken Magic, by Mirah Bolender, is a refreshingly original fantasy novel which follows Laura as she pursues her dreams of becoming a ‘Sweeper’. The art of using magic to defeat monsters is a dangerous and dying profession, but one that’s about to become extremely important again. The world that Bolender has created is fascinating. The magic system is so very detailed, with complex hidden structures all over Amicae supporting the protective elements and intricate details about how it all City of Broken Magic, by Mirah Bolender, is a refreshingly original fantasy novel which follows Laura as she pursues her dreams of becoming a ‘Sweeper’. The art of using magic to defeat monsters is a dangerous and dying profession, but one that’s about to become extremely important again. The world that Bolender has created is fascinating. The magic system is so very detailed, with complex hidden structures all over Amicae supporting the protective elements and intricate details about how it all fits together and interacts with the monsters. The world building is neatly done. In the opening scene Laura and Clae battle an infestation. It’s simultaneously exciting and thoroughly confusing. The reader is simply dropped into the world and left to figure it out little bit by little bit. By about halfway through when we’re battling another major infestation I felt thoroughly immersed and like I completely understood what was going on. Laura discovers, to her delight, that she’s a natural at controlling amulets. I loved the exploration of the discovery of natural talent. Of people looking at you like you’re amazing but not having to work for it, of it being easy. But also the feeling that you’ve found a sense of purpose. Because if it comes ‘naturally’ then nature must have planned it for you. Like breathing. Read my full review on Story Addict.

  22. 5 out of 5

    23hliesch

    Even though my cousin wrote this book, It was really good. The start of the story may seem a little boring, but it does a great job introducing you to the world of Amicae. This city may seem boring on the outside, but once you crack open that shell, you will be surprised at how much this book has to offer. The world is full of magical things like glowing eggs and spooky tar monster guys, which really keeps the story interesting. The characters all have very different attitudes, for example, Okan Even though my cousin wrote this book, It was really good. The start of the story may seem a little boring, but it does a great job introducing you to the world of Amicae. This city may seem boring on the outside, but once you crack open that shell, you will be surprised at how much this book has to offer. The world is full of magical things like glowing eggs and spooky tar monster guys, which really keeps the story interesting. The characters all have very different attitudes, for example, Okane is this weird wizard guy that doesn't take fall damage, Clae is a smart wizard dude, and Laura is just a Noob at this whole wizarding thing. The only thing bad about the story is that nobody ever said "Hi," to the friendly worker at the place where they pour the big egg. He seemed like a lonely man and Clae just treats him like a machine. Poor dude. BUT OVERALL, I'd give it a 7.456 out of 5 because it was a good story. (and because the egg things are cool).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Macmartin

    Definitely innovative setting. And likeable character. And quirky characters. Worth reading for that. I marked it as steampunk but it’s not quite. There were some annoying details, like a certain tell. Some bizarre concepts. A conspiracy of ignorance that is interesting in concept but I’m not sure I fully believe it would work - you need to suspend disbelief here. A few action scenes I didn’t quite follow. And some characters that felt almost but not quite real. Upshot: promising new author.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Ross

    In this fairly recognizable post-Industrial Revolution world, magic is both friend and foe. Enchanted amulets are useful in all sorts of ways, but let one become empty or damaged, and an infestation of vicious magic, taking the form of a jellyfish-like “monster” will erupt, consuming everything in its path. In the city of Amicae, as elsewhere, Sweepers clear out such infestations, but they are few in number. Two, to be precise, the notorious, irascible, scoundrel-with-a-heart-of-gold, Clae Sincl In this fairly recognizable post-Industrial Revolution world, magic is both friend and foe. Enchanted amulets are useful in all sorts of ways, but let one become empty or damaged, and an infestation of vicious magic, taking the form of a jellyfish-like “monster” will erupt, consuming everything in its path. In the city of Amicae, as elsewhere, Sweepers clear out such infestations, but they are few in number. Two, to be precise, the notorious, irascible, scoundrel-with-a-heart-of-gold, Clae Sinclair, and his apprentice, Laura. Soon they acquire a third, one of the very few humans to possess innate magic. But the situation in Amicae is unstable, with government propaganda proclaiming that there is no infestation problem and Sinclair’s team fighting an increasingly desperate battle with the odds stacked against them. I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the system of magic and its evil manifestations is reasonably fresh, and I liked the characters a great deal, especially how their relationships evolved over time. On the other hand, I found much of the magical terminology vague and confusing. “Monster” could mean anything from a tyrannosaur to Cookie Monster to a serial killer to a thing-that-goes-bump-in-the-night. I never got a clear visual of these, and I really wish they had a better, more descriptive name. Amorphic, toxic ink-squid would do, amorphs or ATIS for short. Likewise, “Gin” and “kin” (don’t ask me why one is capitalized and not the other; I haven’t a clue) and a host of other terms for magical energy. My biggest disappointment, though, was that I thought the story was setting up for a romance between Laura and Clae. She’s beset by other people in her life who want her to be less than her potential because of her sex, except for Clae, who consistently demands her best and refuses to coddle her. A dozen subtle moments make clear her growing tenderness for him, her compassion for his tortured past, and her maturity within their relationship. Perhaps the author saw that as an easy, predictable outcome, but I relish stories where characters force one another to grow, and then to grow in love.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart 3.5 hearts Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I just love books with magic.  I saw this and the blurb sounded great so I was excited to get City of Broken Magic.  I wish I had re-read the blurb again before I read the book and some things might have made more sense but others would have made less, so..   Yes, I had some of that first book .. I don't get the world .. This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart 3.5 hearts Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I just love books with magic.  I saw this and the blurb sounded great so I was excited to get City of Broken Magic.  I wish I had re-read the blurb again before I read the book and some things might have made more sense but others would have made less, so..   Yes, I had some of that first book .. I don't get the world .. I don't know the characters yet. Laura is the main character and we see the world through her. She is a new adult, just out of school. She is very young but capable. I liked her and found she had realistic feelings.  We all want to sleep in sometimes or don't like parts of our job, or wonder how we are doing. As far as the work itself and the broken magic, I was more frustrated by lack of understanding and action. It didn't really get going until almost half-way through.  Then, it was life-and-death crazy, and I was in fear for the characters I now like. The action was harrowing and fast-paced. Now I know the main characters, although there are some supporting ones to be more developed, perhaps. The basic facts are clear. But what the hell are they going to do now?  I'm totally ready for more in the Chronicles of Amicae series .  

  26. 4 out of 5

    Clara

    This book was so similar to the Lockwood & Co books that I felt this author was walking a thin line of plagiarism. There were times I felt like I was again reading one, and I think Jonathan Shroud may want to look into this. It did NOT read like an adult, more like a middle grade. Here are the similarities I noticed: 1. There is a relatively new apprentice. 2. There is a very grumpy and unfriendly boss that won't get close because he lost too many apprentices before her 3. There is a newer apprentic This book was so similar to the Lockwood & Co books that I felt this author was walking a thin line of plagiarism. There were times I felt like I was again reading one, and I think Jonathan Shroud may want to look into this. It did NOT read like an adult, more like a middle grade. Here are the similarities I noticed: 1. There is a relatively new apprentice. 2. There is a very grumpy and unfriendly boss that won't get close because he lost too many apprentices before her 3. There is a newer apprentice that the old apprentice feels jealous about and fears they will be replaced 4. They work for an organization that was once in huge favor but now local politicians want to end through any means necessary, but mostly through false narratives and lies 5. A shady business man that wants to destroy the safety net so they can make more money 6. There are only a handful of them so when the shit hits the fan, suddenly the city has to look to them to save the day! 7. Almost forgot: the boss has a deep family tragedy that is hinted at by the empty rooms in his living space, but he won't talk about it. Personally, I felt that the mystery could have been kept for another book, but at the end all answers are handed to you in a nice little box leaving no need to continue with the series. It is also clear this author loves Japan judging by the map and the whole "evil people from the main land wanting the island, and trying to destroy local natives who are 'magical and mystical' peoples. There were only a few elements of this story that were interesting such as the source of the original infestation and the secrets about the city. But not much more, and the characters aren't all that likable. Would not recommend, if you are looking for a fun mystical and supernatural adventure I would recommend the Lockwood &Co by Jonathan Shroud.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

    Clae Sinclair is the Head Sweeper of Amicae. Clae and his apprentice Laura take care of any infestations in their city. Amulets hold various magic. They can be used for everyday household things like cooking, or in jobs for speed, pretty much everything. But when an amulet gets broken, it becomes the possible host to an infestation. An infestation will destroy everything around it until it's stopped. That's where the sweepers come in. They make sure broken amulets are taken care of properly, and Clae Sinclair is the Head Sweeper of Amicae. Clae and his apprentice Laura take care of any infestations in their city. Amulets hold various magic. They can be used for everyday household things like cooking, or in jobs for speed, pretty much everything. But when an amulet gets broken, it becomes the possible host to an infestation. An infestation will destroy everything around it until it's stopped. That's where the sweepers come in. They make sure broken amulets are taken care of properly, and they fight any infestations that arise. Somebody has it out for Clae. Would they really unleash multiple infestations on the city just to get back at one man? It looks that way. This story was good, but not great. I thought the magic system sounded interesting, and I liked the characters. I doubt I will continue the series though. It just wasn't that memorable. I received a copy from Net Galley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    This review isn't going to be very helpful, because I can't figure out what I didn't like about the book. Everything about this book are things that I normally like, but I continually had a hard time picking this book back up to continue reading it. About half way through I just ended up skipping to the last 50ish pages or so. Even though it was obvious I missed things, it didn't really feel like I missed anything important. I don't know, I just had a hard time getting into this world. This review isn't going to be very helpful, because I can't figure out what I didn't like about the book. Everything about this book are things that I normally like, but I continually had a hard time picking this book back up to continue reading it. About half way through I just ended up skipping to the last 50ish pages or so. Even though it was obvious I missed things, it didn't really feel like I missed anything important. I don't know, I just had a hard time getting into this world.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim Hicks

    Three stars, but promising. There's a lot of worldbuilding, but it's not as strong as it could have been. The characters are good, and the plot was plausible. The pace was slow for the first two-thirds, then picked up nicely. The ending, with an obvious lead to a sequel, was reasonably well handled, so that if we don't read on we aren't left feeling unfinished. I'll look for the next one and then decide. Three stars, but promising. There's a lot of worldbuilding, but it's not as strong as it could have been. The characters are good, and the plot was plausible. The pace was slow for the first two-thirds, then picked up nicely. The ending, with an obvious lead to a sequel, was reasonably well handled, so that if we don't read on we aren't left feeling unfinished. I'll look for the next one and then decide.

  30. 5 out of 5

    *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*

    Actual rating 3.5/5. Full review to come!

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