“Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel—or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year” – Description from Goodreads
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte — the pseudonym of authors Meg Howrey and Christina Lynch — had an interesting concept. Flyte obviously did their research of Beethoven’s life, and the twist with his “Immortal Beloved” was an interesting take on it.
However, that’s unfortunately about the best I can say about City of Dark Magic, It was through sheer force of will that I finished this novel. The writing seems to be at an amateur level at best; the plot scattered and in general, just a mess. There’s little to no character development throughout the story, and the dynamics between characters seems to fall flat.
With an antagonist who seems entirely power hungry, and just killing for the sake of killing, and a protagonist who is nothing special except for having a nose sensitive enough to smell things like danger, evil and pheromones, and has an extensive knowledge of Beethoven’s music, there wasn’t really much to the characters, nothing that makes you feel sympathy for their quest, or takes you on an emotional ride through their trials and triumphs.
While the book and the writing does seem to improve somewhat about half-way through; there are still sections in which it seems the authors forgot what genre they were writing, with segments which seem like they’d be better suited for an erotica novel — coupled with their style and word usage making the book feel like it was intended for young readers — made those scenes awkward to read and completely unnecessary.
(Note: I have absolutely no issue with sex in novels, but when it’s out of the blue and goes into great detail where it’s completely out of place, it’s probably best to leave it out.)
A lot of what was hinted at and referenced through the novel also fell short and were quite disappointingly executed, seeming rushed at best, or not given more than a few words of mention when they were finally shown.
This isn’t a book I would recommend at all, but perhaps others will see what I failed to in this novel, and will enjoy it.
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte will be released November 27th.
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.