Book Review: Magic Lost, Trouble Found

Title: Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Book 1 of the Raine Benares series)
Author: Lisa Shearin
Publisher: Ace Books

Raine Benares is the black sheep in a family of thieves and pirates.  Sorry, “seafaring businessmen.”  Raine chose to work as a seeker, basically a magical private eye.  If you lost something, she’s the woman to find it.  And lucky for you, she’s almost indestructible.

Magic Lost, Trouble Found is a good book with an odd title and a great main character.  Raine is strong, snarky, and confident.  She’s not overly fleshed-out in this first book, though Shearin drops a few hints here and there about Raine’s interesting past.  Admittedly, a large part of this first book deals with Raine’s newfound abilities as a result of dealing with the book’s main magical force.  I definitely found it interesting to start a book where the main character admits that she’s not great at magic, only to see her have her powers amplified greatly.

The rest of the characters in the book are interesting enough, but most seem to pale in comparison.  The only two characters that I enjoyed near as much as Raine were her grandfather, a kindly man who, of course, just may be the smartest person around her, and her cousin, a spellsinger, a mage that can use his voice in magical ways.  Well, there’s also a very attractive gentleman that is protecting Raine, but that appears to be a character that will play a much larger part in future books.

Even after I read this book, I struggle with what genre to put it into.  My natural reaction would be to call it an urban fantasy book, though it doesn’t take place on Earth.  Though it takes place in another world, it still has the feel of an urban fantasy book, with a large, sprawling city, though it does differ in that all of the different creatures live fairly in the open as opposed to being part of some underground, hidden part of the city.  And although the apostrophe-laden characters from the other races (elves, goblins, etc.) co-exist, Shearin still creates some great drama, mostly of the political variety in this first book.

The only issue I had with Magic Lost, Trouble Found is that Raine feels invincible.  She’s placed in some precarious situations, but she always seems to come out without a scratch.  Admittedly, the book takes place over the period of about 48 hours, so there would be little chance for Raine to recover from any injuries, but I would have liked for her to be placed in some situations where she was truly in trouble.  It’s always satisfying to read the main character win in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Even with that issue, I had a ton of fun reading this first book in the series.  It’s not the most serious book, but it was a nice change of pace after my most recent reads.  It’s the perfect book for someone looking to get into a series with a strong female lead and solid writing.  After this first book, I’m definitely in for the whole series.

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About Michael Hannon
Podcaster, blogger, writer, geek. Host of That Video Game Podcast (TVGP) and Dynamic Soundtrack. A big fan of stuff.

One Response to Book Review: Magic Lost, Trouble Found

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Armed and Magical « The Carousel Podcast

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