Book Review: Armed and Magical

Armed and Magical (Book 2 in the Raine Benares series)
Author: Lisa Shearin
Publisher: Ace Books

Raine’s back for another snarky, loveable, magical adventure.  Her powers are ever-growing, her posse is getting larger by the page, and there are still myriad magical creatures chasing after her.

After the first book, I was looking forward to Shearin’s next attempt, hoping that her second book in the series would knock my socks off.  It didn’t, but there’s still a lot to love in Armed and Magical.

In the unfortunately-titled first book in the series, Raine picked up a giant, magical rock that began to grant her some pretty serious powers.  Thankfully, the same smart-mouthed, brash, and oddly loveable Raine is still there but now she has new magical powers at her disposal.  Not only do you get a better look into what makes Raine tick, you also have the enjoyment of discovering Raine’s new abilities right alongside her.

I mentioned before that Raine’s posse continues to grow so does her character.  Her spellsinger relative Parias has a much larger part in Armed and Magical, which I found to be a breath of fresh air.  Raine, in the first book, seemed ready at any moment to charge in and take care of business without a second thought, but her interactions with Parias flesh out her motives nicely.  It’s nice to see Raine break out of the hardass mold for a few minutes and express some genuine concern over him, too.

Unfortunately, the main plot never really grabbed me.  It mostly involves someone kidnapping spellsingers (magicians that use their voices in magical ways) for what you can only assume is a dark and evil plot.  The main issues get resolved by the end, but, for one reason or another, it never engaged me.  I was far more interested in Raine’s investigations into the Saghred (the aforementioned magical rock she’s tied to) and how to rid her life of it, along with her newfound abilities.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy reading Armed and Magical, even if I wasn’t always invested.  Raine’s character continues to grow, more interesting characters start to show up on the scene, and Shearin’s style gets stronger and funnier.  I’m still in it for the long haul with Ms. Benares.

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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.

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