*For a more thorough review, please check out my Blog Buddy Tia's blog http://fantasydebut.blogspot.com/ My review we'll probably be more commentary. You all probably realize I'm an amateur who doesn't follow a standard procedure anyway.*
Before I launch into my complaints about the Fantasy genre, I would you to know this is a good book that I liked.
For greater discussion of the ins and outs of the Fantasy genre, check out my other Blog Buddies' blog http://toasted-scimitar.blogspot.com/
I don't read much Fantasy for two reasons. One, most of them are Tolkien knock-offs. Two, most of them center so much on the magic that the humanity of the characters is lost. As a reader (and a writer), the Intimate Adventure is the most important factor to me in every story. Other readers have other priorities, but that's mine. Pop over to http://www.simegen.com/jl/intimateadventure.html In a nutshell, the Intimate Adventure is the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and psychological experience of the protagonist, how she matures, how she comes to the point in which she's prepared to deal with the conflict and overcome.
If I had sped-red MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, I would have missed the Intimate Adventure and probably would have tossed the book by the end of the first chapter. It's not portrayed as strongly as I prefer. However, Lisa's voice is so fresh and real and the heroine, Raine, is so multi-dimensional, empathetic, and appealing that I was absorbed right into the story anyway. By the end of the third chapter, I was seeing the Intimate Adventure and I was a happy reader as a result.
MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND is unusual in that it's told in First Person Point of View and the voice telling it sounds contemporary. If not for the amulet and goblins, I'd think Raine was a rogue agent on the backstreets of Chicago dealing with the Mob. That may put off some die-hard Fantasy readers, but I think if they stick it out they'll be hooked. I think Lisa Shearin is very lucky to have had industry professionals supportive of her original way of telling this story because I think she'll hook new readers who wouldn't normally read Fantasy, as a result.
There is a lot of magic shooting back and forth, but it doesn't overwhelm the characters. Raine is beautifully flawed and holds her own against the magic element.
There's not a Hobbit to be found anywhere in this book. In fact, if LORD OF THE RINGS had the goblins from MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, I think Lady Arwen would have thought twice about sticking with Aragorn. The goblins in this Fantasy novel are sexy, but still very scary. Arwen was smart. She would have seen through that. And so does Raine, of course. I love gorgeous villains. They make life so much more complicated for the Heroine!
On the outset of this story, you'll wonder if there is any virtue at all in the heroes. They live in a city which positively reeks of greed. But, then, you'll notice that Raine gets in trouble because she cares about Quentin and deeper into trouble because cares about other people too. This is virtue at its most basic, but if you told Raine that she'd probably laugh you off.
The story goes that she's trying to help these friends out and ends up with the amulet which won't let her take it off. All the baddies in the city find out and start hunting her down. Like I said, for a more thorough review of the details, pop over to Tia's blog.
Linnea Sinclair recommended this book to me just when I finally got Zombie doo-doo cleaned out of my ears from reviewing her forthcoming novel, DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES. (sigh) Now I have goblin goo freeze-dried in my hair. Thanks a lot, Linnea!
Learn more about Lisa Shearin, MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, and Lisa's other stuff at http://www.lisashearin.com/