Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND by Lisa Shearin

*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/

8 comments:

Lisa Shearin said...

Kimber An,
I'm so glad you enjoyed MLTF! Thank you for the great review! Yep, I knew I was venturing a bit into uncharted waters using a contemporary tone in a traditional fantasy setting. But as I was writing it, my instincts told me that was the right way to go, and better still, it was FUN. I had fun writing MLTF, exploring Raine's world, and getting to know her and her friends (and her enemies). I discovered yet more about Raine and Company while writing Armed & Magical. And I've got characters and settings that I've mentioned or hinted at in these first two books that I can't wait to write about. MLTF is the first in a series. Here's hoping it gets to be a long one. ; )

Lisa

Kimber An said...

Oh, I love series! I love reading them and I love writing them. What can I say? I get emotionally attached and have a hard time letting go. Is Armed & Magical already set to be published? When will it be out?

I liked how the goblins and the elves and such were portrayed as different races all interacting in the same society.

Lisa Shearin said...

Armed & Magical was due to come out next June, but last week my publisher moved it up to May 2008.

I wanted to do something different with my elves and goblins. In most traditional fantasy, elves are tall, beautiful, elegant and dignified. Raine is tall, but she doesn't see herself as beautiful (though the men in her life certainly do), and dignified isn't a word I'd ever use to describe Raine.

As to my goblins, it was just too fun to go with tall, silver and sexy. Add long black hair, dark eyes and fangs -- it's naughtiness waiting to happen. (And with Tam, Raine doesn't have to wait very long.) ; )

Kimber An said...

Oh, you're teasing us about Tam!

Tia Nevitt said...

Yes, she is, and I can't wait for book two so I can read more about Tam. He wasn't my favorite at first, but I admit that the kiss got me.

Great job on the review, Kimber An, and thanks mentioning my blog!

LadyBronco said...

Madame Kimber ~

My TBR pile is starting to rival Gwyneth's!

Kimber An said...

You're welcome, Tia, and thanks for popping in.

Hey, Lady B, don't stand too close to your TBR pile in case it topples over. I don't want you to get smooshed.

:o)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fun read. I bought the book today.
Shelb