Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Book Review: Sophia (Magic Stone Book One) by J New

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Synopsis: Running away from a tragedy for which she blamed herself, Sophia Stone deliberately chose a quiet and solitary life, where her gift would do no more harm. But all that changes when a stranger rushes into the London centre where she works, and demands that she save the life of his dog. Before long they are both running for their lives against a centuries old organisation, hell bent on eradicating witchcraft. 

As assassins are hired, and friends become enemies, will Sophia and Fritz discover who is calling the shots and learn how to stop them? And will her family, forced into hiding remain safe? As they realise their chance encounter was anything but, and they have more in common than they thought, will they live long enough to act on their mutual desire and begin the process of healing? Or will their future be doomed before it’s even begun? 


Review: Sophia is the first book in the Stone Magic series, and if one thing is for certain, this is going to be a magical tale.

J New is an author that is growing with authority with each and every book she pens. From the horror and twisted tales in Predator or Prey, to the whimsical light mystery An Accident Murder - truthfully, we don't know what she is going to come up with next!

That said, penning a tale about magic and the sisterly witches that practise them, was never going to be easy. Then we learn that this is book one in a five book series!

As with the author's other books, this is an easy to read tale that reveals more layers as you progress through the story.

Obviously the focus in this book is Sophia, but there are a myriad of characters to read through and given the book's relatively short length, it can seem at times like too many characters have been thrust upon you.

Naturally this leads to us thinking, where do Sophia's other sisters and parents fit into the series as a whole. So in considering my review and how to rate this book, I give it a 4 on GoodReads but a 5 on Amazon. I think when the series has been completed as a whole, I may well review my rating upwards.

First and foremost, the cover is immediately eye catching and striking. It's a stunning cover and well done to all those involved in its creation.

In the opening chapter, we get a sense of what Sophia is actually capable of. This is a brilliantly conveyed scene, with the narrative and dialogue in perfect balance.

Later chapters show off the author's great command and use of imagery:

'She saw murders - blood flying onto a bathroom wall, entrails falling like dead snakes onto a pavement....'

This use of language is fantastic and shows that the author treats her readers with respect, in wanting to drag us into the witch's minds.

One of the other sisters, Nadia, says this:

"Magic doesn't care what language you speak, just as long as you understand the words."

As more characters are introduced, slowly but cleverly are inserted their back story. Tabitha (now why wasn't one of my sisters called that?!) was a concert pianist, and the musically inclined amongst us will love these little references.

The book retains the humour in An Accidental Murder.

"My girlfriend used to say she didn't know where everything I ate went. She used to say I had hollow legs."

Of course, the sisterly witches can't be just left to do their thing, and the enemy begins to emerge in the book. I think it is so good, I simply cannot reference it here. But when you see two words beginning with LD, you'll know what I mean.

There is some beautiful language in the book, though the plot is key and in Sophia, it's a killer one.

'People can't tolerate what they don't understand, and fear and ignorance leads to hate and violence.'

So true. When are we going to learn?

Whilst the world tangles and untangles itself, read Sophia. It's a different take on the well worn witch saga.

4.5 very strong stars overall.