The Compulsive Reader: Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Monday, September 8, 2008

Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Reason Cansino has been brought up to believe that magic is not real, and that her grandmother, a believer of magic and practitioner of dark rituals, is evil. So in order to evade her, Reason and her mother Sarafina have lived on the run all over Australia. All that changes when Sarafina goes mad when Reason is fifteen years old and Reason is sent to live with the wicked witch herself.

But Reason didn't spend a lifetime with her mother without learning anything—she's got a plan of escape. But that plan involves walking out of the back door of her grandmother's house—out of a door she doesn't know will take her to a completely different world far different from Sydney, Australia—New York City.

Magic or Madness is a completely unique take on magic and urban fantasy from a very talented author. Reason's background and her abhorrence of magic are thoroughly explained, and her loyalty and spunk are to be admired. Throughout the course of the novel, the exact workings of magic aren't explained, which may cause some impatience for readers, and the plot does drag slightly towards the middle of the book, but picks up again after the introduction of a new character, and after Reason and her new friend Jay-Tee realize the danger of another. Larbalestier exposes readers to a tantalizing and dangerous version of magic that comes with hard truths and some deadly consequences, but is engaging and appealing nevertheless. The book leaves off with an open ending and some slightly under developed characters that will inspire excitement for the next book in the trilogy, Magic Lessons.


Bunny B said...

I really enjoyed this book! I haven't read the other 2 though.

Khy said...

I love this series! She's a really good author.

BookChic said...

I can only find the second book in this series, and I really want to read the whole series though!! Might have to check the library. Great review.