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Innate Magic (The Marrowbone Spells) by…
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Innate Magic (The Marrowbone Spells) (edition 2021)

by Shannon Fay (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
726316,724 (3.25)3
From debut author Shannon Fay comes the first novel in the enchanting Marrowbone Spells series featuring Paul Gallagher, a lower-class magician who aspires to high society through spells, wits, and irresistible charm. Delightfully cheeky, unquestionably charming, and sometimes maddeningly naive, cloth mage Paul Gallagher is desperately trying to make a name for himself in a reimagined postwar London. But in a world where magic is commonplace, sewing enchanted clothes is seen as little more than a frivolous distraction. Paul is hiding a secret, however: he possesses a powerful--and illegal--innate magic that could help him achieve his wildest dreams. Unfortunately, Paul confides in the wrong person--his latest crush, Captain Hector Hollister--and is drawn into a sinister plot that risks reigniting the machinery of war. To make matters worse, the pretty American gossip reporter Paul just met reveals her personal quest to expose a government cover-up may be related to Hollister's magical goals. When Hollister threatens the life of Paul's dearest friend, he realizes that his poor judgement has put not only his family and friends in danger, but also the whole world. The only way to set things right may be for Paul to undergo the dangerous ritual to become Court Magician--the most powerful magician in the country. But is becoming part of the institution the best way to enact change in a terribly unjust society?… (more)
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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Dropped at 27%. The world seems original but I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and the main one is obnoxious and self-centered. I just lost interest.
  brittaniethekid | Jul 7, 2022 |
This book was not what I thought it was going to be. I first thought that this was going to be gayer than it was. It was still good for what it was. A lot about God and religion for me liking. THe main character also wasn't my favorite person neither was the main love interest. But Thomas was my favorite character. I would/want to protect him from everything. I might read the second one once it comes out. Possibly just to read what happens to Thomas. ( )
  mythical_library | Jun 15, 2022 |
Tldr; sloppy storytelling, but a fun enough book that I'll give the series one more try.

I enjoyed Innate Magic for the first 2/3 of the book. Engaging plot, interesting enough characters (though the supporting characters are far more interesting than the lead). The reader is excellent.

But then I began to be annoyed. I have so many questions and about plot points both large and small. SPOILER ALERT!

For example, are we really meant to believe that two high-powered parties, one connected to the government and the other a successful mob-boss-like fixer, would be unable to locate the dwelling of a poor student? Any villain worth anything would ALREADY have that information on hand, before tricking the hero of the story into a set-up. Likewise, Paul and Thomas fled to Paul's CHILDHOOD HOME. The very first place they'd be followed, after their crummy little flat in London has been checked.

And in the grand finale, why didn't Hollister come prepared. He didn't even bring knives?? And why wouldn't the foreseer tell Paul what she saw? She had nothing to lose. One senses the author didn't want to give away the dramatic moment of the flaying, which is reasonable from a storytelling standpoint but unreasonable from a "what real people do" standpoint.

Furthermore, unless I missed something, we never find out why it has to be Paul to flay Hollister. Surely, when Paul expressed his absolute unwillingness to help, Hollister could have found someone else. Someone more sociopathic, more deeply ambitious. Or was there really something special about Paul? It's never convincingly explained.

And how on earth could Paul not realize the mystery man at the wedding at the end was Oberon. Paul is no genius, but he's also not dense as a hunk of lead.

A final complaint: it was disappointing that a male bisexual lead character ended up with an (ostensibly) straight woman. Realistic perhaps -most bisexuals do end up with opposite-sex partners- but I still was disappointed. But that's just me and doesn't enter my rating of the book.

( )
  AlainaZ | Jun 5, 2022 |
Really not for me. I got about a third of the way through and couldn't tolerate the self-obsessed, sex-obsessed, maker-of-bad-choices protagonist any longer as he got himself twisted further and further into weird plots. I skipped to the end to see if it was worth finishing - and thought I was reading an excerpt of the next book; it's a completely different plot, and a different POV, in the last chapter. Skimmed back a bit, and apparently those weird plots just keep twisting further and further into weirdness - and their consequences lead to the plot and problems for the next book (thus the last chapter). If you enjoyed The Lies of Locke Lamora or The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - if you like manipulators and twisty plots - try this, you may love it. Not me. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 6, 2022 |
didn't hold my interest ( )
  Tip44 | Dec 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shannon Fayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Faceout Studio / Jeff MillerCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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From debut author Shannon Fay comes the first novel in the enchanting Marrowbone Spells series featuring Paul Gallagher, a lower-class magician who aspires to high society through spells, wits, and irresistible charm. Delightfully cheeky, unquestionably charming, and sometimes maddeningly naive, cloth mage Paul Gallagher is desperately trying to make a name for himself in a reimagined postwar London. But in a world where magic is commonplace, sewing enchanted clothes is seen as little more than a frivolous distraction. Paul is hiding a secret, however: he possesses a powerful--and illegal--innate magic that could help him achieve his wildest dreams. Unfortunately, Paul confides in the wrong person--his latest crush, Captain Hector Hollister--and is drawn into a sinister plot that risks reigniting the machinery of war. To make matters worse, the pretty American gossip reporter Paul just met reveals her personal quest to expose a government cover-up may be related to Hollister's magical goals. When Hollister threatens the life of Paul's dearest friend, he realizes that his poor judgement has put not only his family and friends in danger, but also the whole world. The only way to set things right may be for Paul to undergo the dangerous ritual to become Court Magician--the most powerful magician in the country. But is becoming part of the institution the best way to enact change in a terribly unjust society?

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