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Magic, Technology, and Cookies – What More Could You Want?

By Palladian, author of Super

Nov 27, 2012: I really love reading this story. From the first few chapters I was hooked, and one of the main reasons why is the protagonist, Stef Mimosa. She’s a hacker who started off the story working on a large project of dubious origin, and later falls down the rabbit hole, becoming involved with an agency she never before knew existed.

One of the things I love the most about this story is the window it gives the readers into Stef’s mind. She seems to have a fairly constant internal dialogue going on between different parts of her mind, some of which actually makes its way into spoken words. This has prompted an inquiry at least once as to whether the sentence she was speaking started in her mind. The thing I like so much about her internal dialogue is that while it’s definitely witty and amusing, it also really explains the character piece by piece, without seeming to. It’s a well done piece of writing and I admire it a lot.

Another thing I liked about the characters in this story is that the author does a good job presenting them as they are, without sugarcoating anything. A character who’s scary and threatening sometimes later turns around to do something heroic and amazing, and it seems more amazing because of the fact that we know the character isn’t some paragon of perfection. Even the character who might be Stef’s guardian angel she originally meets in a situation where he was probably threatening her life. The author does a good job of showing this time and again through her story, and her characters come to life as a result, because I felt like I knew more about who they really are, not just a two-dimensional snapshot.

One of the other things I liked about the story was how the author skillfully wove a story full of technological wonders, some well beyond what you’d see in day-to-day life, right alongside a world fully of magic and mystical creatures. I thought the way she simply presented all of these things worked very well with Stef’s viewpoint, because Stef seems to simply accept things as they are, whether it’s a new technology or a creature she’s never seen before, and then try to find out more about it. As a reader, I really liked that we got to see what she saw, through her eyes, and even though we might be having quite a different reaction to it, she simply goes about her way, trying to figure out all she can about this new thing.

I also liked the way that the story developed the idea that even though magic seems to abound in this world (and some technology so advanced it might as well be magic), it isn’t going to protect you from the consequences of all of your decisions, up to and including death. Sometimes characters can be helped, but if you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time, or simply unlucky, consequences might catch up to you and that might be the end. I thought that was a very good way to show that although some of the people in the story might be able to do something beyond the average human experience, if they pushed the envelope too much, that might be the end. It seemed a skillful way to show that the characters, although powerful, weren’t omnipotent, which adds a lot more interest to the story.

The only thing I could think of that could be improved is that there were some parts of the story, transitions especially, that seemed as if they weren’t as polished as the rest of the story. In particular, I would have liked to see at least a hint of where the beginning of the second book was going to pick up, in the ending of the first book. The way I read it, it seemed like the story was going to end, so I was puzzled why the series continued. At any rate, I can’t say that it spoiled my enjoyment of the story overall, but if I’d paid for the first book instead of reading it online, I think I would have been so ticked off with the way the story ended that I wouldn’t have been willing to buy a second book, but maybe that’s just me.

At any rate, I can recommend this story very highly to anyone interested in modern day science fantasy, especially featuring hackers and people who may or may not be angels (and with appearances from any number of other creatures from old fables), and anyone who likes cookies. I’ll certainly be continuing to read this series myself.

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