Sep 6, 2009: Black Hat Magick currently stands at 13 chapters, and is promising to be a very exciting serial.
The story follows Elaine, a university student who, in her free time, works as a private detective. She is a skilled hacker, intelligent, and dismissive of authority. But she is equally knowledgeable about the ‘arcane’: the supernatural, and how magic and technology can mix.
When Elaine is hired by a member of the Student Council to investigate the possible corruption of the upcoming student elections, she isn’t aware of what she’s getting herself into. Each piece of the puzzle only raises further questions, and it doesn’t help that Elaine has problems of her own to deal with!
Black Hat Magick is an alternative detective story. It has the classic detective style of writing, full of detailed observations, and told from the point of view of a loner, an outsider to mainstream society. The characters are well-developed and entertaining, and the pacing is superbly planned, keeping you hungering for more.
It is set in an alternate universe much like our own, except, technologically-speaking, more advanced. The story offers a fresh take on stock fantasy critters: gremlins, for example, seem to be a destructive type of AI formed from static electricity.
The story is set at a university, but Black Hat Magick is not just another college story. The university setting is of only background importance, as the focus is on Elaine’s sleuthing activities.
The story is well-written and descriptive, although there are a smattering of typos. Be warned that there is a lot of technical jargon. While occasionally annoying, the use of tech speak did add to the credibility of the protagonist, and it hasn’t yet hindered my enjoyment.
My one complaint? The story often references popular culture (facebook, 4chan, Star Wars, etc), which, frankly, I find annoying.
The website itself is simple to navigate and relatively uncluttered. It does use the light-text-on-dark-background style, which I don’t mind, but some readers may find annoying.
Overall, an entertaining read with a constantly twisting plot line. I look forward to reading more.
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