Apr 3, 2013: I enjoyed reading the first eleven chapters of The Watchmage of New York, and I’m interested to see where this series goes next. The story is set in New York City of the 1850’s, and we follow Nathaniel Hood, a 150-year old mage whose duty is to watch over the otherworldly citizens of the city, helping or dispensing justice as the situation dictates.
The writer’s take on the non-humans inhabiting the city is fascinating in its own right, and I found myself wanting more information on the various races – trolls, ogres, sidhe, and pooka alike. The way the author presents magical workings in the story is also appealing, and I look forward to finding more out about it as the story progresses.
Another of the things I liked especially was the way the author made the New York City of the past come alive in this story. I could get a sense both of what it was like in the 1850’s, as well as previously, due to the main character’s span of history, which he seems to have spent much of in the same town. For lovers of historical dramas, take note, because I think you’ll especially like this aspect of the series.
My hope as I read through the first story in the series was that the author would come up with a way to actually challenge the main character. Nathaniel is presented as old and powerful enough to conquer just about any challenge that comes his way. Although that’s what I’d expect for someone who was named the magical watchdog of a large city, I had trouble seeing that many of the opponents that he came up against in the first story would actually be a match for him. Chapters 10 and 11 are part of the second story in the series, however, and it seems like the author is rising to the occasion and bringing someone (or maybe a number of people) who can give Nathaniel a run for his money. That’s definitely what I’d like to see more of as this story progresses, in order to keep things interesting.
The only other thing I can think of to add is a request to the author to get another set of eyes before you post; most of the text is fairly clean, but there’s the occasional typo that set me on my ear, often one a chapter. For example, “wonton woman” definitely set my imagination spinning, since it sounds like something you might find on the menu in a dodgy Chinese restaurant, but I’m guessing that’s not what the author was going for in that sentence. Another note for readers – reading more than the first chapter requires a free registration with Jukepop Serials.
At any rate, I found the story entertaining and the recent developments hopeful, so I can recommend reading it, especially if you like magical fantasy or historical adventures.
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