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BLACK HAT MAGICK

Geeky Techno-Magical Mystery

By Shutsumon, author of Tales of the First

Jun 13, 2010: Goodness me, my second review of a Kyt Dotson work in less than a week. Another good one at that. Does that make me a fan? I guess it does.

Black Hat Magick is a contemporary fantasy mystery. The main character – Elaine – is a university student/tech support geek/paranormal detective. So often in modern fantasy magic and technology don’t mix. Not so in this universe, and that’s a refreshing change.

The story is a mystery. Elaine is hired to find out who’s fixing student elections by supernatural means, but even here there is a twist. Her employer is the beneficiary of the fraud, not the victim. The threats are smaller than your average urban fantasy, but as things develop they end up being bad enough.

It only gets better . . . 

Likes:

  1. Very interesting characters. Some people may find the tech and popular culture references annoying, but they are completely in character.
  2. I like the way magic and technology are not at odds.
  3. Nice clean layout.

Dislikes:

  1. The layout is clean, but it’s also light-on-dark which is a little annoying (and some people really don’t like it).
  2. There are a few typos (but I’ve seen a lot worse in traditionally published books)
  3. As with Mill Avenue Vexations I occassionally found myself skimming because nothing much was happening.

Verdict:

Yup, It’s another solid urban fantasy by Kyt Dotson. If that’s your thing go and read it now.

Unlike Vexations this one is finished. But I’m sure there’s a lot more tales could be told of Elaine and her colleagues, so I hope a sequel is planned.

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BLACK HAT MAGICK

Engaging, amusing and I can’t stop reading…

By Shandrydan, member

Feb 26, 2010: I stumbled on this today (it was the featured editors pick), and have so far read 9 chapters.

The main character is engaging and believable and there are some really nice supporting characters including her AI assistant and her best friend Frog.

Unlike the editors review (which I did not read before I read the story) I did not find the Star Wars, and other culture references annoying. I found that they are used appropriately (not overdone) and you could believe the character would actually use them in those circumstances. In fact I found it helped bridge two worlds: the world that we recognise and one that also contains gremlins and other psychic strangeness.

The writing has a comic edge to it – not laugh out loud, but definitely raises a smile.

I am looking forward to reading the rest.

Tonight.

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THOMAS BLEAKLY: PI

Wobot takes the Wap

By Linton Robinson, member

Nov 11, 2009: What fun!

I came to this hoping to find a mainstream (i.e. adult) story among all the high school monsters and zombies, but the hard-boiled ‘tec bit quickly slipped into SF, at least to the extent of a robot client.

But it’s not really SF, it’s humor. A close cousin would be Roger Rabbit, with the detective involved in something not at all real, but a huge lot of fun.

Once that’s established, things move along, then blow sky high. This is the sort of story that tends to get under-rated. The light tone and faux deadpan makes it look easy. But it’s the real thing, albeit wild and crazee

My favorite line so far: (and an example of the understatement I mentioned) "Her face was unreadable- robot emotions can be hard to interpret."

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