Book review: The Unbidden Magic series by Marilee Brothers







The Unbidden Magic Series, by Marilee Brothers (Moonstone, Moon Rise, Moon Spun, Shadow Moon). Published by Bell Bridge Books.

Review copies were provided by Bell Bridge Books.

This review covers a series of four books, so I’m not going to write the blurb for each of them. That would just take too long.

Here’s the background: 15 year old Allie Emerson is given a moonstone necklace by her friend and sometime guardian, Kizzy (who is a Romany Gypsy, but everyone calls her a witch). Allie’s mother, Faye, is pretending to have fibromyalgia to get out of working.

So, okay. The moonstone necklace. It’s pretty, it’s a necklace, it has special powers. (I KNOW.)

It turns out that there are good guys and bad guys (the bad guys are called Trimarks, the good guys are Star Seekers). Allie, obviously, is a Star Seeker. She’s The Chosen One, the one who’s supposed to wear the moonstone and save the world (from the Trimarks, who are pretty evil).

Oh, did I mention that Allie has telekinetic powers? (I KNOW.)

I have to say, I was rather excited about reading a YA paranormal that had no sign of vampires or werewolves. The “paranormal” part in this is Allie’s TKP, along with other psychic abilities.

Granted, I also thought that there wouldn’t be any faeries and that the entire series would focus on the Trimarks and the Star Seekers. And it did. Until book three, when the faery realm reached out and smacked me upside the head. (No, seriously.) Of course, looking back, there were signs dropped here and there (like Allie’s mother, whose name is Fae). But yeah, totally didn’t see that coming.

I’m not going to write a detailed review, because I’m talking about four different books here. Instead, I’ll tell you what I liked and didn’t like about the series.

What I liked:

The books are very well-written. The author is clearly good at what she does, and I actually had some flashbacks to my own high school years, which is a somewhat impressive feat because I’ve done a respectable job of repressing all those memories. Allie is witty (and sarcastic), but she’s also bewildered and overwhelmed at times.

The supporting characters were (mostly) fleshed out, three dimensional people. Kizzy, the Gypsy/witch, is the mother Allie never had, and it shows in the books. I loved Allie’s spirit guide, Trilby, who is a rather flighty (and possibly permanently high) wannabe angel who can’t remember a damn thing.

In other words, she’s awesome.

The story arc is interesting, which was good because it kept my attention. But what really won it for me was the author’s voice. I got sucked in and was compelled to read every single book because I absolutely had to find out what happened.

What I liked less:

Allie’s boy hopping was a little humorous, but also not at the same time. (Did that make sense? It did in my head.) Unlike most YA paranormals with a romantic element, where the romantic interest remains the same all the way through a series, the Unbidden Magic books have Allie dating a different boy in every book.

Which, I suppose, is more true-to-life for a teenager. Regardless, something about it just didn’t appeal to me.

I also wasn’t keen on the faery realm smacking me upside the head. Not only did I have a headache (figuratively, of course), I also had no freaking clue what was going on. Where the hell did the faeries come from? There was no mention of them in the first two books. (But as I said earlier, there are little hints throughout. I just missed them, because I’m good like that.)

Luckily for me, the last book re-introduced the Trimarks and my head was happy again.

Overall, I really liked this series. It’s a fun set of books to read, and I recommend them.

Note: The fifth and final book in the series is currently in progress, per the author’s website..

Rating: B+


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