Title: Mafia and Magics (Aberrant Magic #5)
Author: Lyn Gala
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Suspense
Page Count: 175
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Angel Zamora has always looked out for numero uno, even after getting sent to prison for robbing a convenience store at knife point. But now two crazy feds show up to tell him he has undeveloped magic. And they want him to inform on a group that has been recruiting and disposing of magic users. When Angel agrees, he expects to play the feds until he can make his own escape plans.
However, once he’s inside the mafia and developing his Talent, he starts to realize that he’s not as concerned about his own skin as he is young Matteo. The only son of the mob boss Mr. Luschese, Matt is even more trapped than Angel. His hot temper, disdain for authority, and deeply in-the-closet attitudes are all so familiar that Angel aches for the young man. A relationship that starts with Angel seeking one more potential advantage quickly turns into Angel’s worst nightmare–a deep sense of commitment to another human being. Escape routes are closing, and Angel fears he is going to end up one more body dumped in the river…and if Angel plays this wrong, Matt could die with him.
This is addition to the series I liked, which is why I decided to read it.
It has a new set of characters as heroes. Angel is a petty criminal who gets bad news shortly before he is due to be released. He can either work for cops as informant or risk getting killed. He is not fond of either option but circumstances force his hand. He is cynical and doesn’t bother to deny his survival is his priority. It’s a departure from the usual type of hero. In a world of black and white, Angel is firmly in gray territory.
Matt in contrast, is young and naive. Everyone around him sheltered him and he is still trying to find his role in life. Angel is compelled to protect him, going against all of his instincts. Matt is drawn to Angel because of his unflinching honesty. Both Matt’s decisions and Angel’s plots bring them into danger and they are left scrambling to adjust.
The story was a let down for me. I don’t believe it was because of the book itself, because objectively it’s fine. But I was expecting something similar to previous books in series, and this one was sadly devoid of elements I liked with them. The specific magic-infused world I loved so much was mentioned only in passing. The plot would work more or less the same without magic. Since I was drawn to the magical aspect of the story, I keenly felt the lack.
The plot was solid. It was slow to start but it was nicely developed, emotionally shaded and all ends neatly tie up. Angel’s character is very well described. We get bits and pieces of his backstory, his outlook on world, all reasons he makes decisions he does, his mental anguish when he does something he regrets. Considering he is a thief and unapologetic about it, he is very likable character. Matt has however ended up as a very bland character. There is not enough information on him to make his actions plausible and his relationship with Angel is only an outline.
If I had read it without expectations, maybe I would have liked it more. As it is, it hasn’t left favorable impression on me.