Book Review: Celtic Magic by Amber LaShell

13032273Title: Celtic Magic
Author: Amber LaShell
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: October 29th 2011
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Review copy provided by the author in exchange for honest review.

Abby Kane is a seemingly normal girl until she starts to fall in love, and as she does she finds out that her mother, who she thought was dead, is actually a Celtic Goddess who lives in a magical world where an evil faerie queen will stop at nothing to kill Abby and take over.

Celtic Magic seems very rushed. It actually reads a bit like a first draft, which is a shame, because the story could’ve been so much more. Abby Kane, the main character, is a regular girl until she starts to fall in love with Tom. Her mother, presumed dead, turn up again, and turns out she’s a Celtic Goddess, and a magical fairy queen is after Abby, because if she kills her, she becomes the next queen of all of the faerie land.

So far, so good. The premise was intriguing enough, and author Amber LaShell paints the fantastical world Abby and the other characters live in, very well. The plot itself was fine, but then the trouble starts. The characters weren’t fleshed out, in particular the main character. Abby could jump from one range of thoughts and emotions to another, jumping from happy to sad in a matter of seconds, or the other way around. She lacked consistency, and after a while, I didn’t quite care for her anymore. I thought she’d grow as a character, but by the end she was still the same inconclusive girl she was at the beginning. Her relationship with Tom borders on childish, and I actuallly thought it was a bit ridiculous. I wasn’t a big fan of Tom either – again, he felt like the idea of a character, but not an actual character. He lacked emotions, drives, conflict.

Then there’s the issue of dear Abby being a bit of a Mary Sue. Magic comes easy to her – too easy to be convincing. I rolled my eyes several times throughout the book when Abby does things nobody should be able to do after just beginning to learn magic. It was unbelievable, and made me feel very frustrated. On top of that, the entire story felt rushed from start to end. “They did this”, “they did that”, it’s more like a rundown of random events than an actual story, which takes out almost all of the suspense.

This book could’ve done with a good editor, a few critique partners, and a beta reader or two. If this was a first draft, it would be great, but it lacks the polishing, both structural and grammatical, that a published books needs to go through before it’s ready to be published.

Celtic Magic definitely has potential, but it fell short. It feels unfinished. I’m confident of the author’s writing skills however, and she has great imagination as well to come up with the world featured in this book. However, this book could’ve done with more polishing and editing.

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