I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Kelly Meding
Released: June 19th 2018
Series: Strays #1
Published by Harper Voyager
“…although on paper I should have loved it, sadly it didn’t quite enthrall as I expected, and wanted, it to.” ~ Under the Covers
I am a great lover of Urban Fantasy and the blurb of Stray Magic had me excited. Could I have found my next UF obsession? It seemed to have all the elements I like; a strong heroine, a range of paranormal races, magic, an interesting plot and a new world to explore. And although on paper I should have loved it, sadly it didn’t quite enthrall as I expected, and wanted, it to.
This is my first book from Kelly Meding as well as the first book in the Stray series. When I was reading I felt like this series precedes something else. That perhaps this is a spin off series, I am still not sure. However, this didn’t stop me from understanding the basic world dynamics, it was just a nagging feeling that perhaps there were events and relationship development that I was missing.
But, the main reason I didn’t connect with this book was that I didn’t immediately like Shiloh, the heroine. The person from whose POV this story was told. By the end I had warmed to her, so she did grow on me as the story progressed. I can’t quite see why I was apathetic towards her, she just didn’t draw me in. The way she treated her love life I also found slightly off putting, she was in a semi-relationship with one man, still a little bit in love with another and through the course of the book was developing a…thing with a vampire master she professes to dislike yet sacrifices a great deal for and barely leaves his side. I really hate love triangles so I didn’t find this aspect of Stray Magic interesting, just irritating.
Characters aside though, I did like the world that Meding had created, full of various magical races such as djinn, skin walkers, vampires, werewolves and many others. Although it wasn’t the most original set up, it was nonetheless the kind of world I enjoy. I also enjoyed the fast pace of the story, although the story itself felt a little like an ill-fitting jigsaw. Some of the pieces didn’t fit together properly for me. However, there were some open story threads that weren’t neatly tied together. Perhaps in the future it will make more sense.
Although this book was a little underwhelming, I did generally enjoy it and would be interested in reading the next in the series. I doubt it will be my next UF obsession, but if you want a little action and adventure it’s a solid read.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?