REVIEW: Deductions (Aberrant Magic #1) by Lyn Gala
Deductions ( Aberrant magic book one)
Darren is proud of his work on the FBI’s magical Talent unit. However, his own lack of magic means he can never be with Supervisory Special Agent and Shaman Kavon Boucher. The shamanic magic poses a real danger to any mundane who gets too close, so Darren tries to hide his attraction and keep a professional relationship at work. That resolve begins to crumble when a new man sets his sights on Kavon and Darren can’t control his resentment.
Now they have a brutal new case of a suspect targeting magical adepts. Darren tries to keep focused on that crime, but when he starts to show signs of his own magic, he hopes that maybe he can not only be a more effective part of the team but also a real partner to Kavon. He might have a second chance at love if only Kavon can learn to trust his new and unpredictable magic that has changed the rules of the magical game.
Dear Lyn Gala,
For the most part this book was so much fun for me. Basically what we have is a magical version of “Criminal Minds” or whatever police show one watches. For the record, I watched “Criminal Minds” very sporadically and have not managed to notice any resemblance to the characters, it’s just the first example that came to mind.
In this world, which is close enough to our world except with magic that influenced its development, magical law enforcement agents seem to be able to work with regular law enforcement – the team of our heroes is just part of FBI. The history of how magic users were treated in the past is not rosy, though, and it seems as if no decent person wants a repeat of what happened in the past.
Shamans in this world are the strongest magic practitioners; they can walk spirit planes and do magic by negotiating/ threatening/ flattering spirits to help them. In order to successfully walk the spirit plane, shamans usually need the help of an adept, who can anchor them and help them find an exit from the spirit plane.
There are also other magic users who need objects for their magic to work, like crystals for example, but shamans are the stronger ones. Shamans can do all kinds of things. Adepts have magic which they can use almost right away – they do not need to study how to use it as shamans do, but I was confused as to the strength of that magic. In any event, I think mainly you need to know that there are shamans, adepts, and other magic users – you will be able to make your own interpretation as to how the magic in this story works.
Darren works as a mundane (a person without magic) on the magical Talent unit. His responsibilities include questioning suspects who request a non-magical interrogator as well as several other things. He is a highly ethical person with a passion for justice. He is also in love with his boss, Shaman Kavon Boucher. Boucher is also attracted to Dan, but he pushed Darren away several years ago after they connected because Shamans and people without magic cannot really be together. Officially, they are not allowed to be together because a Shaman may accidentally steal part of the non-magic person’s life energy (I wonder if they can leave them completely dry and dead? I got the impression that Kavon certainly worried about that). Darren is a reasonable guy, so he tried to push his attraction away and move on.
He did not quite succeed, but I liked that unrequited (or so Darren thinks) attraction did not turn Darren into a lovesick idiot. He still has feelings for Kavon, but for several years now he has pushed those feelings away, at least well enough in order for him to work well with the team and under Kavon.
And then one day everything comes back with vengeance. Kavon has not been able to work successfully with the adept they have on the team. He did not transfer Les (their resident adept) out, because he is a talented law enforcement agent and pretty powerful magic user, but he paired Les with Darren and brought in a new adept.
Darren becomes jealous and decides that this new team member has something against him. I will let you find out on your own whether he was right, but I will tell you that as a result of the altercation with the new team member, Darren one day discovers a strong magic talent on the shamanic level and obtains an interesting spirit guide. Very interesting.
“My bird promises that he can help you navigate any place, and he doesn’t care if you’re lost on the campus of the Georgetown University or if you’re wandering around the spirit plane. He can find you.” Kavon whirled around. “What?” Darren was up and off the couch in a second. “Why are you staring at me like that?” “He talks to you?” Kavon demanded. While his bull understood Kavon easily enough, Kavon only got the occasional hoof stamp or incredulous look. Mostly the bull ate grass as if bored with everything Kavon did. “It’s more like I get mental images.” Darren sounded uneasy. “I assume this is nota normal skill?” Kavon leaned back against the window. “No,not really. When you decide to throw the rulebook out, you get the job done.””
In the meantime the team is investigating disappearances and possible kidnappings and murder of several adepts, and of course Darren gets himself right in the middle of everything now that he is not mundane.
Morever, since he is no longer mundane, there is nothing to stop him from having a relationship with his boss, nothing except his boss’ desire to protect him. I was glad that Darren let Kavon have it – about him being a grown up and all that. The book is written in alternating third person POV from both Darren and Kavon’s POV and we learn that Kavon was also attracted to him. He only pushed him away because he was following the rule on prohibiting fraternization with coworkers without magic. I was glad, though, that the book had only two sex scenes and one was at the end, because they had to work and work was given the higher priority (they were investigating a brutal case where people’s lives were in danger) .
The adventure was fun and pretty fast-moving, but I was kind of disappointed with the reveal of the main villain. There was no buildup, no nothing – on one page he is mentioned as one of the suspects and then boom, he makes his move and it is crystal clear that he is the villain.
I still really enjoyed this story – it has fast-moving adventure, interesting characters, male and female, a believable enough romantic storyline, and cool magic. Just do not expect a real mystery coming in and you should be fine. Also, the story does not end in a cliffhanger, but the main villain is not caught yet since this is only book one.