REVIEW: Starcrossed (Magic in Manhattan #2) by Allie Therin
** spoiler alert ** some vague spoilers in the review, nothing really important
When everything they’ve built is threatened, only their bond remains…
1925 New York
Psychometric Rory Brodigan’s life hasn’t been the same since the day he met Arthur Kenzie. Arthur’s continued quest to contain supernatural relics that pose a threat to the world has captured Rory’s imagination—and his heart. But Arthur’s upper-class upbringing still leaves Rory worried that he’ll never measure up, especially when Arthur’s aristocratic ex arrives in New York.
For Arthur, there’s only Rory. But keeping the man he’s fallen for safe is another matter altogether. When a group of ruthless paranormals throw the city into chaos, the two men’s strained relationship leaves Rory vulnerable to a monster from Arthur’s past.
With dark forces determined to tear them apart, Rory and Arthur will have to draw on every last bit of magic up their sleeves. And in the end, it’s the connection they’ve formed without magic that will be tested like never before.
Dear Allie Therin,
I really liked the first book in this series and was looking forward to the further adventures of Arthur, Rory and their friends in the New York of 1920s where magic exists, even if it is hidden from the most people’s view.
As we already know from the first book, and blurb reminds us about it anyway, Arthur and his friends are hunting down paranormal relics which should not get in the hands of the bad people because bad people will use them for their own means – be it power, money or whatever. Certain villains from the first book show up and we have some new ones, but frankly I find villains the least impressive part of these series at least for now. It is not as if they are drawn as caricatures, but they kind of are. I am not talking about Gwen and Ellis – clearly Gwen at least has motivations for what she does, even if I am not 100 percent sure I understand her motivations or support whatever motivations are revealed. However the new villains ( or I guess new to us till now villains – cannot say more without spoilers ), I guess the word “monster” is very appropriate at least for one of them and I thought the other one came close.
So overall as I said, I was not too impressed by villains, but I certainly liked both Rory and Arthur a great deal from the first book and wanted to see how their relationship will develop and where the new adventures will take them.
I still like them very much, but I am afraid that I did not like that Rory took significantly less active role in the adventure storyline in my opinion. Rory was not any kind of pushover in his dealings with Arthur – I know Arthur only had the best intentions, but I was glad that Rory was not eager to accept material things from him.
To Arthur’s credit I thought he backed off just in time ( no, I don’t think it is bad to want to help your less privileged lover, especially when things become even more serious between them, but that’s for Rory to accept or decline such help). When I say that I thought that Rory became less active in their adventures I mean that twice when Rory was in danger, Arthur played a significant role in saving him and to my taste Rory did not do nearly enough to save himself. I fully understand that Rory’s bravery and sacrifice was the reason why he was in the middle of both situations in the first place of course. I also understand that I am not being quite fair to Rory since he showed plenty of backbone throughout the book and if he needed help at the specific time, he needed help. I had to share how I felt though.
‘ “Oh, sure, ’cause that’s gonna happen.” Rory dropped his voice to a frustrated whisper. “Are you telling me Ace could be a target and we’re just letting that magicless high hat walk up and down Fifth Avenue alone?” Her lips twitched at that, despite the worry in her eyes. “Zhang is keeping an eye on the city from the plane. But the plane has been strange, as of late.” She looked troubled. “Arthur thinks he’s just going to make a quick drop at the hotel, then come here.” ‘
I liked that more of Arthur’s war past was revealed, I loved that while he did not share everything right away, he shared at least some things with Rory and I get why he was having trouble sharing what he did not. I especially liked how open he was with Rory about his ex, that he was not hiding anything about the past or present where his ex was concerned. You could see that their relationship was actually moving forward and not being static.