REVIEW: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic #6) by Lyn Gala
POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE SERIES
Dear Lynn Gala,
What can I say? This series really works for me and even though we are now on book six, I only love them more not less. This book is NOT a stand alone – even though this is the first book where Art and Zach are main characters, you will be confused about how the magic works in this world and about some other things as well. Especially considering that with every book the author adds the layers of sophistication in the magical systems of this universe. Initially I thought that Shamans are shamans and that’s it. I thought that magic users’ relationship with magic is inferior to Shamans due to what both groups can and cannot do. In the last couple of books, we learned that things are not as they seemed. I also wondered after the book four ended what other challenges the author was going to bring to Kavon and Darren’s relationship because to me it seemed that those two were as solid as they could get and the only significant threat that they could face now was the threat of the evil ifrit coming back to this world.
So in book five, the author surprised me very much in a good way. She brought in a completely new couple, Angel and Matt, and Angel was probably the most morally ambiguous character in the series so far but she absolutely managed to convince me that he was on the side of the good guys and was a person with an ethical code even if Angel’s code was a little bit, I don’t know, different I guess is the best word to describe it.
And I still was not sure where the series would go in this book. Meaning I was not sure if the war with the evil ifrit would finally happen or we will be seeing a lesser threat of a different variety. I know I warned that this review may contain spoilers for the previous books since it is hard to talk about the book number six in the series without mentioning anything that happened in the five previous books, but I still do not want to explain who the ifrit are because it is one of the major concepts in the universe of the series, so ifrit they remain for now.
Now before I started this book I accidentally noticed the author’s entry on her site about this book and could not avert my eyes. Apparently this is the last book for her to set up all the pieces before we will meet the first evil ifrit coming back to this world, which I was happy to read about , and this series may or may not be continued for financial reasons. That part I was less happy to read about, but whatever works for the author of course. The book does not end in the cliffhanger of any kind, you can absolutely read it and be pleased and satisfied as I was even if we never get to read about the magical war, but that is up to each reader to make this decision of course.
In this book we go back to El Paso where we once again meet Zach and Art, whom I vaguely remember as secondary characters, but it took me some time to figure out that they made their appearance in book three, where Kavon and Darren were made painfully aware of the corrupt and incompetent magic counsel which was leading the magical community of El Paso where Zach and Art live and work.
Zach and Art are an established couple, who work together as police detectives; they are deeply in love and committed to each other. Zach is a mundane, Art is a shaman and in the beginning of the book they with the help of a familiar face lead a rebellion of magical users and shamans of El Paso against their counsel, so the leadership gets shaken up a lot, and Zach and Art continue working their cases and Art tries not to get too involved with magic business.
I really liked Zach and Art, but what I really appreciated about them was that the author took care to make them different characters from Darren and Kavon, because the possibility was there to make them if not carbon copies then at least similar characters.
As I said at the first glance, their magical situation is the same as our main couple, only if one looks again, one notices significant differences. Art has a lot of issues with his magic and his guide which mostly of his own making, so he is not that enthusiastic about doing a lot of things that shaman would normally did. I was not one hundred percent sure as to how well trained he was due to all those issues I want to not talk about, but I certainly noticed his lack of enthusiasm. It is not that Art refuses to help with magical cases when his job asks him to, but the lack of enthusiasm was absolutely there. Zach obtained a magical guide in book three same as Darren did at the beginning of the series, but where Bennu is always eager to wreak havoc and share a lot of magic with Darren, Zach’s guide is well, not, or I am guessing probably not yet.
“I’ve a guide of my very own, and I am amazed at the depths of my ignorance. I expected magical powers. Instead, all Pochi likes to do is help me shoot things or track things down.”
“In his defense, you’re equally obsessive about tracking suspects down. You deserve that hyperactive little ball of fluff.”
Overall this book was definitely not giving us as much magic in action as previous books did, which was kind of neat because it dealt with the power struggle and the political implications of different magical learning systems which overlap in the United States. I mean it was not all power struggle, all the time, but it was all brewing on the pages I think. The front and center of this book was Zach and Art and their deep love for each other and while they were having some fights and disagreements the blurb clearly overstated the danger of them breaking up. I really love when we get to see committed couples dealing with their issues and this story was no exception.
I hope we will get to read next book in the series.