Cover Image: Ruthless Magic

Ruthless Magic

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Member Reviews

A standard book about magic. There were several points where the character's decisions made no sense or the plot felt contrived.
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Reminiscent of the Hunger Games, this book takes challenges to the next level. With an accessible writing style and a clever plot, there is not a single thing that is unappealing. It also includes diversity which honestly compounds the brilliance!
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Not sure if this was a YA book, but it read like one. Entertaining. Will I read the next? Probably not.
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The reviews i read previously to reading this book were that it was similar to the Hunger Games series. I can see why, as they are faced with a similar set of challenges called the Exam in the fight to keep their magic and prove their worth to the magical government, the Confed. But it was so refreshing that the kids, older kids - there seemed to be an age limit for it which makes it so much better already, had a choice. Not much of one by all means, but they could choose to enter this Exam or not. Though they didn’t know what they were signing up for, it was much better than reading about a 12 year old being forced to enter the games and kill other children of similar age.
But to separate it now from the Hunger Games and talk about it as it’s own book. I loved Rocio. She is a great character and I can’t wait to read the next book and see where she goes with her story. Finn too I liked, though I was a bit confused with his magical abilities. They said he didn’t have much power but then in the exam he showed to have a lot, but then they would say he is burning out quickly or that he is struggling but not many of his actions reflected that to me. I didn’t feel much of his struggle. For me, he seemed to be getting on a lot better than everyone else.
Would recommend to any urban fantasy lovers out there!
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I'm a huge fan of Megan Crewe's writing, and this was no exception. I loved the premise (teen magicians proving themselves to get into the magical university), and I thought the tension and pacing was well done. I also really enjoyed the dual POV -- I thought the insight into the two main characters was really well done and important to the world building and plot. As usually happens, Crewe's characterizations are complex and thoughtful, and rarely do you find a two-dimensional character. I like seeing the facets appear as the story moves forward. All in all, I'd give this 4+ out of 5 stars, and I can't wait for the next one!
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Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for an Arc of this book. This was an enjoyable young adult urban fantasy. It takes place in an alternate US where magic users have come out. Young people with magic work to be admitted to a magic college. Those that don't make it can have their magic restricted or they can enter a competition. Those that win go on to careers in magic while those that lose have all if their magic taken away.

Rocio has a lot of magic but comes from a poor family while Finn doesn't have much magic but comes from in old magic family. Both enter in the competition and find themselves allies.

I liked both Finn and Rocio. They are sympathetic easily likeable characters. I thought the romance that develops between them was sweet and liked how they fit to know each other. 

I was worried that the setting would be too similar to other books in this genre but was pleasantly surprised at it's uniqueness. I liked how the characters worked together toward their goals.

The only issue I had with the story is that once Rocio and Finn start working together I noticed that their voices were very similar. I would start a chapter and not realize who I was in at first if I didn't pay attention to the chapter header.

I liked the ending and I am interested to see what happens next in this story so we'll read the next book when it comes out. I would recommend to those looking for a lighter Hunger Games type story.
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I've gotta say I'm getting warn out on the split POV books.. With that being said this one wasn't too bad.
Ruthless Magic had a hunger games feel to it for sure.. and I can see the Harry Potter vibe in here too. But overall it was a fun read. I wish I would have read the prequel first but sadly I did not know it existed. Oh well. I still enjoyed this book and hope you do too.

Happy reading!
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This book was just Ok for me, I actually had to try and read this twice because the first time I put it down. While it should have snagged my attention the first half of the book just dragged for me. The 2nd time around I was determined to give it a second try and ended up finishing the book. It wasn't a standing ovation of a book but it was certainly one to pass the time if you are willing to put the work into it. 

I can understand how it is like the Hunger Games books, if  you just add magic I am sure you would have it. But the problem I have, it is the same for the Hunger Games, was why adults even allowed this? 

The cover is beautiful and there is a lot of action but the characters just didn't bring it for me.
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#RuthlessMagic #NetGalley
Publisher synopsis: In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

The first in a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix!

Riveting book!! Will keep you on the edge of your seat!!

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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If the pitch for a book mentions two of the greatest YA phenomenons, Harry Potter & The Hunger Games, trust me, I will definitely read it. And true to its word, Ruthless Magic does mix elements from those two gigantic franchises that not only rocked our world once upon a time, but that we are still living the aftershock years (or decades) after. The slight problem I see in getting inspiration from a formula that worked so well in the past is that you are not delivering anything new. So, while Ruthless Magic succeeded in making me feel all nostalgic and thoroughly engrossed, it did sort of fail in surprising me - hence the 4 stars instead of 5.

Megan Crewe's magic and dystopic world breathes in some familiarity, being a society divided by dulls (people with no magical abilities) and mages, who were and are seen as a threat and had to keep magic a secret until recently before the events of the book. Flashforward to present day, where the Confed, or magical govenrment, select only a portion of the mage society to keep their powers at age 18, leaving the ones rejected to accept being ripped out of their magic or going through THE EXAM - cue to the Hunger Games song - from where only a few are chosen Champion and even fewer get out of there intact. Or alive for that matter.

Nostalgia aside, Ruthless Magic, even if it felt familiar, it never failed in entertaining. I was engrossed from start to end and top to bottom. The cast of characters is super diverse, the story is action packed and it even has romance, that even though it never was the sole focus of the story it was important enough for me to swoon a little bit. And hey, I absolutely loved both main characters, which doesn't happen often.

So I will definitely, definitely continue this series.
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This book is a little bit Harry Potter and Hunger Games but with a story all its own. The world building and the explanation of the North American Confederation of Mages felt a little rushed. I hope the author will flesh this out more in the sequel.
The story is told in the alternating viewpoints of Finn Lockwood, who's part of an old important magical family, and Rocio Lopez, the poor daughter of dampened parents, meaning no magic. I really liked these two characters and I enjoyed the beginning of their romance, They were a great team. I'd love to read more about them.
The 16-year-olds in this world who aren't "chosen" have the option of having their magic dampened or taking the Exam on Rikers Island to prove themselves and earn the title of Champion. The characters go through some very brutal magical challenges during the Exam. The book is full of action and is a quick, fun read. There's also a twist when the examinees find out what being a Champion means.
I recommend this book and I'm looking forward to the sequel giving the reader a better sense of this world, the magic and of course more about the Champions.
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I really loved this book!! The story centers over a ruthless and mysterious Mages' Exam that is required of anyone who is not excepted by the North American Confederation of Mages for further magical study, but wants to keep their magic. The story is set in an alternate history of present day where the existence of mages and magic is known, and is filled with fantastic acts of magic that kept impressing me with how detailed everything was.  Each of the main characters Rocío Lopez and Finn Lockwood have a unique point of view and voice, and the development of their relationship felt real. It reminded me a great deal of The Hunger Games at times, but it was much more nuanced politically, and if anything slightly more harsh. I can't wait to see where the series goes now that the Mages Exam is over and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley for a fair and honest review.
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Welcome to a modern magic world where magic user's sing their spells into existence.  Two teens, Finn and Rocío are about to enter an exam neither of them ever hoped to take.  Finn family's old magic, but his powers are weak and he feels like they bought him a spot in the Academy, so he elects to take the exam instead, a decision he might come to regret.  Rocío's magic is perhaps the strongest of her generation, but she comes from nowhere so when the Academy denies her entrance, she too must take the exam or have her magic stripped away forever.  These two will become friends in the most unlikely of places, but the exam is a lot more dangerous that either of them had anticipated.  Who will they be when they get out?  Or will they survive at all?

I really enjoyed this book.  The magic system was interesting and the characters diverse.  Finn's humour and Rocío's inner steel made for great characters.  I also appreciate the alternating viewpoints each chapter.  I eagerly look forward to the second book.
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The Hunger Games mixed with Harry Potter?! Sounds to good to be true right? WRONG!!!

I was sent an ebook of Ruthless Magic from Another World Press on @netgalley in exchange for a review! These opinions are my own 😊

Ruthless Magic by @megancreweya definitely lived up to the hype! In a world where those with magic have revealed themselves to live among Dulls(non-magical people) Megan has created a world that’s believable, different, and even slightly disturbing at times. The Confed is a wonderful mix of The Ministry of Magic and the government of Panem. She has also given us several AMAZING main characters that you can’t help but root for. From Finn, a son of an old magic family who struggles to use his gift to his best friend Prisha who excels at wielding magic but comes from a family of Dulls and the amazing Rocío who can out ‘chant even the most talented old magic student.
These kids are given a choice to either dampen their magic or fight to keep it all in the Exam where they must out ‘chant other students from around the country. But they soon find out the Exam isn’t what they’ve been told... it’s less of a test and more of a magical gladiator trial. They must decide who they are and how they will fight for their magic... by making friends and allies or going it alone and taking down anyone in their path.

Ruthless Magic was a giant 5🌟 for me! This book definitely delivered and I can’t wait for the continuation of this story!
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Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an arc of 
Ruthless Magic in exchange for an honest review!

Overall, I really enjoyed the book! I loved the magical Hunger Games-ish plot. Rocio is a strong MC and I really felt like I could relate with her. The relationship between her and Finn could have used a little more building but overall I totally ship it! This story was full of twists, turns, and unexpected surprises and kept me on my toes the whole time. I liked the representation of lgbt and poc in this book as well. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!
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I really enjoyed this book. The story and characters were well written. It's just as good as other books by the author.
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I hate to be the odd one of the bunch


I have so many complaints about this. It left me feeling literally nothing but relief when I finished this. Compare it to the Hunger Games or The Magicians all you like, but this lacked EVERYTHING that made those series great. I'll keep this short, out of respect to the author and being in the clear majority here.

1. The beginning was too telling, but not in a way that made sense or was helpful.
2. In keeping with that, the magic system was explained so poorly and incompletely I was so confused throughout so much of the book. Not to mention it didn't work for me once I figured it out.
3. Characters do not stand out at all. I would get through two pages of a chapter, then have to go back to see whose POV I was in because Rocio and Finn did not leave any sort of impression. Finn is so useless, riding off Rocio, who is all disgustingly noble.
4. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it was all just disappointing.
5. The action scenes were very hard to follow.
6. A lot of things were actually. One second everything is fine, something happens, then two pages later someone talks about it and I go, "Oh, is that what happened?"
6. Felt very copy-cat like.

The summary pulled me in, and the first two chapters lost me. I fought to finish this and I still don't know why I even bothered.
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I received this from netgalley for an honest review!

If the magicians had a tryst with the hunger games this is the beautiful child that would be born. Magic is real and the confederation decide who will get to join the magical world and who will basically lose their magic except for a tiny bit. The premise is very good with clear writing from an author who has the amazing ability to transport you to a world of her making. I will most definitely read anything Megan Crewe writes in the future.
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So this novel starts with Finn, Jonathan’s son and descendant of a long line of mages. I did find the beginning of this novel pretty slow as well, and hard to get in to at first. But once again that was more to do with the depth of world building Megan was crafting, and the plot soon kicked in soon, making this a fantastic read. I have taken one star away because of the start though, because it could have done with a little more action.
As soon as we are taken to the mage exam though, the book picks up pace dramatically and becomes so much better. The characters were also spectacular, with deep backgrounds and voices that really leapt off the page. The e-book turned from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’ in the space of about 15%. I love how Megan gives all the supporting characters as much of a depth and voice as she gives the protagonists (unlike a certain book I read recently which you can read about HERE). I especially love that Megan included a disabled character, and Lacey who has a fantastic character arc throughout the book.
Finn and Rocio are great protagonists too. Their voices are so separate and different that we don’t even really need the chapter titles to know whose mind we are inhabiting. They are opposites really, and they give us a really in-depth look at the world from two polar positions. But although they are in the exam for different reasons, Rocio for being too attuned to the magic to give up fighting for it, and Finn fighting to prove that he can earn a place in the college without his family’s help. But at the same time they are both in the exam for the same reason, to prove the corruption in the mage society and to make a stand against it.
In the challenges the young mages have to fight, there are some really great plot twists that I never saw coming, and there are some really deep and morally questionable tasks that really leave you thinking about the mage society and trying to come up with your own theories about he conspiracy at hand.
The magic is a character in it’s own right too, which is one of the things I loved the most about this book (and the novella). Unlike other books that include wizards and mages, the mages in this book don’t just say a word and watch the magic pour out of them. They have to use rhythm and music, and really feel the magic around them like it’s a character that deserves a place in this book too.
The characters are faced with so many moral dilemmas and the obstacles in their path increase task by task and leave you itching to keep reading to see what happens next. I struggled to put this book down in the end, it definitely found it’s feet at about 40-50% in.
Although I am going to have to remove that one star for another reason too. Sometimes this story borrows a little from other YAs that have been popular lately. And part of me wishes the resolution at the end of the book for the last task be a little more original than it was. It was way too similar to another YA dystopia that I don’t want to name in case it gives away the resolution to the last task in this book.
However the actual ending, that happens after the resolution to the last task, is really good. It has all the right bittersweet notes that leave me wanting to read more. The ending is left relatively unresolved and open, but you are not really left feeling disappointed. The place it ends feels right, and there is a hint of romance that ties the whole end together and is Adorable with a capital ‘A’.
I am really excited to see where this goes next, and I can’t wait to read the sequel when it comes out.
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Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe is a masterfully told story of magic in a setting reminiscent of the Hunger Games. Main characters Rocio and Finn are easy to relate to as well as cheer for. They start just wanting to prove themselves by earning a spot at the magic college, and they end up fighting not just to keep their magic, but for their very lives. I simply could not put this fast-paced page turner down until the very end. I am eagerly awaiting a sequel, as I just have to know what happens next. Highly recommended!
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