Cover Image: Magic Dark, Magic Divine

Magic Dark, Magic Divine

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Member Reviews

MAGIC DARK, MAGIC DIVINE never really got off the ground for me and I found myself bored through most of it. It was honestly a weird mix because I actually really liked the dialogue, especially the banter between Penn and Callen, but the exposition portions just weren't that interesting. The magical world that A.J. Locke has created was incredibly detailed and thought out but it was almost too much to take in at once.
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The first book in the Warrior of the Divine Sword series. Pennrae and Callan's story is well written and kept me turning pages. This is a new Author to me. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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3/5

So, I went into this book blind, which I regretted quickly because I became a little confused. I definitely liked the idea of this fantastical story, but I had a bit of trouble of following along.  There was just a lot of things happening and I couldn’t quite get all the visuals of what everyone was and some of the creatures. Now I loved many elements and wished it was explored more because it was so fascinating. 

The romance felt like it was sidelined and I think I would have been happy with the romance at all. But their banter was so comical!

I’m definitely interested to see what happens since things are a bit open-ended, I had so many questions!
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I didn't realize how long I had this book but that's what happens when I can't find myself 100% interested. 

I tried to get into it and get as far as I could to see book/character development and it just fell short for me. I really wanted to enjoy this so I hope it was just a state of mind thing and I will get back to it.

3 stars because what I read wasn't awful and it definitely has the potential!
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Urban fantasy starring a majority Black cast is so rare, and even more rare if it's authentic. Enemies-to-lovers romance on top is an extra treat too..
It started off with a great hook, but did get a bit clunky with the world building.
Penn and her friends band together to help the world against the evil that would impact the future. 
The language and writing was detailed and modern. The overall fantasy was intriguing but for me it took too long for things to happen. They planned and worried for lots and lots of pages before proceeding.
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*4.5 stars

I've been itching to read an urban fantasy lately and this little gem with a Black cast fell into my lap (Thank you Riki from Entangled!). A.J. Locke is a new author for me, but after binging Magic Dark, Magic Divine I guarantee I will be poking around her backlist. On to the review though!

Set in a contemporary New York City, magic is a thing of the past and all that remains are artifacts, maps, and stories of the magic users, Shapers, that lived. Well, except for Pennrae and Ashe. Pennrae, our kickass heroine, and her familiar disobeyed a contract with a Diviner and ended up in a 300 year sleep. She slept through the main event and when she awakes, magic is no longer and the world has completely changed. Penn has managed to carve out a little existence for herself with some pretty great friends, all while hiding her abilities.

As is the case with most urban fantasies, the first few chapters are a huge information dump. Intricate and fascinating, the world building was so worth it. From the different magic types, to Penn's history leading up to her sleep, I didn't want to put the book down!

The plot, dark magic attempting to bring on another calamity, gives just the right amount of tension to keep readers on the edge. What I loved the most about this book was the strong friendships, loyalty, and forgiveness that is so integral to the story and the success or failure of this little group. The banter between characters was a joy to read! I even enjoyed the slow burn romance that formed between Penn and Callan. Since this is an urban fantasy, the romance is definitely in the background but it shows Penn's struggles and growth without bogging down the fast pace of the story.

I did think things fell together a little too easily for Penn and some of the information was repetitive when it came to catching up other characters with all the happenings. And yet, even with the occasional nugget of predictability, A.J. Locke surprised me with a gut punch character moment. I was blubbering and frustrated and ready to toss my ereader across the room and then rush to pick it up to make sure I hadn't misunderstood. I hadn't, and I was heartbroken and angrily texting my spouse before picking the book up to continue on. It all works out I suppose, but I'm not going to trust Locke for the rest of the series.

In the end, I don't think its fair to say Magic Dark, Magic Divine surprised me. I could tell right away I was going to love the world Locke has built and the characters even more so. Gideon was my absolute favorite! The banter and love between Gideon and Pennrae read so smooth and easy. Pennrae was an authentic, flawed and lovable character who was so easy to cheer for. I loved her strength, admire her vulnerable moments, and ultimately want to be her friend. I love a good Found Family trope, and Locke's executes it perfectly in Magic Dark, Magic Divine.

I'm really looking forward to seeing more out of this series and getting to spend more time with Pennrae and Company and I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys or is looking for an urban fantasy with a Black cast, great world building and plenty of action.
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This is a great start to a new fantasy series , with great worldbuilding and interesting characters .

Awakening 300 years in the future is not what Penn had expected .............. being the only person left with magic and her friends and family long gone she must navigate this new world
Can Penn along with her new friends stand against the evil that is rising - because magic is waking once more and its not the good kind

Fast paced and full of twists ant turns this was a highly entertaining book and I look forward to reading more in this realm in the future

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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NetGalley ARC Educator 550974

Representation matters. Penn is the heroine of this tale. She went to sleep and magic ceased. Can she restore parts or all of magic or will she fall victim to a plot against her?

A fantastic start to a series theat has captured my fancy and mind.  I love the plot and Penn. Can't wait for past two.
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The setting of the novel "Magic Dark, Magic Divine" is great. Penn, a mercenary, was involuntarily sent into a sleep from which she awakens after 300 years. Now she not only has to cope with the new world without her family, but her past is also starting to catch up with her. The book is excitingly written and really worth reading.
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A interesting find this one works it's magic from the beginning. We find the character had slept 300 years. Pennrae IA a mercenary and a karate instructor, which is more interesting tidbits. There is also Callan her hot colleague. A monster comes on the scene with many things coming into play. Magic a key element in the world of this story. Turn the pages to experience all this book has to offer.
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A good start for a new urban fantasy series: it's gripping, entertaining and well written.
I like the humorous touch, the action packed plot and the world building.
Can't wait to read the next book in this series as I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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A slow book to get into its a fantasy paranormal with some romance.
Didn't grab my interest.
It was okay but not for me.
Voluntarily reviewed.
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This book was fantastic!  I'm so glad I took a chance on an author I didn't know and read this book!

This universe is one where magic used to exist, but, due to a big bad, lots of sacrifice, and no other choice, they had to stop the flow of magic.  The result is that people are no longer born with magical abilities, but they know the history of magic and its traits.  Penn, our main character, comes from the time of magic.  Due to some bad choices on her part, she ends up sleeping through the apocalyptic fight that stops magic and wakes up many years later to find a world she doesn't recognize.  Oh, and she also the only magical person left, she figures out.  

This discovery and her journey to adapt to the new world leads her to become a pretty closed off person, only befriending two people really.  Even those two people have no idea she is a "shaper," someone who can magically shape objects.  Her secret, however, is busted wide open when magical evildoers resurface, putting everything in jeopardy.  I don't want to spoil a second of this book because it was so captivating, but there is also a parallel romantic story to satisfy the PNR reader in me.  Callan, one of Penn's coworkers, ends up drawn into the drama too, leading her to re-assess her assumption that he's a jerk (I mean, he kind of was).  Their romance was like a breath of fresh air - coming at it as equals rather than a damsel scenario.  

I can't say enough good things about this book.  It really checked all the boxes for me in truly unexpected ways.  I can't wait to see where the series goes next, having gone through all the trials of this first installment.
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I had trouble getting into this book and I wasn't able to finish it. I didn't get much past the first few pages, it just didn't grab my attention
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Magic Dark, Magic Divine by A J Locke
Warrior of the Divine Sword book 1. Fantasy romance. 
Pennrae was magically put into a 300 year sleep. When she wakes Magic is mostly gone from the world so she rebuilds her life hiding her skills. When dangerous magic begins to threaten innocents, she exposes herself and friends to threats unimaginable. 

Extreme world building that made the first quarter of the book slow and plodding for me trying to follow all the types of magic and what each did. At 28% the action began and all the background started to made sense. Penn and her friends band together to help the world against the evil that would impact the future. 
The language and writing was detailed and modern. The overall fantasy was intriguing but for me it took too long for things to happen. They planned and worried for lots and lots of pages before proceeding. I did like those pages as it gave depth to the character relationships but it dragged for inaction in places. 
Lots of twist and turns on magical time travel theory.

Two excerpts on the fantasy and romance:
“It was an oval, midnight blue stone, with streaks of black and white. At birth, Diviners used Mortalstones to bind our magic to our souls, to ensure it remained stable. When we died, our souls had to be ascended from the stones, which was why magic users were buried in grounds purified by Diviners. Otherwise, our magic-enhanced souls were susceptible to the machinations of dark magic.”

Excerpt on the romance:
“The couple times a man had taken my hand hadn’t felt right and I’d done whatever I could to extricate myself. Now I realized why. Before, it had felt imbalanced[…]
With Callan, I felt more comfortable because, as much as I wouldn’t willingly lead him into danger, I didn’t view him as someone much weaker than myself.”

I received a copy of this from NetGalley. 
3.5
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Looking for a fantasy? I loved every single character and the world this author built was rich and descriptions were easy for my mind to conjure as I read. Go get this book!

Pennrae has magic abilities something that once existed in this world but her actions had consequences she hadn't considered and she found herself suddenly 300 years later to find the world had drastically changed.

She's working as a karate instructor and other than her best friend and his husband she doesn't try to form too many attachments. Especially her colleague Callan. He's hot and annoying.
Things are going well until a magic-eating monster shows up forcing Penn to use the magic she's kept hidden for so long.

That's all you get, go read the book.

Thanks so much to Entangled, NetGalley, and the author for this ARC review.
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This one was a fast moving story, that will have sitting on the edge of your seat. Pennrae living with magic in a world without, until crazy and scary things begin to happen. You will find yourself riding a wave of emotions in this book. As a first book in a series there is a bit of world building that is done pretty well. I have not read this author before but looking forward to more from her. I really enjoyed this story.
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Wonderful paranormal story that has action, romance, and suspense. Penn the main character is a warrior from another time. Now she lives 300 years into the future with her familiar. It has twists and turns as well as intrigue and those whose goal is to release dark magic back into the world. I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley and chose to write a review. Hopefully there will be another book to make it a series.
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DNF@28% because I'm picky like that
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Just when the story started to grab me, bam! Kiss in the middle of a big fight! With no kiss before that, just a mention of a date. Really?
Sorry, but I can't move past this...

3 stars

~ I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own ~
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Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing for an e-arc of this book!

3.75*
Magic Dark, Magic Divine was the first installment in a fantastical romance series by A.J. Locke. I wish there was a bit more romance but I loved the build up between certain characters. I thought the magical elements were super cool and I really enjoyed how the events of the story progressed. I was on my toes, didn't know who I could trust and was intrigued by the cast of characters. I also loved the found family trop between Pennrae, Gideon, Toji and Callan. Friendship was a really strong theme here and that was something I loved seeing within the story. Pennrae had incredible character development and it was great seeing her let others help her in the journey she was facing. This was a really unique type of story and I'm excited to see what will happen next.
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