Cover Image: Three Kinds of Lucky

Three Kinds of Lucky

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Three Kinds of Lucky
By Kim Harrison
This book was just the book I needed at the time! It's totally original and fresh! A new view on magic. We have a world where magic users are quite uppity and use magic that leaves a residue called dross. Not everyone can see it. Petra can and she is someone that goes around and cleans up the mess these uppity magic users make! They rarely clean up after themselves. The dross causes bad luck for anyone that comes in contact with it so Petra, and others like her, do their job and the dross is stored away so everyone is safe.
But something happens, something no one could have foreseen, now every thing is changed. Petra and her childhood friend, Ben, have to find the only one that might be able to help them before it's too late.
Great characters, twists, suspense, fantasy, situations, and unique and original story! I can't wait to find out more about these characters and what happens. This story has me hooked!
I want to thank the publisher for the opportunity to read this book!

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Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

My favorite thing about this book is the most unique type of magic I’ve seen. Mage’s use magic which separates light waves from particles leaving behind “dross” or bad luck. Our FMC can’t do magic but she can see the mystical mess and has a unique skill to clean it up.

When a childhood friend turned stranger comes into town and threatens to destroy her livelihood with his new invention, everything changes. Our FMC finds herself on his team despite her reservations about his ideas.

The premise of this book sounded so interested to me but I’m left feeling a mix of enjoyment and disappointment. The writing was lazy at times, the characters were frustrating and sometimes came across as flat, and I couldn’t find myself being fully invested in them. My favorite character came in a little over halfway through the book and frankly he didn’t get enough screen time.

The action scenes read a bit chaotic and messy, and there’s a huge plot point that frustrated me. It felt like a cop out, despite the fact that it is somewhat replaced later. SLIGHT SPOILER— Death of a furry friend.

The world building, though confusing at times, and the magic system was the better part of the story and the plot made up for the other faults. This was enough to keep me going and despite some head scratching moments towards the end, I will be continuing this series as the next comes out, even if it is mostly to see my favorite character again.

The pacing of the book is it’s biggest flaw. I struggled to get into it or face the desire to pick it up at first. However, once I got into it I found myself not really wanting to put it down.

I think the biggest takeaway to remember is I am almost 30 years old reading a book meant for teenagers. If I read this in high-school I probably would have loved it. So take this review with that in mind.

Thank you to @netgalley and @berkleypub for a free copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Shadow Age is a new series with a complex magic system. The setting is a smaller university town just east of Tucson, Arizona. It seems a bit odd the main character is Petra Grady which has a Scandinavian feel, while it is actually Greek and Irish origins. Anyway, Petra is a likely urban fantasy heroine with her parents gone, and her skills a bit odd.

Petra is at the bottom of mage society as a sweeper. Mages doing magic produce dross (light). Sweepers don't do actual magic but clean up the dross after mages. Spinners can do a bit of magic relating to containment of dross. So Petra is a superior sweeper but can't do magic. Her mentors are spinners and more experienced sweepers who run the vault where all the collected dross is stored and shadows are destroyed.

Benedict Strom is a mage from her childhood. He has a project to make dross inert so it doesn't have to be stored. He hurt Petra's feelings in childhood. Benedict wants Petra on his project team, but she thinks it is dangerous.

When things go spectacularly wrong, Petra and Benedict work together to find an old spinner who was a friend of her dad. But there are many political factions battling, not to mention the innocent mundanes. There is the mage militia who try to keep things safe and, to a certain degree the mages in charge. The separatists are more of a terrorist group, also for mage superiority, but some would even kill the spinners and sweepers, to be the only magic in control.

But it turns out there is a long forgotten class of magic users, the weavers. Weavers work with shadow and light, keeping the balance. Weavers don't need to kill shadows in dross vaults because they can control them. Petra starts on her journey of learning to weave in a crisis. She has to avoid mage knowledge of her because some of them just can't have any one with power they don't control.

I enjoyed Three Kinds of Lucky. The first book is always a bit to understand the world and learn about the characters. There is much yet to know and learn, both about the past and the present. Petra and Benedict have the touch of romance, not yet developed. With their skills, they will be involved in the future technology. I'll be interested to see where things go from here, if Petra can remain safe and build even more skills.

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Petra Grady spends her time sweeping up dross, magical hazmat that is leftover whenever a spell is cast. However, when she is assigned to a special case with Benedict Strom dross cleanup goes sideways and it will take everything Petra has to ensure the city doesn’t get destroyed.

Verdict: As the beginning of a new series by Kim Harrison, this book has promise in reviving Urban Fantasy readers by introducing a new world with new concepts and ideas. The story arc was well thought out and overall, the writing was very well done. One small note, while I enjoyed reading about this new world and Petra’s abilities in cleaning up magical waste, I am not a fan of killing off animals or pets and could have done without that particular scene. Overall, for those looking for something fresh and new to read in the UF genre, they should definitely give this one a try!

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Petra is a sweeper, which means she has the unique ability to see dross, the waste product created by mages when they do magic. Dross is also bad luck - when it breaks, it can cause something as simple as a snag in your clothes; enough of it can cause a five car pile-up, or worse. Unfortunately, sweepers are looked down on, so when Petra tries to convince Benedict that his process for rendering dross inert is flawed, he blows a gasket and she quits. Benedict has the honor of being Petra's high school crush (who wanted to be her "secret friend" so no one would know they hung out) and the only person she trusts when things go horribly wrong.

The first chunk of this book is a little bit of a slog - there's a LOT of world building going on. However, if you can get through that, this book is very interesting and engaging. The magic system is so interesting and feels very new, and I'm excited to see where this series goes.

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I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Kim Harrison starts off with a brand new series with Three Kinds of Lucky and we enter a whole new world of magic! This is a world with magic and shadows and all the complications that come from their uses and Petra is the one who comes in to clean up the messes.

I will admit, that things started off a little rocky in this one. It can be hard sometimes entering a new world with new rules and the way magic works. I think what threw me in this one was being introduced to new magical terms and never really getting a definition for them. You kind of had to work out what was going on with that term by context and its surrounding words. Which, is not always easy, let me tell you! But I love Kim's books so I was determined to see it through!

In this world we follow Petra Grady who is considered a sweeper, as she is the one to come in and clean up after magical occurrences. When magic is used, it leaves behind something called dross. If left unchecked, dross becomes dangerous and uncontrollable, so it's vital that it gets "cleaned up" asap.

Petra is given a new assignment though that will involve being the dross cleaner for her old friend, Benedict. She and Benedict have a complicated history. It seems they were friends once before in school, but then Benedict turned his back on her (though there's more to it than that of course) and thus their friendship fizzled. But when Benedict's projects leave the university in disastrous results, she and Benedict must flee.

While I did find the concept of magic and dross to be a bit complicated in this one, I did find I enjoyed the story with the characters. The characters were what kept me going for sure! I just wish the world-building could've been better explained. I know I was reading an ARC, but I feel like this book could have benefits from a glossary to explain what some of these terms that Harrison created were. If I had had a better insight to what they meant, it might have made it easier to understand this new world we were in.

But needless to say, there is magic in this world and it can be dangerous. There are some groups within this world, some who want to keep using magic, heedless of the dross that can be created from it, and others who want to contain magic and limit the use.

The characters were very deep in this one! It seems everyone was harboring a secret of some kind in this one and it lead to yet another explosive ending! There was a bit of romance brewing in this one. Petra and Benedict have history, so naturally, that history is coming roaring forward. It's a subtle kind of attraction as I will say this book has next to no heat when it comes to romance. Which is fine in of itself, as romance doesn't really fit into the story at large. But things are definitely be built up for the future.

All in all, I did like this one. I can't say it's a new favorite series, but it's interesting for sure. Perhaps I find myself in yet another case where it's best not to read a new series on my Kindle as things just don't mesh right. But that's a me issue, lol. This is an interesting new world Harrison has set up and within time I look forward to learning more about it.

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

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Petra Grady is a Sweeper first-class. While she doesn't have magic of her own, she has the uncanny ability to see and handle dross—the disruptive, magical waste generated by the Mages' spell work. Sweepers have always been treated as second-class citizens by the Mages—janitors put on this earth to clean up their mess. But fortunately, Petra's got a few other hidden tricks up her sleeve. Until her life is turned on its head by the sexy, exasperating Benedict Strom with his research project to render the Mages' dross inactive and innocuous, which just might make the Sweepers obsolete.

I've been a fan of Kim Harrison's books since the Hollows (Rachel Morgan) series, so I jumped on this book, hoping that some fresh blood and a new series would reignite my passion. I found there was a lot to like, along with a couple things I didn't.

Like The Hollows series, I thoroughly enjoy the complex, original magical worlds that Kim Harrison creates, even though I found this magic system a little harder to grasp. I kept mixing up the differences between the types of dross, which attracts the shadow, and how shadow comes to be in the first place. So yeah, if you're looking for complex, this is it! It wasn't as playful and fun as The Hollows—but then again, Pluck is no Jenks. But enough for comparisons... this is an entirely new series and from here on out, I plan to review it that way.

Before I go on about all the fantastic elements of this story, let me get out of the way a couple things that didn't jive with me: First was the fact that the lab was planning to test on live animals... and second... well that's more of a spoiler so I won't mention it here.

Throughout the book, I really jived with the analogy of the Mages and their discarded dross to the gravely polluted world we live in today. Oblivious people leaving behind their junk while expecting others to clean up after them. It's that same sense of superiority and entitlement where it's always someone else's problem, not theirs.

As the main character, Petra is smart and resourceful, a kickass, take-charge kind of gal. The magical world she lives in, kept hidden from the mundanes, is complex yet intriguing. Her counterpart, Benedict, sounds yummy, and while the relationship between the two was initially fraught with tension, I'm anxious to see how it plays out given that her feelings towards him see-saw quite a bit throughout the tale.

That said, I did find the writing to be a bit sloppy with some inconsistencies and contradictory info, but that's probably just because I was reading an uncorrected ARC, so I'm assuming all those will be ironed out in the final draft.

Overall, a wonderful new world from the mind of Kim Harrison, and another kickass heroine to love. Looking forward to more!

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I have a really hard time reviewing this book. The author's imagination for a new magic system and world is astounding, but the book doesn't really get going until the 60% which is asking a lot.

I was pulled in my the fascinating world that the author has created - dross and shadows are fascinating and the concept of a physical magical by-product is very interesting. I think that the general plotline of the main character is interesting, and a bit different take on the "special savior" trope. But the first 40% of the book could have been removed and I don't know that much of the story would have changed since for most of the book the plot doesn't seem to be a priority to the world-building. For the world building all of it was directed at dross and shadows portion I still don't really understand how the magic users work, it was honestly a surprise any time Benedict or Ashley used magic. It just felt like if you are going to spend so much time on the world building how do I still have so many questions about this world?And I feel like the focus on worldbuilding meant that the characters weren't given as much attention. Outside the main character the characters fall into one of two categories: unlikable or barely fleshed out. Even the main character's motivations felt scattershot at times.

All of these are not not breaking points for me, but I am more disappointed that a book from a major 5 Publisher from a well known author is at this point. This book needs editing. It has all the elements of a great book, but the version I read isn't there.

the dog dies

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This is a fun ride in urban fantasy. I enjoyed it being a relatively "normal" main character who cannot do magic herself but still has to interact with it constantly. As it is the start of a new series, there is a lot of world-building and getting drawn in. I think it definitely leans a bit heavier into the world-building than her previous books. I'm not a huge fan of the romance piece but it worked okay for this installment. I think this one does drop you into a complicate world without explaining too much so the world-building does feel like it takes a long time to get started.

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Three Kinds of Lucky by Kim Harrison introduced me to a creative new fantasy world, though my reading experience was mixed. For the first time ever, I found myself tired of reading a particular word. It was said many times on every page, and I'm not sure what it was about this word - because it was essential to the story - but seeing it so many times irritated me. I am still trying to figure out what to make of that, so I won't say any more.

The magic system, however, and the world both intrigued me. The world is developed very well. I understood the different sides and their ideals. The magic system was more of an enigma. The by-product is something called dross, a word in our own language that means rubbish, and that's basically what it is - magical rubbish. But there is much more to be learned about this system.

The story is about Petra Grady, a Sweeper of dross whose life is turned upside down when the current magic system of mages and sweepers is blown to pieces. She has to reidentify herself as what she truly is. The pacing is fast, and the thrills are non-stop. I sped-read my way through the story with all of its twists and turns. And I loved where it ended with a lovely soft conclusion rather than a cliffhanger.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for the early copy of Three Kinds of Lucky. Below you'll find my honest review.

I'm a huge fan of Kim Harrison's Hollows novels - both the original series and the recent continuation. I liked her Drafter novels and was disappointed we never got the end of the trilogy.

This one was a really good series opener. She built a cool world with an interesting take on magic, along with some great characters. I did figure out the "traitor" early on, but she did set it up to be obvious to the reader.

I had trouble putting this one down and absolutely loved it - except for one thing. I'll put it at the bottom so you can choose whether or not to read it. This will slightly spoil, so look away if you're not interested in a spoiler.

All in all, definitely recommend for Urban Fantasy fans or fans of The Hollows. 4 stars.


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New series by Kim Harrison. Looks promising, even if this first book, THREE KINDS OF LUCKY is a bit of an uneven read. Petra Grady is a Sweeper with an unusual talent, one that is supposedly in the lowest of the magical world. She cleans up what spells leave behind and can't actively do magic of her own. When she comes in contact with Shadow, something all magic users fear, something changes and she wonders if she might be more magical than she thought.

Like Kim Harrison’s writing style, will give the next book in the series a read. Recommended for fans of Harrison and magical fantasy.

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I don't read a lot of urban fantasy, but I was really interested by the idea of this one. I like the fact that the focus of this story isn't on the romance, and I thought that the pacing was good and the characters compelled me to keep reading. I struggled a bit in the world-building, mostly because I just couldn't really picture how dross worked. Overall, though, I would read more in this series because I imagine little snags will get hammered out as we go on.

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Three Kinds of Lucky is a great new addition to the urban fantasy genre. The magic system in this book is one of the more unique I've seen, and I've read a lot of urban fantasy. Good pacing, some romance but not to much, characters you love to hate, a devastating death (I cried), and just an intriguing romp. I'm excited to see where this series goes in the future.

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Petra Grady can't do magic. But she can see it. Okay, she can see dross which is the magical leftovers from a spell. And dross if left lying around, trans-morphs into bad luck for anyone who touches it. Her job is to collect it, and bring it back to a disposal sight. But a mage has discovered a way to render dross harmless, and he's demanded that Grady be part of his team to prove his process is safe.

Why I started this book: Requested an ARC as I'm not a regular Harrison reader and thought that a start of a new series would be a great jumping in point.

Why I finished it: Felt a little uneven reading this story, but I' can't tell if that was me or the book... but I am very intrigued about a story that starts with magical waste disposal and goes from there. (Maybe the uneasiness was my internal disagreement about the motivations/actions of main characters when placed in the "logic" of Harrison's magic world building.) Action pacted, with lots of possibilites for the future I am eager to read the next in the series.

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I kind of struggled with this book.

Kim Harrison is probably my favorite author in what I like to call the "modern with magic" (thanks, AO3) genre. I devoured the first 13(ish) books of her Hollows/Rachel Morgan series -- in fact it's the only series I've read that I share a name with the main character of that I've actually managed to read all the way through. Three Kinds of Lucky is a very different book. I struggled to really get into the worldbuilding and picturing how "dross" worked. I don't know if it's because I'm too biased going in, or if it's because it's Book #1, but this didn't grab me the way I'd hoped.

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One thing that Harrison does better than anyone else is create new types of magic systems. This new magic system is so different from anything you've ever read, and she uses it to great effect, subtly highlighting an eco-disaster scenario with the "magical waste" that they keep shoving into a hole in the ground. Of course, the other strength is always her heroines and she does not disappoint here. Petra Grady (great name!) is both strong and vulnerable. She is shoved into a situation she doesn't want to be in but finds a way to succeed. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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I find I am struggling with Kim Harrison books of late. I loved the original 13 books of The Hollows series. But her more recent additions to Hollows as well as some recent additions to Hollows and this one, Three Kinds of Lucky just aren't grabbing me like they used to. Not sure if my attention span is shorter or if Harrison's writing style has gone through some changes, but this was just OK. I fought to get through the first 30%, but then it picked up.

Harrison created a wonderful world, but I didn't really connect with the characters. Just was not a compelling read for me.

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I mean, its Kim Harrison. I'd personally read her grocery list, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE this new series! This will be a hit with our patrons!

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I'm a fan of Harrison and I always enjoy her take on a new urban fantasy novel. This new world and cast of characters is definitely interesting. New world building. New magic rules. New characters. My one critique is that it felt like the pacing in the middle to get to the 'big event' was too slow. I will attribute part of this to having to introduce a lot of new material to readers but it was a bit of a slog to wade through at time.

Something bad happens to a furry friend. If this is a hard no for you when reading, the be forewarned.

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