Magic Dark and Strange

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Magic Dark and Strange audiobook

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Review #1

Magic Dark and Strange audiobook free

Catherine works for a print shop. Her boss has them doing some extra business. Catherine can do magic to bring back a recently deceased person for one hour. Every time she does that, she loses an hour. Catherine left home two years earlier to find a good job, so she does what shes told. After digging up a grave one night, she thought she would have a break. But Mr. Ainsworth wants her to go to the public cemetery for him. He just found out information about where a watch might be. This timepiece is said to bring the dead back to life. Not as a ghost, but as they were. Its supposedly buried in an unmarked grave of a person who worked making coffins.

Catherine asks a friend, Guy, to help her out. Guy doesnt use his magic, but he can stop time. Every time magic is used, there is a price to pay. They dig up the grave and it looks like the person died at least ten years earlier. There was no watch. But something went wrong. The body in the grave started to look human again. He woke up, not for just an hour, but really woke up. The boy didnt know who he was, so he was given the name Owen. Owen doesnt know about the timepiece. Even through his fear from being dead, Owen helps out Catherine and Guy. Multiple people end up murdered and theyre pretty sure its all for this magic.

This was a good book, but I did struggle with the pacing a bit. I just dont do well with books that are slower, but I know they work well for others. There is very little romance in the book, but it does focus on Catherine and Guy a lot. More about them individually and also them becoming friends (and maybe more). I do wish there was a little more magic and that the murders werent solved quite so quickly. But I still enjoyed reading this one.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me a review copy. I gave this book 3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4.

Warnings for blood, death, and digging up the dead.


Review #2

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Review first posted at Girl Who Reads. A free copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Catherine Daly is a printer during the day, but at night can wake the dead long enough to allow their loved ones to say goodbye. For every hour the dead are awake, however, she loses an hour from her own lifetime. She’s charged with removing a timepiece from a grave, so she asks the watchmaker’s son Guy Nolan for help. Instead of a clock, they find a boy who comes to life. The boy has no memory of his past, and there are dangerous enemies. Catherine and Guy must race to unravel the connection between the missing timepiece and the undead boy. The connection might be the difference between life and death for all of them.

Magic always has a cost, and it’s fascinating that in this system it’s blood and something intangible. Catherine pays an hour of her life, Guy and his father paid in memories. The boy becomes their responsibility and brings the two closer together. In true Regency and Victorian era times, they refer to each other formally, and calling each other by first name is an intimacy that very few are gifted with. The trio have to find the timepiece and figure out how it relates to Owen, the boy they found. The story is primarily a mystery, with a pinch of a budding romance between Catherine and Guy. Because the focus is on the mystery, the novel flies so quickly, I was stunned when I got to the end of the book. I wanted more to read!

Magic Dark and Strange is a fantastic book, and a great way to spend a weekend afternoon while bundled up with a blanket and a big mug of tea.


Review #3

Audiobook Magic Dark and Strange by Kelly Powell

Magic Dark and Strange is a new urban fantasy set in England sometime during the industrial revolution. This is a world were there seemed to be a few different kinds of magic people can do but it always comes at a cost.

Catherine grew up with her family in the country but was sent to the city to work at a newspaper when she was about fifteen. She can do grave magic where she can raise the newly dead for about an hour to say farewell to family. Her employer tasks her with digging up a grave to find a watch rumored to be able to raise the dead for good. Catherine asks a watchmaker acquaintance to go with her and what they find is a boy long dead who climbed out of his grave, restored.

This is usually my kind of story and I did like it but there are a few things that could have gone a little better for me. The magic in this world isnt really explained. Can everyone do it if they are willing to pay the price or is it just a few? Besides the magic with death and time that we see in the book are there other kinds? I wish some of this world was better explained.

There is a bit of a romance happening between Catherine and Guy. It is cute as they call each other Miss Daily and Mr. Nolan. As they try to help the reanimated boy with no memories, they find that someone else is looking for the watch and is willing to kill for it. The plotting is a bit simple and I really thought this might be a better read for even a younger audience than YA, possibly MG even though it is a little slow.

I did like who the murderer turned out to be and the revelations on how the boy ended up in the grave in the first place. But I wish the story was developed just a little more.

Overall a decent read that for me had a lot of room for the extras that can make a story great.


Karissa Vacker was a really good pick for this. Her voice seemed to fit the characters and the time well. She was a good match for how I think Miss Daily would have sounded and performed the narration well. I was able to listen to this at my usual 1.5x speed.


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