Genre: Middle-Grade, Urban Fantasy
Series: Magisterium #4
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Beware of spoilers about the previous three book of the series!
This review will mainly be about the one issue that I have with the novel. I know that’s not how it usually works but the thing is, I really like this series. I love the Magisterium setting, the characters are great, and I love the plot. The first two books in the series were really good, especially the first one. But even with the other two, Holly and Cassie always manage to deliver a twist we don’t expect. Like killing Aaron and putting Callum in prison at the end of The Bronze Key (those were not happy twists). The problem is with the writing.
It’s not bad, per se. But I know that both Holly and Cassie can do better. The atmosphere that they created in The Iron Trial, how hard the revelation about Callum having Constantine’s soul hit the readers, that’s missing. I feel like they’re not bringing their A-game.
I understand that they both have their own, separate projects, and I feel like this series is being neglected. This book was really short. And maybe that was planned, but I’m not sure it was entirely planned. Things were kinda rushed. There could have been more time taken to building up the creep-factor of living with Master freaking Joseph or dealing with Constantine’s mother, more intensity that would really immerse us in the novel. But it was — and I know a lot of people say this about a lot of books — more telling and not enough showing.
This series could be a lot better and despite my complaints, I’m hoping for the best with the next novel. It’s the last one in the series. This was a good installment (better than the last one, for me). It just didn’t feel like enough effort was put into making it great.
Alex’s character needed more time than he was give. This book was Callum’s personal journey, coming to terms with who he is, but I still think the other characters should have been given a bit more. The romance, especially, could have been better written. It came out of nowhere. I ship Callum with Jasper more than I ship him with Tamara.
I feel like this series is being treated like a side project. Maybe that’s not the case, maybe it is. I just hope that the last book is amazing like the first one.