by Anton Strout
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Kate | Source: Publisher
The adventures of a girl and her gargoyle continue in the second installment of this “thrilling, funny and eerie” fantasy series. —Romantic Times on Alchemystic
No Stone Unturned…
Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business…until she discovered her true legacy—a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. And as her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. But when a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear.
With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry—even with the help of her dedicated friends—are faltering. Hidden forces both watch her and threaten her, and she finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world.
But the question of Stanis’s fate haunts her—and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.
STONECAST is one of those books that I had a hard time reviewing. While well written and paced, and creative (alchemy and gargoyles aren’t something we see everyday in the genre) there were a lot of aspects of the story itself that I didn’t like, so while it may appeal to others, it wasn’t as big a hit for me as ALCHYMISTIC, the first book in The Spellmason Chronicles was.
There are a few things that nearly automatically turn me off from a book- and one of those is pretty graphic torture. What Stanis goes through near the beginning of the book qualifies as torture in my mind, and then the character who is responsible for that goes on to become friends with Lexi, which really frustrated me in the “how could she” kind of way. Plus, since Stanis is one of our narrators, we know exactly how he’s feeling during the whole process, and like I said, that’s not something I’m too keen on.
Having Stanis and Lexi as narrators was a good and bad thing, since while it allowed the reader multiple points of view and the ability to have a better idea what was going on, it was also a bit distracting, since they weren’t together for most of the book. While in ALCHEMYSTIC Stanis and Lexi are telling, for the most part, a single story, in STONECAST, there are two story arcs, what is happening to Stanis and what is happening to Lexi, and they only start to intersect near the end.
Certainly, STONECAST had good points as well. Like I said, it is one of the more unique premises that I’ve encountered in the urban fantasy genre, and there is plenty of action and mystery to keep a person occupied. I really like Lexi’s friends, Rory and Marshall and the humor they add to the book, too. I will likely be looking out for book three, since I enjoy Strout’s style, but STONECAST just wasn’t for me.
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About the author
- Review: Child of a Hidden Sea by A. M. DellamonicaJuly 21, 2014
- Deadly Destinations: Gina Rosati & win AURACLEAugust 8, 2012