Title: Magic Unleashed
Author: Devri Walls
Narrator: Daniel Thomas May
Series: Venators, Book 1
Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
Publication: April 10th 2018
Read: March 2020
Length: 10 hours, 20 minutes
Rating: 3 Caffeinated Stars
Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault, Child Abuse, Abuse, mention of slavery, mention of forced prostitution, Victim blaming verbiage.
Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.
Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.
By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.
Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council.
When I was approached about this book tour, I knew I needed to jump in. Magic Unleashed is right up my alley, and I couldn’t wait to get started. I ended up low on time, so I snagged the audiobook so that I could read it while reading a few other books in between. The narrator did a good job of portraying the characters, though, at times, his voice bordered on monotone.
Devri Walls sure knows how to write a vast world. The descriptions were great, and at times I felt like I was walking around with Rune & Grey. The setting itself was well done, and I liked to see the author’s interpretations of the supernatural characters. My favorite was how the fae were portrayed. They weren’t sweet, helpful things but tricksters. I just loved it.
The characters were also well done. I wanted to get to know more about Grey and Rune, and I liked seeing how they interacted with all of the characters. I enjoyed the side characters, as well. It seems like everyone, for the most part, was three dimensional. I will admit, I struggled with how young Grey & Rune acted though this is more of a me issue and not a book issue.
The one thing that didn’t sit well with me was some of the victim-blaming verbiages in a specific scene. I felt that the character had every right to be upset, and I feel like she was gaslit because she didn’t just accept that something “had” to happen. This scene soured me on the book, and I have to admit, I almost DNFd right then and there. After that scene, I started to notice just some of the ways that Rune was treated, and I hated how she was consistently berated instead of helped.
Though I did find some faults with this book, I ended up pushing through. In the end, I enjoyed the world that created. It was fun to see a more sinister side of faeries, and I enjoyed how fast-paced the plot was. I’m not sure that I will continue in the series, but I do understand why so many people have enjoyed it.
Want to give this book a shot? Here are the buy links!