Curse of the Gargoyles by Rebecca Chastain [Review & Giveaway] 2016, urban fantasy

Synopsis

Mika was trying to save a gargoyle, not doom the world…

Mika Stillwater isn’t known for her skills with combat magic. As a gargoyle healer, she spends her days mending broken appendages and curing illnesses in the living-quartz bodies of Terra Haven’s gargoyles. But when a squad of the city’s elite Federal Pentagon Defense warriors requests her assistance in freeing a gargoyle ensnared in a vicious invention, Mika jumps into the fray.

No one could have predicted that her involvement would ignite a chain reaction set to destroy the city, the world, and magic itself.

Brimming with epic magic and loveable gargoyles, Curse of the Gargoyles is the second story in the mesmerizing Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy. Fantasy fans young and old will delight in this highly original world and exciting, action-packed adventure.

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

I was so happy when the author asked me to review this book because I loved the first one in the series, “Magic of the Gargoyles.”

“Curse of the Gargoyles” was a great addition to the series. The author wrote another novella, but almost doubled it in length. In some ways this was good because there is more action and character development that will satisfy readers; in other ways it wasn’t, considering the majority of the novel takes place in one setting on one day, and some parts seemed drawn out unnecessarily.

One thing that sets this story apart from other urban fantasies is how the author has put a lot of thought and effort into the mechanics of the magical system. She makes the working of magic seem realistic and complex. However, this is where the story dragged at times. As Mika works her magic, the descriptions are long. At times, I found it hard to visualize what Mika was doing, and I just wanted the story to move forward. On the other hand, I understood that her efforts were complicated and took time. Magic isn’t easy in this book.

I really liked how Mika had to overcome her fears and feelings of ineptitude. Not only was the magic challenging, but she was out of her league working with the full spectrum pentacle squad. She was challenged both physically and mentally. This is another area where I feel the author did a great job of making the story believable. Mika’s emotions, limitations, and physical responses were very realistic. It is a nice change to see an urban fantasy heroine who can be hurt. She doesn’t have any special abilities to heal herself, which makes her vulnerable.

I also enjoyed the subtle hints at a potential romance between Mika and Marcus. I am looking forward to seeing if anything develops between them in future stories.

The author wrapped up everything nicely at the end of the story, except for a hanging question about the gargoyle dormancy illness. This will probably be explored later. I appreciate that there weren’t any big cliffhangers.

As I said at the beginning, this was a great addition to the series. I really enjoyed reading it, despite what felt like some occasional slow parts. If you haven’t read “Magic of the Gargoyles” yet, you can still read “Curse of the Gargoyles.” The author gives you enough information to jump into the series. However, considering “Magic of the Gargoyles” is such a great story, I recommend going back and reading that one first.

I give “Curse of the Gargoyles” five stars for a complex system of magic, excellent worldbuilding, and interesting characters. I strongly recommend it to readers who enjoy books about magic. It is a great book for people who like female leads who care deeply for the well-being of others, non-humans included.

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