Hi there! Today I’m back and sharing a review for a YA paranormal M/M romance adventure from Alex C Vick. SPELL TRACKER is the first book in the Light Mage series, and I did like the start to it.
About the book:
Luca has a problem his magic can’t solve. The boy he’s loved since they fought side-by-side as gladiators in Ancient Rome is about to die for the last time. Luca’s only chance to prevent it is to make a deal with the Spell Tracker, who demands Luca’s own life as collateral.
At seventeen years old, Luca is a Light Mage, the rarest of magicians. He’s able to navigate the earthbound dimension without losing his memory of its magical counterpart. Like an invisible kind-hearted ghost, he helps others to graduate their life paths and take up their chosen magical professions.
But this time, with the help of the Spell Tracker, Luca is earthbound again for real as a high school senior. The boy he’s here to save is nothing like he expected, and before long his head and his heart are all over the place, as well as his intended rescue. The Spell Tracker can hardly wait for him to fail. The life of this particular Light Mage is something he’s wanted for a very long time.
Honestly, I think the blurb is a tad misleading. Luca is thousands of years old. His form is forever trapped in the body of a 17 year-old, however. He’s a guardian, a class of angel destined to help souls in trouble to find their way into a good life path. The more success he has at this noble pursuit, the more power Luca can attain, which could help him break loose of the cycle he is in.
Luca makes a bargain with the Spell Tracker, a shadow mage who oversees a guardian’s great trial–Luca’s newest and most difficult assignment. Luca’s mission is to assist a soul he’s known before. In fact, this soul–now reincarnated in a teen girl’s body, is that of the first boy Luca ever loved. Luca had helped this boy to train for battle the Colosseum in Ancient Rome, where they were both slave-combatants. Luca’s final act as a human was to save the life of the boy he loved–which graduated him to guardian status.
The story is set in a modern day school, and the Spell Tracker has set the rule that Luca cannot leave the school he attends. It’s not a boarding school, so he has to hide out there in unused offices, etc. Luca has to befriend Cass, the girl who bears his former love’s soul, but it isn’t easy. She’s the most distrusting girl in the school–shattered by her father’s infidelity and her mother’s grief. Devin, Cass’s half-brother, takes an immediate liking to Luca–and it’s hard for Luca to resist the sweet boy who happens to be an unknowing light mage. Luca endeavors to get Cass to examine her past, but she’s resistant. Devin also tries to assist her, but she thinks he’s a liar–and their previous friendship is buried in bitter animosity.
Meanwhile, the Spell Tracker has always planned to harvest Cass’s soul–and he’s not below tricking Luca in order to do it. The climax is a little confusing, in that Luca wants to sacrifice himself to save both Cass’s and Devin’s souls–and Devin wants to save Luca and Cass. Cass would sacrifice herself, but her soul is already bound in contract. There’s a lot going on including teleportation, visiting past lives, reincarnation, the angelic host intervening, and a slippery shadow mage not living up to the spirit or letter of his contracts.
The end is happy, with all favorable parties finding a satisfactory solution to the soul swap. Cass gains back memories of her previous lives–and a new purpose to pursue. Luca and Devin find their love is strong enough to start fresh and build a solid bond. There’s a lot of history in this story–which was a little bogging on the pace. Also, Luca and Cass have two names, one for now and one for then, and that was a bit confusion. There’s a bit of typical teen drama about who is sleeping with whom, and those moments got catty I might have had an eye-roll or three as it seemed drama-for-drama’s-sake. There will be another story and I think I’d read on, just to see how everyone fares.
Interested? You can find SPELL TRACKER on Goodreads and Amazon. I read a review copy via NetGalley.
About the Author: (in her own words)
Ever since I was old enough to figure out there was probably no such thing as magic, I always (secretly!) hoped it was some kind of mistake. Surely it must exist somewhere? Eventually I decided it must have been lost or forgotten somehow. And that’s where the idea for Stealing Magic, the first book, came from.
I live in the South of England with my husband and two daughters. When I’m not at work, or writing about magic, I also enjoy reading and photography. I’m a big Shakespeare fan too.
Catch up with Alex on her website Facebook, and twitter.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!