Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Real Magic by Brian A. Fowler

When Cassie Stevens and Leo Casteel touch, time stands still - literally. The first time they accidentally bump into each other on the street, for a moment the world is still, and it is just the two of them. Leo is a little freaked out by this, but more intrigued, and wants to get to know Cassie better. Cassie, however, is panicked - this isn't the first time this has happened to her. She has stopped time before, and it almost destroyed her.

As a young girl, Cassie was seduced by a dark demon, who used her for her powers, and abused and tormented her. She was able to free herself, but vowed never to let it happen again. When she experiences the same phenomenon with Leo, she fears the same horrible fate will befall her again - until she chooses to allow him into her life, and realizes he will never hurt her.

When her tormentor uses Leo to strike back at her, Cassie knows she must stop him once and for all. Enlisting the help of Cassie's mother, Lucinda, who has powers of her own, the group has 10 days to learn the secrets of the power the women possess, and use it to defeat the demon for good.

So, of course the irony of this situation is not lost on me - after the book blogging world has spent days and days discussing the merits and pitfalls of reviewing books directly from authors, the next book on my stack is - Voila! - a self-published novel I received directly from the author. So let me just be blunt - this book is not crap, but neither is it without fault. Much like the last book I reviewed, (which, by the way, came from a big ole' publishing house), there were parts I liked, and parts I didn't care for. But here's where the self-published author has the disadvantage - editing.

Real Magic has strong, interesting characters, and a well-crafted plot. It is certainly a page turner, and the steamy sex scenes read as well as some mainstream romances I've read. It just needs some editing. When confronted with Cassie's remarkable abilities, Leo seems pretty complacent - an editor could help the author make these instances seem more believable. Sometimes the dialog gets a little rambly - an editor could help cut down those paragraphs, and make them more accessible to the reader. I think Mr. Fowler has great promise as an author, and I would hope he continues to write, because the faults of the novel are fixable, and I think his work would appeal to many readers.

So there you have it - a review of the dreaded self-published novel. I hope they don't just fade away. I've had a lot of great reads that were self-published. I'd like to thank Brian Fowler for giving me the opportunity to read his novel - I enjoyed it!


bermudaonion said...

I just read a self published book - A Thousand Veils - that was good, too.

Brian said...

Thanks Elizabeth for your review of my novel 'Real Magic'.

Hope you and yours have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.