I’m a fan of magic, as well as the author Kate Policani. She’s a self-published author with some very creative marketing ideas, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview her (interview to be posted later).
Her newest book is Don’t Judge a Book By Its Magic, and it tells the story of 18-year-old Colleen, who suddenly discovers she’s part of a race of people with supernatural powers. It’s not magic exactly, more like the ability to channel life forces. But there are spells and tricks, all hidden in a secret world in plain sight.
Colleen is a relatable, likeable narrator, who I felt could be naïve at times. I think this book safely falls into the new “new fiction” genre, since it is about college students. However, this genre walks a fine line, and at times the book felt a little too high school. For example, Colleen is boy crazy and has many sexually charged encounters with young men at her school, yet nothing ever happens. It took me a while to realize all the characters are waiting until marriage before doing anything sexual, but in my mind college is a time for experimenting, so it would have helped to show this as part of the culture.
I also found it interesting how faith plays a role in this fiction book. The last book I reviewed, Under the Thelian Sky, also explored religion with science fiction. In Don’t Judge, Colleen grapples with whether or not casting spells is moral. She feels it goes against her religion, and because of that she often goes head to head with students who feel casting spells is a huge part of their lives.
This book manages to cover a lot of topics, all while developing a larger story about a potentially epic romance. Colleen and her friends charm themselves to find their soul mates, but Colleen’s soul mate turns out to be a boy who six other girls are already after. Not wanting to make waves, Colleen ends up dating and falling in love with another boy, Tynan. Due to financial difficulties, Colleen also ends up being engaged to Tynan, who promises that his family will pay for her school. Throughout the book, her relationship with both Tynan and Max get more and more complicated, turning into a love triangle.
Kate Policani is a great writer, and her latest book is a fun, quick read. As someone who loves reading about magic, I found it hard to put down. Looking forward to the next book in the series.