Title: Magic Unmasked: A Conspiracy of Magic Prequel Novella
Series: Conspiracy of Magic # 0.5
Author: Megan Crewe
Format: Kindle Edition, 196 pages
Published: April 30th 2018 by Another World Press (first published April 19th 2018)
ISBN: ASIN B07CT7M4VD
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The wall between mages and the magicless is about to be broken...
Growing up in Manhattan's secret community of mages, 17-year-old Jonathan Lockwood has always seen his family as one of the enlightened ones, regularly campaigning to integrate with the so-called "Dulls" and offer their talents to the wider world. But when a looming disaster threatens hundreds of lives, he watches his parents bow to the pressure to stay silent. Horrified, he resolves to intervene himself.
Jonathan's mission leads him to a chance encounter with Amy, a girl who should be Dull but has a clear affinity for magic. As they struggle to tackle the impending threat, he introduces her to the world he knows is rightfully hers. The closer Jonathan and Amy become, the more he finds himself losing his heart—and his certainty about the rules he's broken. The greater good may come at a price more painful than he ever expected to pay.
Set four decades before the Conspiracy of Magic trilogy, Magic Unmasked offers a glimpse into a critical turning point in magical history—events that set the stage for Rocío and Finn's ordeals.
She stared at the leaf in her hands and then at me. “What the hell was that?”
“That was you,” I said. “You’re magic.”
Magic Unmasked is the prequel to Megan Crew’s Conspiracy of Magic series. Her website includes a link where this novella may be downloaded for free. The story takes place in 1980, forty years prior to Ruthless Magic. It introduces the author’s magical world which, in this tale, primarily consists of the Confederation of North American Mages. The Confederation is governed by the “Circle” who creates the laws for all the mages in North America. We learn that the members of the “Circle” are determined to keep magic secret and available only to descendants from established magic families by hook or crook.
This is the story of Jonathan Lockwood who has grown up in a community of mages and Amy, who has a strong affinity for magic but no familial connection to the magical community. Their story is told from their alternating points of view allowing readers to understand each of their perspectives.
As the story begins, Jonathan meets a girl in the non-magical community who has magic and doesn’t know it. Her situation inspires him to train her himself and then ask his family to integrate her into the magical community. As he is tutoring her, Jonathan learns of the impending eruption of Mount St. Helens and the two team up to warn those in the path of the volcano. The magical community is well aware of this imminent disaster, but they refuse to share this knowledge with the magicless world. Will they accomplish their mission and will Amy be accepted within the magic community? Pick up this tale to find out!
Following please find a couple of my favorite lines from Magic Unmasked:
Without a word, he leaned in to kiss me.
It was both a total surprise and exactly what I’d been waiting for. His lips brushed mine, and I kissed him back, hoping it wasn’t obvious I didn’t exactly have a whole lot of practice in that area any more than I did with magic – and then forgetting that worry as his free hand rose up to trace his fingers into my hair. His touch sent sparks shooting over my skin. His mouth moved against mine, hot but gentle.
This, this was magic. Even better than the stuff we’d generated between us before.
Jonathan eased back, only halfway to where he’d started. His hand slid down to my shoulder. For the first time since I’d met him, he looked abruptly, adorably shy.
“Was that all right?” he said. “I mean…”
He didn’t seem to know how to continue, so I helped him out. “Completely okay. Very, very good, in fact.” Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite that emphatic, but I was also grinning like a maniac, so it wasn’t like he could miss how much I’d enjoyed the kiss.
Jonathan’s eyes brightened, his usual assurance returning. “I’m glad to hear it,” he said. “In that case, maybe we could do it again?”
The corner of his mouth curled up. “Two mages, saving the world with a telephone. Not quite how the stories usually go.”
Magic Unmasked is an engaging, sometimes humorous, fast-paced YA tale with two likable characters that demonstrates a lot of promise for the series. I’ve read that this series is comparable to the Harry Potter series, but I did not find any similarity besides each involving magic and teenagers. I did enjoy Magic Unmasked’s adorably innocent romance and the idea of two kids fighting for what was right, but disliked and was quite upset by the ending. That said, the premise of the series enthralled me enough to continue the series with Ruthless Magic, hoping that the first full novel would rectify the closure of this one.
Suggested Reading Order:
Magic Unmasked (Book # 0.5)
Ruthless Magic (Book #1)