M K ENGLAND
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Science-Fantasy
REPRESENTATION: From the author “Queer (primarily sapphic) MC, non-binary love interest, bi secondary character, widowed lesbian bakery owner, elderly science husbands. ALL THE QUEER.”
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Found family, rag tag group of misfits for the win!
I read M K England’s The Disasters last year and loved the cast of characters. Spellhacker is a completely separate story/ universe, but manages to hit the same sweet-spot on those beloved tropes.
It’s a fast-paced heist-gone-wrong with fun characters. Diz, the lead, is really relatable and charismatic. She’s good-hearted, but maybe a little self-centred and bitter. She’s angry and imperfect, and I really enjoyed seeing her relationships with the rest of the team.
Reading Spellhacker in January 2020, it’s terrifyingly plausible. Even with the high magical-technology driven world, the whole premise has a real believably to it, pulling you in. Environmental disaster caused by corruption, a virus that wipes out cities…? You don’t need to overly suspend disbelieve to feel invested in Kyrkarta, Diz and the others. The world-building and magic-system — the origins, different types and uses of Maz — are well-thought-out and clearly explained without excessive info-dumping.
A compelling blend of YA fantasy, science-fiction and dystopia, pacy and fun.
In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.
But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.
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