Read strange magic by James A. Hunter Online


Yancy Lazarus is having a bad day: there’s a bullet lodged in his butt cheek, his face looks like the site of a demolition derby, and he’s been saran-wrapped to a banquet table. He never should have answered the phone. Stupid bleeding heart—helping others in his circles is a good way to get dead.Just ask the gang members ripped to pieces by some kind of demonic nightmare iYancy Lazarus is having a bad day: there’s a bullet lodged in his butt cheek, his face looks like the site of a demolition derby, and he’s been saran-wrapped to a banquet table. He never should have answered the phone. Stupid bleeding heart—helping others in his circles is a good way to get dead.Just ask the gang members ripped to pieces by some kind of demonic nightmare in LA. As a favor to a friend, Yancy agrees to take a little looksee into the massacre and boom, he’s stuck in a turf war between two rival gangs, which both think he’s pinch-hitting for the other side. Oh, and there’s also a secretive ass-hat with some mean ol’ magical chops and a small army of hyena-faced, body- snatching baddies. It might be time to seriously reconsider some of his life choices.Yancy is a bluesman, a rambler, a gambler, but not much more. Sure, he can do a little magic—maybe even more than just a little magic—but he knows enough to keep his head down and stay clear of freaky-deaky hoodoo like this business in LA. Somehow though, he’s been set up to take a real bad fall—the kind of very permanent fall that leaves a guy with a toe tag. Unless, of course, he can find out who is responsible for the gangland murders, make peace in the midst of the gang feud, and take out said magical ass-hat before he hexes Yancy into an early retirement. Easy right? Stupid. Bleeding. Heart....

Title : strange magic
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 23944302
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 217 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

strange magic Reviews

  • Elspeth
    2019-05-13 16:40

    I received this book from Netgalley in trade for an honest review.This was a fun campy story a la Supernatural and Dresden Files. If only it was better edited my rating might have been higher. The story was a bit draggy after 77% so it could have been tightened up, and the dialog combed over so it flowed better.I liked the research the author put into this, I am a sucker for random facts. The part I really enjoyed was Yancy's Head Palace, that part was really cool.I wasn't really fond of the banter between Yancy and Greg though. What the author thought was gruff tough love came off as Greg being a total asshat. The guy in the rafters twirling his moustache was pretty thin, there wasn't enough back story to give me a solid feel on why he was doing what he was doing, other than you know, he was batshit crazy. There was a part where he tried to explain, but it didn't really ring true. All that whining on how he didn't like to kill people, except for the whole releasing a plague demon into the world, that's just fun times.I will give book two a try to see how the author grows, I can see the promise in this story, and the world building was interesting. That and I am curious about Yancy's inner self we met in his head palace.

  • Hybrid Creature (devours books instead of brains)
    2019-05-15 14:39

    DNF @ 21%This reads like a noir novel with 70's lingo and shoddy world building. Those are the good points of this book, what I read of it anyway.The main character is a ramblin', gamblin', mage in an el Camino with a magic system that is just there. That's right, the magic is just conveniently interwoven with no real descriptions of just what the fuck it accomplishes. It just filters naturally through mages and gives them numerous benefits and no one knows why that is. It may be the lamest description of magic that I've ever read. But of course, because he can access magic, he's the ultimate bad ass. He can wield said magic like it's no one's business. He is all powerful and whines a fucking lot. Nothing about him is even remotely interesting. Which leads to the problem with the plot line...Why do I give two flying fucks that someone is out to get this asshole? Kill him already and give me a new character with some actual substance.Side note: feels like a Dresden files rip off.

  • Steven
    2019-04-25 21:21

    Goodreads rating system proved to be perfect. Two stars = "it was ok."It had a lot of promise, and it was short (only 200 pages or so), and took me almost 3 weeks to read. I just couldn't pick it up once I set it down.My biggest gripe was that it tried too damn hard. We don't need pop culture references and jokes and witty dialogue EVERY SINGLE PARAGRAPH. It takes away from the realism that is needed to ground Urban Fantasy into our world when it's constantly reminding us that "hey, this is your world. hey, that show you like is in here. hey, funny joke" over and over and over.I'll consider the second. Maybe he polishes his writing up some and some of this problem is reduced? If he could tone it back some and stop trying so hard to be funny and awesome, it would actually BE funny and awesome (see: Jim Butcher's Dresden Files).I appreciate Netgalley providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I'm just sorry my honest review of what could have been an awesome series wasn't as positive as I had hoped it would be.

  • Marjolein
    2019-04-23 20:31

    3.5 Stars Read all my reviews on I quite liked this one!I need to further explain myself. It was a great no-nonsense, no-thinking required kind of read, which is perfect for relaxing after a long day's work. Do not expect deep thoughts or a very interesting magic system though. I can really understand it when people are put off by the main character's voice, for it is written in a way that won't please everyone. The story is really fast but forgettable. However, I would like to read more of it in the future. I don't think this really is a binge read series for me though. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  • Alisa
    2019-05-23 21:35

    This was a different UF story. The overall plot was pretty good. It was fast paced and entertaining. The thing that stood out was the MC. He's was older (late 60's). That's a first for me. I kind of liked that about this book. It's nice to see a MC that's not 20. This was a bit Dresden File-ish (which is a good thing)I had some issues with the overall world building but for the most part I enjoyed this and will check out the next in the series.**review copy provided through Netgalley**

  • Harris
    2019-05-14 14:10

    Gave this a shot when it came up in my Amazon recommendations. For 99 cents, I'll try anything.This book is a mixed bag. It's an interesting character and voice in a relatively standard urban fantasy setting, but it just feels... off. Not unformed but too much of it just doesn't quite gel. For example, there's the fact that the main character, Yancy is in his late 70s, looks 40 and makes references like a Gen-Xer. It's explained that magic users in this world age slower than others, but it still feels odd when a Vietnam War vet is making references to The Fast and the Furious movies. You'd expect more Peckinpah or Milius, more Rolling Stones and Deep Purple comments rather than modern ones. And while the internal voice works (odd pop-culture refs aside) the dialogue... oh man, the dialogue is bad. It's overly wordy and the banter between Yancy and his best friend Greg for example feels wooden and awkward. It reminds me of the scriptwriters who tried to imitate Tarantino and missed the rhythm and purpose of his seemingly rambly digressions. It feels like Hunter is trying to match the patter of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files or Seanan McGuire's October Daye series but just can't get the hang of it and it throws things off every time.The main villain is underdeveloped. We get absolutely no reason for his motivation until the very end, yet when he's introduced and trying to persuade Yancy to join him (or at least not interfere) we get some hand-waving about "doing this for the greater good" and "necessary sacrifices" and the like. Ok... so what's your end-goal, dude? If you're going to go on about "I'm doing the unpleasant but necessary thing" we need more than just "it's the necessary thing, just trust me". Not to mention there's really no reason given as for why he's targeting the specific individuals he does. Also - and this is admittedly something that just bugs me - unless I missed something there're only two female characters, both of whom get less than a paragraph's worth of conversation. One is basically a plot-coupon and the other is an 10-year old damsel in distress. Every other woman who shows up has no lines and is either a bar waitress or somebody else's girlfriend or wife. So... yeah. Didn't like this one.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    2019-04-27 21:28

    DNF at 52%! This year's first DNF. I just couldn't get into the story or like the main character (or any character when I think about it). It's just me, not every book can suit everyone.

  • melissa
    2019-05-07 20:34

    So much fun! There's some great set up and descriptions of magic use in this world. And, well, Yancy is a snarktastic asshole and I'm excited to read more of his adventures.*Digital review copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher.

  • Kitvaria Sarene
    2019-05-07 22:35

    This was a lot of fun! I enjoy that the main character is neither a hero, nor a villain, but somewhere in the middle. The worldbuilding was well done, though the magic missed some "hard and fast" rules for me, and some things were a bit too crazy for my liking. Overall though the prose was smooth, the plot interesting, the characters likable, the ideas fresh enough to not feel like yet another copy of popular urban and the sarcasm level of Yancy perfect for keeping me entertained all the way though! This won't be my last book by this author!

  • Matt Ely
    2019-05-15 14:12

    original review @ JC's Book Haven.I looked around at the crowded bar, Surveying the rough splattering of men and women who would be injured, maybe killed, if I let something go down in here. That wasn't something I wanted. I'm not a perfect human -- I drink, smoke, and gamble in amounts a few might consider excessive. I may not be the most positive role model for your kids, but I don't like folks getting hurt either.The GoodYancy Lazarus is my type of protagonist, he fights for what he considers to be right but he doesn't do it in a lawful good type of way. He uses magic, which I really enjoyed how magic worked in this book and he has a magically enhance handgun that takes no prisoners. I loved that the creatures he fought were new for me and not the same old supernatural monster you normally read about. I also love the way Hunter sets the world up in a way for more books involving more interesting creatures while still referencing familiar ones. I really like that dimension travel is an option in this series.The BadI would have liked to know more about his family. He left them when he got his powers thinking it would be safer for them but all I can think about is are his powers genetic? Do any of his kids or even grand kids have his gifts? And if so, maybe he should be trying to teach them instead of just taking a powder.The RomanceNo real romance though he does mention a family he had to leave behind. Could make for a interesting prequel.ConclusionI really enjoyed Strange Magic overall. It's full of action, has plenty of new monster/demons to be introduced to and the universe it takes place in seems to have tons of potential. I love the Hub and the Bar being run by a Red Dragon. I read it in one afternoon as I couldn't put it down. Definitely recommend this one.

  • Alison
    2019-05-04 20:40

    Did not finish.Attempted to read several times, a year later and not more than one chapter read I'm giving up.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Denise
    2019-05-04 14:37

    Armed with copious amounts of magical talent, some serious firepower and a lot of attitude, Yancy Lazarus has accumulated quite a bit of experience with both getting into and getting out of all manner of supernatural troubles. Now though, he might have, entirely unwittingly, bitten off more than he can chew. Agreeing to do a little favour for an old friend has landed him smack dab in the middle of a gang war with both sides believing he's working for the enemy and therefore wanting him dead. And like that's not enough to be dealing with, there's also a powerhungry conjuror with seriously nefarious plans and a penchant for summoning murderous demons.Fastpaced, action-packed fun à la Dresden Files and the like - I'm surprised at the number of 1-and 2-star reviews popping up, personally I found this to be a highly entertaining read with lots of snarky humour that was right up my alley. Definitely a series I'll be reading more of!

  • Fangs for the Fantasy
    2019-05-11 16:25

    Yancy Lazerus, wizard, rambler, rogue, musician has lived a long, exciting life and now wants to spend his time eating good ribs and listening to good Blues. But his bleeding heart would never let him stay quiet when people are in trouble – especially when his oldest friend Greg calls him to deal with demons ripping apart people.Of course, even if he could ignore his conscious – he can’t ignore the fact he has been framed for the deaths and there are a lot of angry men with guns who want to shoot him in the head.I really like this world setting. It’s a classic every-supernatural-there-ever-is all squashed in, so I won’t say it’s inherently original, but it has original twists. It feels very Dresden Files with just a little more gritty thrown in. With such a wide array of creatures to call upon, Strange Magic has gone in a generally different direction – the beings of the Hub and the creatures from Hindu mythology are not things I’ve seen very often before.I also quite like the idea of the Hub, again, it’s not entirely something I haven’t seen before, but this gritty melting pot has a lot of potential and interesting additions to the story. On top of this, we got a lot of nicely detailed world building and description that screams of books and books of notes that really makes both the magic system and the magical world seem very rich and fully fleshed out – I like that a lotThis world has immense potential.And Yancy runs through this world in a rather wonderful Noir investigation. Through gritty and grim Blues bars in the real world to equally gritty bars in the Hub – the world is shown to great advantage with the story taking us to many parts of it and revealing lots of aspects of it along the way. It has the building blocks to being an excellent supernatural Noir story. But there’s some problems that hold it back from that excellenceThe first of which is Yancy is supposed to be 60 and look about 40. I don’t really believe this – his voice, his dialogue, his mind set all makes me think teenager or, at very best, early 20s. It’s not entirely a bad voice for someone who is that young – and a young wizard running around snarking away with this much banter and even childishness would be kind of fun. But he isn’t a wizard in his early 20s – nor would the characterisation be solid enough for that.Because we take this wisecracking, snarking, 60 year old teenager and then desperately try to pain Noir all over him. It’s really clumsy and jarring. We’ll have several lines of Noir exposition describing how gritty and dark and seedy the place is, the grimy jazz clubs and a lot of the general staples of Film Noir – and then into the middle of it runs this wisecracking frat boy making juvenile jokes (albeit sometimes funny ones) and generally not so much breaking the mood as shattering it with big big hammers. Which is a shame because a lot of effort has been made in setting the tone of the worldAnd it’s not the only break in the writing. As we’re going through the story there’s these sudden, huge flashbacks in an attempt to exposition Yancy’s character. Sudden derail into his time in Viet Nam or his dad cooking ribs or absent family that he’s no longer part of or a woman he once loved. Even without the flashbacks, there’s sudden long, overly detailed exposition about Blues music or his favourite gun. Would these be interesting character nuggets? Potentially, yes – but they’re dropped in almost randomly and in far more detail than they need to be. They also don’t work as character creation because Yancy himself is so confused as a character – these flashes to the past are nostalgic, sad and often painful – they’re supposed to be poignant and even scarring; but Yancy as a character only occasionally has the depth (he’s pretty inconsistent) to carry this kind of history. Again, I feel like there’s this 20 year old character and all this back story has been thrown at him but it isn’t sticking and the character we're left with is a bit lost.Read More

  • Amyiw
    2019-04-25 16:18

    3 starsI received a free copy from Netgalley for an honest review. Truly I had this from the Kindle Prime Unlimited before but never got to it. It sounded like it could be excellent but unfortunately is only Good, and just passable as that.Yanzy Lazarus is a gambling, card playing, smoking, drinking, drifting, magic user. He is known as a magic user and a finder. When a faction of some sort hears that he has been hired to investigate something, they take offense and attack him. He has no idea why because no one has tried to hire him lately. So starts the investigation.At first one attack leads to another and we are in for the ride which is pretty interesting if over the top with the gun wheedling hot heads. Yancy talks a lot of smack and it sometimes is entertaining. After we get the why of the matter, we are now wondering who and how, so that he can stop it. The novelty by this point has worn down and my interest has waned and I'm waiting for a wow moment. Only... instead we getting the big guns, big magic ending scene that really didn't live up to the hype of the beginning. I was hoping for more investigation, more on the world and the magic, more characters that mattered. Instead I stopped caring so much for Lazarus and the investigation goes to stumbling upon what we already have. The character are mostly people you don't care if they make it out of the last scene. Well it was somewhat good and some might love it. I would recommend it to those who like Monster Hunters Inc.. It is somewhere in between that and Sandman Slim, as Yancy is definitely anti-hero material. Still it is just not as smart or have that wicked humor like Sandman. The gun toting, drug running heroes at the end, just felt more on the MHI side of things.

  • Angie
    2019-05-20 17:29

    I was drawn to this book because of the description. I am a huge Harry Dresden fan and also a huge lover of sarcastic wit. This book sounded very promising. I must admit that I was disappointed. I think that Yancy Lazarus has a lot of potential as a character, but he was underdeveloped. If only the author would have spent more time concentrating on giving him a bit more depth than on trying to make him sarcastically witty. There were too many cliches thrown around and Yancy suffered for it. It made it difficult to really connect with him. The idea for the plot was a good one though it could have been executed a bit better. Having said that I do think that not only does Yancy Lazarus have a lot of potential as a character but as an author Mr. Hunter does as well. Especially if he concentrates more on giving his main character a bit more depth. There was a lot of action, which I did like though and that is what kept me reading. I did, unfortunately, catch myself starting to skim in places and had to force myself not to do so. I really wanted to love this book, unfortunately, I did not and this review was a difficult one for me to write. I am only able to give this book two stars. My review can be found on

  • Vannessa
    2019-05-04 22:34

    I really enjoyed this first book in this series and hope to read the rest of it too! Yancy Lazarus is your typical anti-hero, war veteran, beer swigging, roaming wizard with a serious bad ass demon chasing him down. With the help of his Vietnam war buddy Greg, he works out what this creature is looking for and who sent him.Getting between two pretty vicious gangs doesn't help, but soon they are both willing to help Yancy out if it means that the demons are put down and the villain captured too. However, the demons are not so easy to put down - normal bullets really don't do a thing and Yancy needs a lot more magical constructs if he is to take on 9 of them! I liked the pace of this book and Yancy's character too. He's sarcastic, funny, but knows his stuff. He's not so easy to take down and puts up a good fight, but he also knows when he is out of his league and manages to run for it. He's not stupid! Maybe a little careless and a risk taker, but never stupid! Looking forward to reading more in this series.

  • chucklesthescot
    2019-04-29 20:40

    Yancy is a mage, who reluctantly decides to help an old friend with a vague threat warning and finds himself in the middle of a magical gang battle where each side think he is the enemy. It's an elaborate set up and is aimed at him but he has no idea why. First he is attacked outside a bar by people who warn him not to take on a case he has never heard of, then as he heads over to get answers from Greg he is attacked by a hyena ninja demon thing and more bad guys. Why does everyone seem to want him dead?This book looked so promising based on a short story flashback book that I read in the series. It featured Greg and Yancy taking on supernatural threats in the Vietnam War and I really liked it so I grabbed this first one. Although I gave it three stars, it w3as a bit of a struggle to complete, and I didn't enjoy it anywhere near enough to want to continue with the series.Lets start with why I didn't like Yancy in this book. The guy does nothing but whine, moan and complain to the point where you want to slap him. Oh I'm having a bad day, oh I'm so hard done by, oh all I want to do is sit and drink and smoke in a bar and be left alone. He's worse that a teenage girl in a bad Twilight type book! His mock verbal fights with Greg and dumb and childish and he seems to do this even when the situation calls for him to actually pretend to be an adult, something that seems alien to him. He moans that Greg won't tell him anything then when Greg is telling him something he butts in with stupid comments and moronic smart arse behaviour and Greg has to tell him to shut up and listen. And then he pouts and facepulls like a spoiled child being told off by his parents. Jeez. If the world depends on Yancy, we're doomed.There are so many stupid inner dialogues from Yancy that add nothing to the story. He whines and complains about how bad his life is right now, he brags about how brilliant a mage he is...I really want to headbutt the guy when he starts that crap. Not that Greg is much better when he starts the fighting and bitchy comments back. They sound like two dumb kids in the playground shouting 'you smell!' at each other, leading to me sitting rolling my eyes in annoyance on every page they both feature on. If it is meant to be amusing banter, it did not work for me on any level. I just found it stupid and annoying.We also had the endless boring descriptions of every person we met, every place Yancy goes to, every puff of smoke from whatever he smokes, every little detail of pointless things not relevant to the story, every dumb thought in Yancy's head. It was all tell and nowhere near enough show, and it just smothered the good parts of the story for me. Add that to the childish tantrums from our MC all the time and the story just became a struggle to stick with and my mind kept wandering off to other things.The irony is, the story was quite interesting. A crooked cop has made both sides in the gang warfare believe that Yancy is the one putting hits on their people which explains why everyone wants to kill him. He has to try and convince both sides that he is not involved in that and take on whoever is setting him up and help both gangs fight the real enemy. But will they work together and fight with Yancy? The scenes where he was using his magic to fight people or demons were interesting enough and if the author would just have Yancy grow up and tighten up the story with less waffle, it could have been a decent read.Basically this falls in somewhere between 2.5 and 3 stars. I can't bear the thought of putting up with the MC to read the rest of the series.

  • Elisa
    2019-05-20 16:35

    I really enjoyed this rollicking ride. He is a wizard, he is a smart ass with a smart mouth. Sort of trying to do good, at least fly under the radar. Certain things aren't really fleshed out yet to keep this particular story moving forward. Maybe in the next few books we find out more. He is sillier and more military than Dresden, and not as well rounded (less info and detail), so they are alike because they are both wizards, and on the wrong end of whatever governing body governs wizards. That is sort of it. I don't like the comparison because it doesn't feel fair. He is his own sort of wild and crazy. :)So you need to enjoy quick quips, tongue in cheekiness, the trading of smack downs and guns - there are a lot of guns in this wizard/magic book. But if you can jump on a wild ride and suspend your disbelief, this is great. I enjoyed and will be looking for book two to see what craziness Hunter has dreamed up for Lazarus.

  • Yzabel Ginsberg
    2019-05-12 16:22

    [I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]A fun enough read in the UF genre, even though it dragged enough in places, and some things would've needed more development.This book is packed with grit, action and magic suited to it, with a no-nonsense main character who wasn't the most interesting ever, but likeable enough, in a sort of Noir way. This is the kind of character who'll try to do the right thing, even if it means getting into dire straits, and I can seldom fault that: at least that's a laudable motivation, and I've seen much, much worse in terms of not getting one's priorities straight.The novel reads a bit differently in terms of supernatural creatures involved: there's magic, sure, but not the usual vampires or werewolves—the 'monsters' we get to see are more of the Rakshasa or extra-dimensional variety, which is a nice change.Also, no useless romance, so bonus point as far as I'm concerned. Yancy's family doesn't exactly count, the 'romance' already happened—but there's definitely something to unveil here in the next book(s), because why he had to leave them is not very clear.On the downside, as previously said, the story itself dragged in some parts, causing me to skim more than read; some editing would've been good here, and same with the various flashbacks or inserts about this or that fact. (The latter made me think, 'why not?', but they tended to break the flow of action when they occurred during, well, action scenes, which is to say regularly.) This reflected on the characters in general: had they been more developed, they would've been more interesting to follow. Not to mention the lack of female characters, apart from a passing mention and a hostage.The antagonist's motives weren't deep enough (so the guy doesn't want to kill, but he still plans on having many people die to further his goal, but he doesn't like and wish things were different, but he's still going with it... Huh?), and when considering the plot as a whole, that was a seriously weak point. There were those serious stakes, pitching gangs against each other, trying to get Yancy killed while we're at it, involving dangerous creatures, for a motive that didn't hold much water and didn't make a lot of sense because it was so likelyl to backfire anyway.Still, I think this series would have potential, were it to give more room to its characters to evolve, so I'll give the second book a try.

  • Dianne
    2019-04-29 14:29

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Strange Magic" (can't seen to get that damn song out of my head now---->)I got it as an ARC from the NetGalley/PUBLISHER not the author.I'm sorry to say that it looks as though I am the only one that found this entry to be somewhat lackluster. Oh it is filled with tons of kick-butt fighting (swords too!) and a lot of action, but the reader is plopped into a world that some of us just won't understand. I know an author is supposed to show and not tell, but a little explanation at the beginning of the book would have gone a long way to keep me interested and I would have enjoyed it all that much more.The style of writing is a tad choppy, the inner dialoguing and grandstanding seemed to be in excess and the fact that you could never get a firm hold on the protagonists (Yancy) age was annoying at best; one minute talking like a hip-hop speaking teen and the next sounding like a 70 year old man. I felt no empathy with Yancy even though he really has a hard time of it. Actually none of the characters - main, secondary or tertiary, elicited any emotion from me. So much was dumped on the reader - chapter after chapter; something new to fight, something bigger and badder, just more - it just appears to be a hopeless cause after a while.What I did like is that Yancy seems to have more going for him than he seems to know about magic wise and that bodes well for future books. Though he came close to being a 'mary-sue' figure in this book, Yancy and the author managed to squeak by on that one.This books pages seemed to have been multiplying while I was reading it. The info claims it is only 217 page long, which should take me at the most (if it's a good book) 4 hours to read...nope it took me what seemed to be forever, and that tells me a lot.As much as I hate to say something so sexist like this - here goes - this really seems to be a 'mans' novel. It is filled with a ton of fighting,machismo, swearing,Vietnam war stories and the blues (music that is) as well as magic. No world building, no explanations, you are just plopped into the world with no explanation and need to fend for yourself. I kept thinking maybe I'll get an explanation later in the book.This was difficult for me to finish.ARC supplied by NetGalley.

  • LibraryDanielle
    2019-05-06 22:31

    I had trouble finishing this. It had an awesome premise, and started off well enough, but the story just didn't hold my attention. I think it took me over a month to read this. I don't even remember when I started it anymore. I thought it tried too hard to be a Dresden File rip off, and failed. The magic bit with the strange name (that I can't remember because it made me roll my eyes so hard I thought they'd get stuck) was annoying. JUST FREAKING CALL IT MAGIC. Ugh. And every other phrase was a pop-culture reference that, honestly, I don't care about. Totally took away from the story line and made me want to pick it up less. It was like the annoying uncle trying to be hip. LOOK At ME I'M HIP AND WITH IT. I USE THE BOOKFACE. Yancy isn't likable at all. He's SUPER ALL POWERFUL, but kind of an asshole. He's whiny, poor me, and a mouthy jackass. It's like he's supposed to be witty and flip but fails epically. In the end I just couldn't really care that he was set up and people were trying to kill him. It was a rip off of Dresden Files, and a really poor one at that.

  • Laura Thomas
    2019-05-22 21:17

    Yancy’s having one of those days, weeks…. Starts out innocently enough and then goes to s!#t.It all started with a simple phone call from a friend in need. Now Yancy’s in a world of hurt and it ain’t gonna be getting better any time soon..“I’d been pumped full of tranquilizers,busted a hole in the back wall of The Full House, got shot in the ass, and had, eventually, passed out in a dog pee under a car. Right?”“So, how’d I end up Saran-wrapped to a table in white-picker suburbia?”Yancy Lazarus (AKA The Fixer) He drinks too much. Smokes too much. And gambles too much. Or so they say. He just likes to live large.He can do magic, using the VIS – Latin word meaning force or energy. Yancy’s neat trick is he can manipulate energy, using things like water and fire. But a big gun comes in handy too when he comes face to face with the Rakshasa, their face kind of like a hyena, with a mouth full of shark teeth, beady eyes, over long arms and gray flesh. Nasty things.He’s 65 and looks 45 due to the longevity the Vis gives him. The FBI has his mug on a Most Wanted poster for domestic terrorism and murder, among other things. Sure, he’s killed, but most were of the non-human type.Ya gotta love Yancy. He’s a shit-kickin, blues lovin, rambler and gambler, playing piano for drinks, gambling to feed himself, and living out of the back of his precious El Camino. A true nomad and bad ass.From the first paragraph“The piano keys bobbed and danced under the pressure of my fingers. Music – low, slow, and soulful – drifted through the club, merging and twirling with wandering clouds of blue-gray smoke. So many places have no-smoking laws these days, it seems like there’s nowhere in the country where a guy can take a drag from a cigarette in peace. Everyone is so worries about their health, they make damn sure you stay healthy by proxy.”to the last I had a rip snortin time and can’t wait to see what kind of Hell Yancy winds up in next.Strange Magic is Author James A. Hunter’s debut novel. They say a writer gets better with each books he writes. If this is true, I can’t imagine what he has in store for this series.I received this book for my honest review.

  • Alysa H.
    2019-05-08 14:21

    There are some great ideas here. Some very imaginative scenes, and a ton of action -- in fact, there's enough action in this one short book for multiple installments of the series. Therein lies one of the main problems.Non-stop action may sound like a good thing, but it comes at the expense of everything else. There is no suspense. There is no character development. There is relentless macho grandstanding masquerading as character depth. It's as if the author fantasized about what his perfect Self would be, named this Marty Stu "Yancy Lazarus", and then wrote a book about him. Never mind that the character needs a lot more work in order to become wholly realized for anybody else.I generally liked the way that the magical system and society were revealed. It reminded me of the pithy way that spy tricks were explained in the TV show Burn Notice: as voice-overs more ore less while the tricks were being performed. But the other side of this coin is that each explanation runs the risk of becoming an Info Dump. This book walks the line dangerously. It also tries to use the same method for revealing Yancy Lazarus' past -- which does not work at all. See: random 'Nam flashback. See: random, oblique references to estranged family.This is also one of those books where People = Men. This is quite literal in many scenes that involve large groups of people. Women, barely present anyway, are extremely othered and marginalized. Also, they are victims. It was bothersome.This is a short book at about 200 pages, but it took me a long time to read and I almost gave up numerous times. I'm not sorry that I stuck it out -- many of those non-stop action sequences were actually good, and I really liked the South Asian demonology stuff, such as it was. There's a great book in here somewhere. It's just that this version is not it.** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **

  • ❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
    2019-04-29 14:14

    What a lot of fun this was to read! Yancy has swagger, sarcasm, and smirk to his voice. His character is well rounded - you see a bit of his heart, his life regrets, and his cynicism. I can't think of the last time a book kept me grinning so much. Yancy has a way with words and snarkery. Reading this book had the same satisfying feeling as listening to a stand up comedian. All mage Yancy really wants to do is drink, play music in bars, and generally be left alone. Somehow he always gets pulled into the craziest crap with supernatural beings, nasty otherworldly monsters, and plain old bikers and gangs.Sure it needed a bit of editing. I would have liked it if the author fleshed out more of the reason behind the villain's visionary plan. It also would have been nice to know how Yancey actually came into his magic ability since it was explained there had definitely been a time in his life BEFORE magic. Another reviewer mentioned that Yancy makes a lot of cultural references of someone that grew up in the 80's rather than those of a 60 year old, long living mage. I guess I'm choosing to overlook this and think he's trying to stay young minded, no matter the age he is.I was entertained, and that's what matters.Thank you Netgalley and Patchwork Press for a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Dee
    2019-05-01 21:10

    Yancy Lazarus is having a bad day: there’s a bullet lodged in his butt cheek, his face looks like the site of a demolition derby, and he’s been saran-wrapped to a banquet table. He never should have answered the phone. Stupid bleeding heart—helping others in his circles is a good way to get dead. Just ask the gang members ripped to pieces by some kind of demonic nightmare in LA. As a favor to a friend, Yancy agrees to take a little look-see into the massacre and boom, he’s stuck in a turf war between two rival gangs, which both think he’s pinch-hitting for the other side.What did I like? Yancy Lazarus a chain-smoking, take no prisoners with a heart of gold and a fistful of primal power. I am a fan of Harry Dresden, a wizard and this series I think will be asking Harry to make room for a new wizard in town. I loved the characters and Yancy is going to be one to watch.What will you like? If you are into paranormal this book will be added to your book to read list. Yancy is remarkable and gets into lots of trouble. The cars that are used are memorable and the ending will blow you away. I definitely recommend this to all my paranormal friends. I won this book on Goodreads when the author had a giveaway.

  • Sadie Forsythe
    2019-04-28 15:37

    I thought this was a pretty good urban fantasy. Yancy had an amusing personality and I appreciated that he was supposed to be 65 (though he looked and acted much younger, which compromised the mature adult hero a bit). The baddie had a bit more depth than many such books and the whole thing wrapped up nicely.I did however think that Yancy and Greg's constant banter felt forced and disruptive, annoying even. I felt like I was missing some history, the when, how and why of getting his mage powers, for example, not to mention who trained him. The writing also tended toward repetition at times.

  • Jessica Rodrigues
    2019-05-07 15:13

    It wasn't bad; Yancy just didn't do it for me. I would have loved some more world building, some more explanation, something that set Yancy aside.I think the author is pretty talented. The fight scenes were entertaining, and I'm usually guilty of just skimming fight scenes to see who wins. I like that Yancy is a senior citizen (even if he doesn't look it) in a genre full of good looking twentysomethings. I might give the series another shot later.I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Nique
    2019-05-06 17:10

    2.5 stars. It's not that I didn't like the main character it's that I didn't care, which is worse! I really wanted to like this book it has many Dresden like characteristics, and if you know me that is almost all you need, but it never developed the characters to a point that I had interest. There was some sarcasm and pop culture references that were smart but it ends there. I will not be getting the next booming this series.

  • Amy Petrick
    2019-05-19 14:36

    ExcellentThoroughly enjoyed this book. It achieved that fine balance between character development and plot pacing to make for a supremely satisfying read. A careful proofreader would not go amiss though. Still, a definite must read, particularly if you enjoy paranormal, detective style fare.

  • Steve Caldwell
    2019-05-11 19:20

    Yancy Lazarus, a drifter Bluesman card player, has a secret. He's also a mage. Basically the Mister Fix-it of the supernatural world, he's known as the guy to see if you have supernatural problems. In fact, and old buddy of his from the Marines just called him about a supernatural problem in LA. As he is getting ready to leave to check it out, he is ambushed outside a bar in New Orleans by some mobsters. Well, that's not going to happen. After Yancy Deals with the hoods, he heads out to LA in his cherry 1986 Chevy El Camino, which is basically his house and workshop on wheels. After surviving another ambush on the way, he arrives in LA and discovers the situation is even worse than his friend made it out to be. There is someone killing off members of 2 gangs in an effort to take over the underworld in LA. This is being done by sending a demon after the various gang members and their families. This starts Yancy on dangerous path, as he has to determine who is sending the demons out, and how can he stop this? This leads to an epic confrontation with the person behind it all, and Yancy will have to use all the skills at his disposal to stop the threat in a climactic ending.This was one of those books I had in my To read pile and just never got to. If I had known what I was missing, I would have moved it to the top of the pile. Yancy is a great character. Cynical, world weary, but still cares enough to help out an old buddy even though life has kicked him in the teeth a few times. Yancy would rather smoke, play the blues and play cards than get into fights, but once the fight begins he's all in. The supporting characters are good as well, and the villains motivations were actually fairly unique. You just don't see that kind of limited motivation too often. The settings are as real as it gets in an urban fantasy book, and you get a real feeling of being in the action. Yancy was a marine in Vietnam (he's 65 but looks 40. Magic.), so the flashbacks he has to those days have a visceral feel to them. The author is a marine veteran, in a more recent combat zone, but the marine experience hasn't changed much. Better equipment, same attitude. Semper FI. The times he brings the Marines up, you can tell his experience helps lend that portion realism. Charlie Kevin did an outstanding job bringing this book to life. He really gave the whole thing a world weary feel. The way he plays Yancy as a cynical kind of laid back burn out really plays well. His narration is steady, and never falls into a monotone. He just does a good job of keeping the story moving along at a good pace.All in all, this is one of the fresher and original Urban Fantasy books I've listened to lately. So much so, In fact, I am going to get signed copies at some point. This is definitely an author to watch!