Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Review - Spellhacker by M.K. England

Title: Spellhacker
Author: M.K. England
Pages: 416 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: 21st January 2020

Blurb from Goodreads:

 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.

No pressure. 

Book Links:

My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss*

Diz and her friends live in Kyrkarta where maz (magic) caused a magical plague that killed thousands of people. Access to maz is now controlled by a big corporation who charge as much as they want for maz.
Diz and her friends take advantage of this by illegally siphoning maz to order. Their next job is the last one they will ever do.
But the heist ends in explosions and destruction because of a new, dangerous strain of maz. 
On the run, the group find themselves caught up in a conspiracy that involves the spellplague and possibly the fate of the world.

I was really excited to read Spellhacker - it sounded like something I would love. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed and not enjoying it as much as I hoped I would.
My favourite thing about Spellhackers was the diversity. There were several LGBTQIA+ characters as well as non-white characters.
I have mixed feelings about the protagonist, Diz. There were times when I liked her and other times when she really annoyed me. She could be very mean and snappy to her friends, but I did sympathise with her. 
There weren't any characters in particular that stood out for me, but I liked the dynamic between Diz and her friends.
There was some world-building but I feel like there could have been more and that I couldn't tell someone much about the setting.
The concept of maz and all the different strains was interesting, as was the idea of the spellplague. I enjoyed reading about people using maz and totally wish that I could use it.
I did enjoy Spellhacker to begin with, but then I found myself becoming bored and in the end I didn't care what happened to the characters. 
There were a few times when I thought that characters reacted differently to how I expected, or that I thought reacted just plain weirdly. 
I guessed a big plot twist early on.
  I feel like Spellhacker didn't reach its potential. It was messy and disjointed at times.
I'm really disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.

Overall, this was an okay but disappointing read.

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