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.
“Our final job. For real, this time.”
What a fantastic sophomore novel by M.K. England! This is a standalone book with fantasy and sci-fi elements. If you enjoy a fast-paced heist plot, found families, queer representation, or unique magic systems you have to go pick this book up.
I have to start by saying that I am a sucker for a found family cast of characters. There are a lot of things I loved about this book but the characters were my favorite part. Let me introduce you to the team. We have our lead, Dizzy, who is sarcastic, a little rough around the edges, and incredibly talented with coding and building tech. The story is told through Dizzy’s perspective. Dizzy is dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil throughout the book caused by loss, change, and guilt. Often she reacts through anger or freezing up but she experiences a great deal of growth through the story. Next up we have Remi who is a prodigy at spellweaving, which is controlling the magical substance in this world. Remi is also the most lovable and free-spirited of the group. The caretaker and muscle of the crew is Jaesin. Dizzy, Jaesin, and Remi are all orphans and met in a group home of sorts. The fourth member of the group is Ania. She is the only one of the four that comes from a place of wealth and is not an orphan. She is a tech witch meaning that she can use a mechanical device to control the magical substance of this world, called Maz. The four are all part of an illegal team of Maz siphoners.
“The world has gone to hell. And we hold the key to fixing it all.”
The world is a futuristic setting where there is a magical substance called Maz. I loved the magic system and how it was described in this book. Basically, the Maz strands are weaved into spells and I thought the way that it was described by the author was beautiful. There are two different ways to use Maz, either you are born a spellweaver or you are a tech witch. A tech witch uses equipment that allows them to manipulate the magic and a spellweaver has an innate ability to control the Maz. At the beginning of the story we find out that the world used to have access to Maz all the time but after an environmental disaster the Maz caused a plague and now it is controlled by a corporation.
“Less than a day until we change the world, or die at the bottom of a very deep hole in the ground, never to be seen again. I always thought I’d die in a suitably dramatic way.”
The plot is fast-paced and full of twists and turns! If you are looking for a quick read this is a book for you. I couldn’t put it down. At the center is the heist. The characters are going to perform their last ever mission to siphon Maz and then are going to divide up and go separate ways in life. Well, the mission doesn’t go exactly how they planned and they end up on an even bigger adventure than they had planned. There are some thoughtful parallels between this futuristic world and ours that I don’t want to mention due to potential spoilers! My only complaint is that I am not a huge fan of miscommunication being a driving force in the plot. Diz, the main character, was not good at communicating with her friends on an emotional level and this created a lot of turmoil that drove the plot for the first half of the book. That is just a personal pet peeve in a story that I am not a fan of. However, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the overall story.
➢What I love:
Found family, unique magic system, heist plot, fast paced, humorous, and diverse queer representation.
➢What I didn’t love:
Miscommunication being at the center of the plot.
HUGE THANK YOU TO HARPERTEEN AND FANTASTIC FLYING BOOK CLUB FOR HAVING ME AS PART OF THIS BLOG TOUR!!
Go check out the rest of the tour stops! Full schedule here
Win a signed hardcover of SPELLHACKER (US only), and one swag pack including a sticker, postcard, signed bookplate, and bookmark (INT)
STARTS: 15th January 2020
ENDS: 19th January 2020 (that’s today!! You can still enter)
➢ABOUT THE AUTHOR
M.K. England is an author and librarian who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls rural Virginia home. When they’re not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, digging in the garden, or feeding their video game addiction. They love Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in their presence. You’ll regret it.
THE DISASTERS is their debut novel. Follow them at http://www.mkengland.com.