Book Review: Eileen Wilks’ Mind Magic

Posted March 15, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Eileen Wilks’ Mind MagicMind Magic by Eileen Wilks
This urban fantasy was published by Berkley on November 3, 2015 and has 416 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

four-stars

Other books by this author include Midnight Promises, Death Magic, Tied with a Bow, Mortal Ties, Ritual Magic, Unbinding, Dragon Spawn,

Twelfth in the World of the Lupi series and revolving around Lily Yu and her gorgeous husband, Rule Turner. While starting in Washington D.C., most of the action takes place in a wildlife preserve in Ohio.

My Take

Wilks pulled me in with the obscure demands Sam was making on Lily, the worries that Demi had, and then the frame that started to build around Rule.

That frame was scary if only because it would be much too easy for government agencies or police to do something like this to anyone they liked. Well, disliked would be a better word choice.

There is a lot of drama and tension in this, and Wilks kept popping in those humorous bits to relieve it. There was Rule being in that jail cell, and it certainly did seem suspicious about why they put him in there! But listening to him worry and plot, considering his hunger, lol. The brownie attack on the IFVs was pretty funny, especially as I imagine the flower-throwing while singing “It’s a Small World”.

I do like Demi. She has a refreshing approach to life, although I can see why it frustrates her and those around her. It certainly set Rule aback, lol. I adored the wolves reaction to her too, *much more laughter*. She was so not what the lupi expect or usually get.

“Her fantasy had never involved toilet paper.”

I’m hoping she becomes a regular character in the series; she’s certainly an observant and smart girl. Demi is quite clever about the maximum force versus minimum force concept. I never would have considered suicide bombers as minimalists.

I can see Lily’s point about dragon arrogance, but the dragons are also incredibly smart. I’m sure they could have come up with a way of asking Lily for help without letting out too much of their secrets. It would have saved a whole lot of stress, although I guess Wilks would have to become more creative.

“A family … That’s worth making up stories to dream on.”

I suspect that most of my attraction to Mind Magic is the “relationship” I feel with its characters. The last few books haven’t been as compelling as the earlier ones, which I think is due to Wilks focusing more on the outside of her principal characters’ personal lives. I don’t know if it’s a natural progression in terms of character relationships as Lily and Rule have become attuned to each other or if it’s part of an author’s progression (probably with her readers in mind?!) in pushing out to other scenarios. And I find that I miss those small things, the need Rule has for coffee, her insights into him, his need for her. Yes, they’re in Mind Magic, but not to that so very personal extent. It’s hard to explain, and probably not fair as other readers have probably protested that they don’t need to be told — yet again — how desperate Rule is for decent coffee…*grinning*…

The Story

Nicky told her to run. Quietly. Even as he berated her for her intrusion.

Sam has told Lily to be in Ohio. Without Rule.

Rule is arrested. And so is Ruben.

Then news comes of Cullen and his guards. Missing.

The Characters

Lily Yu (Target Tres) is a touch sensitive FBI agent who recently learned that mindspeech comes with her gift. Rule Turner (Target Duo) is a lupus, Nuncio Lo to Nokolai Clan, Rho to the Leidolf Clan, second-in-command of a covert organization, and Lily’s husband. Lily’s Grandmother has had a relationship with Sam for decades.

José is in charge of Rule’s bodyguards. He and Carson Forrester will go with Lily to Ohio. Ross, Mike, Paul, and Andy are the bodyguards who stay behind with Rule. Miriam Stockard is a defense attorney.

Unit 12 is…
…part of the FBI’s Magical Crimes Division and is led by Ruben Brooks (Target Prime), the world’s best precog. He also leads the Shadow Unit, a team to fight the Great Bitch. Deborah is Ruben’s wife with an earth gift. Ida is Ruben’s very efficient secretary. Special Agent Abel Karonski is with both Units. Special Agent Brent Adler, a Finder, is sent to Ohio. Croft was pulled as Ruben’s second-in-command, and they put Jim Mathison in charge instead.

I think Ghosts are sleeper agents, civilians with skills. Felix Thompson has a strong TK gift whom Ruben recommends to Lily. Dr. Xavier Fagin is an expert on magical history, a touch sensitive, a friend, and a member of Shadow Unit.

Homeland Security is…
…part of the problem. Agents Aloysius A. Griggs and William Rutherford visit Lily with all their arrogance. Eric Ellison is easily led or part of the conspiracy.

Judge Bernhardt is a no-nonsense judge while Judge Carter despises incompetence.

The Lupi

Clan Home is…
…what the lupi call their home base. Lupi is plural for lupus, who is a wolf shifter.

Nokolai Clan is…
…in San Diego and has close ties to Sam. Dr. Nettie Two Horses, Benedict’s daughter, is a shaman and physician. Cynna, the Clan’s Rhej, is married to Cullen Seabourne, a sorcerer with the gift of Sight — he can see magic. Isen Turner is the Rho and Rule’s father. Arjenie Fox, a witch and a Chosen, is married to Benedict, another of Isen’s sons and who is in charge of security for the clan. Cecily Alvarez handles Rule’s website, social media, and public email account. Toby is Rule’s son.

Wythe Clan…
…is the lupi clan whose mantle fell to Ruben, making him their Rho. Turns out Ruben had a tiny bit of lupus in his bloodline and that was enough for the Lady who turned him all the way (Death Magic, 8). Very few know about Ruben OR the Wythe. Charles Dupree is an old lupus and an elder. Alan Jones.

Leidolf Clan is…
…a clan which used to be mortal enemies with the Nokolai. Alex is Lu Nuncio. Rob Burns is the clansman who meets the on-the-run Rule.

The Bright Haven Refuge for Gifted Young People is…
…in West Virginia and illicitly run by Mr. Edward Smith who is the special assistant to the director of the NSA. Annabelle Smith is his wife. Tom Weng is the Chinese sorcerer they’ve hired. Others involved include Chuck Bradley; Greg; Eric; B.J. Harris is one of the researchers; Roberts will activate the Jason Humboldt identity; Barry; Adrian is looking for Target Duo; and, Sharon Plummer and Dan are the house parents. Sharon also headed up research. I don’t know what Prism is, and Cerberus is a practical application of a drug and/or its effects, I think.

Nicky was a Quaker who didn’t believe in violence; he’s also a strong TK who can shape force. Amanda is telepathic, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was also a psychopath.

Whistle, Ohio, is…
…Lily’s destination and where the very computer-literate and touch sensitive Demi Alicia McAllister, a.k.a., Danny Stone, currently hides out. Demi has Asperger’s Syndrome and makes good use of lists to get through life. She also has a passion for Rule…who can blame herMargaret, her mother, was Mr. Smith’s secretary. Zipper was the first betrayal. Sara and, I think, Sally had been her mother’s friends. Granmè, Demi’s grandmother, died when Demi was six.

Samson and Murphy are both dogs Demi has befriended. Mrs. MacGruder is Demi’s mean-eyed but very clean landlady. Jake had been her boss at the warehouse in Cumberland. The Tip-Top Café is where Demi eats most of her meals, and Frank is the owner and chef. Jamie is a waitress there and friendly with Demi. Jamie has three kids: Craig, the married Lisa, and Roger who’s in the army. Susie, another waitress, is still recovering. Mr. Burgenstein is her boss at the gas station. Mr. Wilkins owns the hardware store. Old Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Hawkins are regulars at the café.

Gwen Orlander and Ricky Savage are deputies. Sheriff Franklin Boone seems friendly. Captain A.A. Martin is in charge of the National Guard.

Wheeler leads a band of homeless who camp in the wildlife area. Father Don Perkins has a relationship with them. Per the homeless, the murdered man is Larry Stockman? Hoffman? -man something.

Lupus who are with Rule in Ohio include the following at different times: Kevin, Tucker, Peter Armstead, Jimmy Bacon, Ed Grinowski, Saul Freeman, Claude Bristow, Hal Brownbeck, Theo, Richard Swan, John, Reno, Eric, Little John, Jason, Mark, Saul Cotton, Dave Wells, Roger Connell, James, Luke, and Manny.

Bert is a mob guy who comes in handy. Angie Sommers is a newscaster in Charlottesville. Greg Price at Monticello reports what is the first of several fires. Morrie Peterson is with WGVT News.

The Dragon Accords are…
…a treaty between humans and dragons. Mika is the red dragon who agreed to absorb magic for Washington D.C. And going insane. Sun “Sam” Mzao is the black dragon covering, or rather, absorbing in California with a lair in San Diego.

Secretary of State Amanda McCutcheon is trying to reassure people. Representative Jack Brownsley is preventing the Species Citizenship Bill from being passed. Chen Wei is president of China; Nicolas Bellamy is the French prime minister. Le Érudit is the French dragon.

Lily chooses Chinese names: Bái (White), Fēng (Wind), and XĪN (New).

Brownies are…
…cute, adorable, and love to pick pockets, hitch rides, and people watch. They’re allies with Shadow Unit and great at gathering information. Harry is a brownie who liaises with the Shadow Unit. I’m not sure if Dirty Harry is another brownie or the same one. Shisti is her call-name, and she’s been tasked with delivering food, water, and chamber pot duty. Old Talla is busy dying. Gandalf is an ancient matriarch; Codger is her spouse. Hamp leads one of the scout troops. Guido owns an iPad mini. Dilly hides the phone calls. Hergrith is the one who led Lily on. Happy Feet is one of the Shire horses. Mallum, Dirty Harry, and the twins, Trix and Hershey, will go to Washington D.C.

“‘And you’re in charge of the reservation’s defense?’

‘No, I just tell them what to do.'”

Dul-dul is a brownie ability to not be seen or smelled. Zhe means s/he or his/hers. The af’Yaldo is the Big Deal made between brownies and dragons. A dada is a healer.

Touch sensitives have some dragon in their background. Dr. Webb is involved with Omega Project, which investigates the link between telepathy and insanity. Dis is the demon realm, Hell.

A Rho is the leader of a lupi clan; a Nuncio Lo is his heir. The Lady is the goddess the lupi worship. The Great Bitch is the Lady’s enemy.

The Cover and Title

The cover is eeek! A nasty, angry-looking red dragon, body twisting around rocks, claws out, barbs protruding from her jaw while a very alert Lily in black leather pants and a black patent leather duster holds an action stance and glances back over her shoulder at the dragon, her gun pointed up and out.

The title is why Lily is needed, for her Mind Magic.

four-stars

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