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Review: Tranchack (Magic Born #1) by Sonya Clark

Title: Trancehack (Magic Born #1)
Author: Sonya Clark
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 28, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3 (so close to a 4, but not quite)
Sexual - 2

It’s 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.

A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He’s had little experience with the Magic Born and isn’t sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he’d be so drawn to her.

Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money’s tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla’s determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.

When Calla’s trancehacking and Nathan’s investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?
 The world building and lore in this book really blew me away.  It was like entering an alternate universe where so much was different, yet so much was still sort of the same.  Magic users exist, and most of the Normals are afraid of them.  So they have been rounded up into what is basically several ghettos.  They are only allowed to leave for so long and their ability to live like the rest of the world is extremely limited.

Calla grew up in Zone 13.  She's fairly happy there and was content to live her life making jewelry and occasionally hacking into the web to find out what was going on.  But then Detective Asshole had to show up and she was drawn into something larger than either of them expected.  Calla is hiding a lot of secrets, so this was bad bad news for her and some of her friends.  But Nathan was fascinated by the girl and felt he just had to get to know her better.

There was a lot of excitement in this one.  It was almost like a dash of suspense and sci-fi technology was thrown in small enough doses that it didn't take too much away from the paranormal aspect.  The mystery they are investigating was very engaging and there were a couple characters from Zone 13 that you get to know fairly well and I really liked them.  There was quite a twist at the end and I was surprised at the resolution, but it did feel a bit like the author wasn't sure how to wrap it up and had forced herself into a corner with no other options.  But then that was how one of the characters felt as well so maybe it was intentional.

I'm interested to see where the series goes next.  The world has so much potential to get very exciting.


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