Review: Crimes Against Magic (Hellequin Chronicles 01) by Steve McHugh

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

It’s been almost ten years since Nathan Garrett woke on a cold warehouse floor with nothing but a gun, a sword, and no idea of who he was or how he got there. His only clue … a piece of paper with his name on it. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his abilities to work as a thief for hire. But he’s never stopped hunting for his true identity, and those who erased his memory have never stopped hunting for him. When the barrier holding his past captive begins to crumble, Nathan swears to protect a young girl who is key to his enemy’s plans. But with his enemies closing in, and everyone he cares about becoming a target for their wrath, Nathan is forced to choose between the life he’s built for himself and the one buried deep inside him.

Crimes Against Magic is the first part of an Urban Fantasy series, the Hellequin Chronicles, set in modern-day London with Historical flashbacks to early fifteenth-century France.

My impressions:

It will be a very short review. It will be also one of those reviews which I start with “the cover art is great” expression; basically, it is the only positive aspect of the book I can think of. Ok, at a push I might add an original use of Greek and Celtic mythologies – how to criticize King Arthur, Merlin and Mordred? How not to like Cassandre, Priam, Agamemnon and Helene, presented with a twist? You see, I am trying really hard to be impartial and positive. As usual, I fail.

To be completely honest I despised almost everything about this book. In fact I might even create a list of its flaws:

  • the  schematic, predictable plot,
  • wooden narration full of smaller or bigger infodumps,
  •  dialogues from the past which linguistically never differed from the contemporary English (and they were supposed to be uttered by 15th century folk, imagine that!),
  • the main lead, Nathan/Nate/Nathanial Garrett who was dumb,
  • his complete lack of any personality to speak of,
  • the fact that he solved conflicts with brute force and hardly ever with brains,
  • his string of girlfriends  casual shags who were like plastic Barbie dolls with personalities to match…

As you see I could rant and rant forever. Who wants to listen to my rant? A rhetorical question, right? Let me just finish by saying I DNFed after about one third of the novel and skimmed the rest. It was a wise decision. No more Hellequin Chronicles books for me.

Final verdict:

There are crimes against magic and crimes against literature. This one belongs firmly to both categories. Read at your peril – you have been warned!

Rating icon. A stack of books and the words a total failure and an outline of a skull and bones drawn over them.

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8 Responses to Review: Crimes Against Magic (Hellequin Chronicles 01) by Steve McHugh

  1. Melfka says:

    I saw the cover and thought “Wow, it looks great!”. And then I’ve read your review.
    Thank you for biting the bullet so that I don’t have to. 😉

  2. blodeuedd says:

    Read at my own peril…no thanks

  3. Carole Rae says:

    *Crunches on carrot* Yaaaaaa….no…..

  4. heidenkind says:

    I actually do not appreciate the cover at all, so.

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