A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly Online

A Criminal Magic
Title : A Criminal Magic
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : null
Language : English
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 432

THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new crossover fantasy novel.Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive - and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.It's 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city's magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters'THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new crossover fantasy novel.Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive - and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.It's 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city's magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters' crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer's shine.Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC's most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family's home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic - and when their paths cross at the Shaws' performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.

A Criminal Magic Reviews

  • Darth J

    Criminally DullIt was yet another book that's described as "The Night Circus meets [insert something else]" and unsurprisingly it didn't live up to the high expectations it set for itself. [Deadpan:] "Imagine that."I'm really tired of these amateurish books comparing themselves like that; all that does is disappoint. And this time is no different. The characters are flat, the world is depressing and uninteresting. I just couldn't finish it.Verdict: Save yourself the time and skip this forgettabl [...]

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum bibliosanctum/2016/02/01/bThe year is 1926. In our real world, America would have been in the throes of the “Prohibition era”, a time in the twenties to early-thirties marked by a nationwide ban on the sale, production and importation of alcohol. But in the world of A Criminal Magic, it is sorcery and its related activities and products that are ruled illegal by the passing of the 18th Amendment.However, the attempt to clamp down on the “evils” of magic [...]

  • Lee Kelly

    A Criminal Magic is my second novel, and takes place in an alternative version of my favorite time period, the Roaring Twenties. It involves gangsters, undercover cops, family spells and magic elixirs, and at least in my head, looks something like this:(I clearly had fun writing this :)

  • Nastassja

    Buddy read with my fellow magicians Katerina & Vera. Girls, we survived!Actual rating: 2.5 You know the feeling when you eat something that is not sour or sweet, but indistinguishable. You can't decide whether you like it or if it's just strange and confusing, and you never want to taste it again. That is how I feel about this book. Indecisive. I don't even have much to tell about it, because it was too average, too insipid. All I feel is a shattering relief that I finally finished reading i [...]

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    Magical fantasy meets Prohibition, Roaring Twenties-era gangsters and bootlegging schemes. The basic concept is a cool one: magic, not alcohol, has been outlawed, specifically because sorcerers have the ability to create a magical, addictive brew called moonshine, which literally shines with a ruby glow and has an unbelievable kick. Luckily for the forces of law, shine, like all magic, only lasts 24 hours--but the shine-running gangs are trying to figure out a way to overcome that limitation. It [...]

  • Katerina Kondrenko

    4.5 out of 10Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blogLiving A Thousand Lives (please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)Short-Soundtrack:Funk Off – Magic Touch Caro Emerald – The Wonderful In YouMits Jazz Band – Magic MirrorGenre: magic-realism, historical-fantasy, YAStuff: illegal magic, Roaring TwentiesFail: boring storyWOW: the endingPOV: 3rd-person, she/heLove-Geometry: zero with s [...]

  • Allison

    Thank you to Saga Press and Simon & Schuster for the ARC! ^_^Ok, so this book is: if Martin Scorsese adapted THE NIGHT CIRCUS and set it in an alternate-1920s America where magic has been outlawed. GANGSTERS. MAGIC DRUGS. MAGICAL SPEAKEASIES. UNDERCOVER GOVERNMENT AGENTS. ROGUE SORCERERS. DOUBLE CROSSING. TRIPLE CROSSING. First of all, I LOVED READING ABOUT THE MECHANICS OF THE MAGIC. I found myself re-reading most of the explanations of spells and rituals and whispering "WOW" a lot. The mag [...]

  • Emma

    Just below 4 stars. I really enjoyed this magical take on gangsters and Prohibition. Very good magical alternative history and worth reading for that alone. The main characters were interesting because I started off thinking Joan had a good moral compass while Alex was lost. And in the end it was the other way round. I'm glad the romance worked out the way it didIt would have felt out of keeping with the noir style otherwiseFancy something different in magical worlds? This might be it recommende [...]

  • Vira

    It's been almost 24 hours since I read the book and there's still a bad aftertaste torturing my read-sensible receptors. What a disappointment, ladies and gentlemen! I never really wanted anything grand from this book - just mix some high-quality criminal with a generous amount of magic and I'll be fine. And I've got to tell you, the first sip was rather intriguing - freshly made sorceress, discovering her true powers in a magic competition combined with the handsome young man, also touched with [...]

  • Yaprak

    Geçmişe yolculuk yapacaksınız; bu sefer 1920'lere. Yazarımız Lee Kelly o dönemde uygulamaya geçen içki yasaklarından ilham almış ve bu kanun sihir karşıtı bir kanuna çevirerek tarihi bir fantastik eser ortaya çıkarmış.Kitap bize iki büyücünün ağzından anlatılıyor: Joan ve Alex.Joan küçücük bir kasabada yaşayan ve geçmişte yaptığı bir hatanın bedelini ödemek adına kız kardeşini ve kuzenini mutlu etmek ve geçindirmek görevini üstlenmiş, fakat elinde b [...]

  • Tammy

    The nitty-gritty: A gritty and magical story with plenty of danger, romance and a very special drink called sorcerer's shine.Magic can achieve a lot of things, but it can't undo the past. I've sworn off sorcery, buried my magic with earth, blood, and tears below the ground, but I'd gladly sell my soul to use it just once more, if sorcery could find a way to bring me back in time. If it could bring me right to the edge of where I once stood and shattered my world into tiny shards, and make me wal [...]

  • Whitley Birks

    See more reviews on my blog.I had so much fun with this book. The premise was something you just can't go wrong with (Prohibition era outlawing addictive magic instead of alcohol? YES PLEASE) and then on top of that we got some extremely engaging characters, solid worldbuilding, and a plot that just won't stop.There is nothing about this book that I wouldn't recommend, though I will throw out one caveat: this isn't a YA book. I have no idea why it was ever billed as a YA book. This is I thought [...]

  • Barb (Boxermommyreads)

    This is magic for grownups. I love the world Kelly created an her writing style made it easy to imagine actually being a part of this glamorous underworld. This book has it all, action, great characters, an interesting and unique magical system and a near-perfect ending.The story is told from duel perspectives of Joan, who travels to DC in hopes of becoming part of an elite, yet still illegal, magical troupe and Alex, a law enforcement agent who has his own personal grudge to bear with the crimi [...]

  • Karen

    This review was done by KissinBlueKarenThis is adult fantasy. A CRIMINAL MAGIC is such a fun story full of magic and danger. This story follows Joan and Alex in a world where magic is illegal. Whenever a sorcerer performs magic, that magic can be placed into water and it turns into Shine. Shine is a very addictive drug. Since magic is all but illegal, families keep their magic to themselves. Joan is part of a family in trouble. An accident took her mother and left her and her cousin running a fr [...]

  • Valerie

    Holy shitI don't know what I just read, my heart's still racing because of how intense this was. Sure magic is powerful and dangerous, but you know what else is? THIS BOOK. For my HEART.Joan and Alex are on the opposite sides of the field, in a way that Joan is convinced that her magic is being used for a good thing (like getting high!), while Alex is posing as a double agent in order to stop people like his father, who distributed the drugs and profited from it. Both lead incredibly dangerous l [...]

  • Sara

    Actual Rating: 4.5 out of 5Mobsters, smugglers, and enchanted elixirs as potent as drugs - this is the wild, hypnotic world of Lee Kelly's A Criminal Magic. Set in an alternate Prohibition era where magic is banned instead of alcohol, this edge-of-your-seat thriller thrusts two budding sorcerers into Washington, D.C.'s criminal underworld. Joan Kendrick is hired by the Shaw Gang to perform at their "shining room" (think magical speakeasy) so she can provide for her family; while Alex Danfrey, so [...]

  • Sajda (Across the Words)

    Holy hellis was amazing! My mind is still trying to recover from this book's brilliance. Everything was perfect: the characters, magic, levels of betrayal. So so good! I demand an epilogue Full review to come

  • Laura

    This is an interesting alternative history. What would have happened if instead of alcohol being prohibited by the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, instead it is the drink called "Shine" which is the residue produced by sorcerers when they do magic. The liquid is hallucinogenic and addictive, but the drink has to be made locally as it only lasts a day. And of course, like Prohibition, in the US, the Mafia is involved in getting shine to those that still want to drink and enjoy it, despite [...]

  • Hafsah Faizal

    4.5 stars. Terribly good. Painful. Beautiful. WILD.Review coming soon.

  • Glory

    THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly's new magical realism, crossover novel. Ну да, ну да, я всегда кривлюсь, когда вижу подобные сравнения. И неизбежно на них покупаюсь)) Ревущие двадцатые и магия? Уличные банды и шоу? Ваня, я ваша навеки (с) Но навеки не получилось. Нет, в целом история неплохая. У нас [...]

  • nick

    This is one of the most underrated/under promoted books of the year. Seriously, if you’re a fan of historical books with a little bit of fantasy, I can’t recommend A Criminal Magic enough. From the very first page, this was a book that entirely enthralled me and that feeling of being hooked never dissolved. How could it not? It’s got illegal sorcery, clubs, mobsters and crime – a fabulous combo, in my opinion! Joan, one of the two protagonists of this book, is a young sorcerer is offered [...]

  • Athena

    Finally got this from the library and dove into a world where the Volstead Act, which created Prohibition, bans magic instead of intoxicants. The setting seems to be trying for a real 1920's into which magic is inserted which would've been nice, had it worked. Unfortunately it just didn't, neither as a fantasy nor an historical novel.The author isn't able to convey a real sense of the 1920s; there's a little bit of 1920's slang tossed in along with far more slang from decades later which jarred [...]

  • Terri Wino

    3.75 starsI really enjoyed this book! However, for me, this seemed more like a book about gangsters and rival mobs that happened to have magic as the central theme. That's to say that the magic almost could have been removed entirely from the book and it still would have been just as interesting.I loved both Alex and Joan. Great characters who are each involved with these gangsters for their own secret reasons, unbeknownst to the other. The relationship between them seems like a natural progress [...]

  • Fantasy Literature

    In A Criminal Magic, Lee Kelly creates a world in which the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in 1919, banned sorcery rather than alcohol. Kelly combines remarkable creativity, imagination, and insight into the human condition, blending fantasy with history and ending up with a complex, entertaining, compelling novel.Naturally, the passage of A Criminal Magic’s fictional amendment results in the same response as its historical analogue: sorcerers are thrust into the criminal unde [...]

  • Lit Coven

    Overall, we as a Coven enjoyed this light quick read and agreed it had a great take on magical realism. The story was well aligned with the time period, and was the highlight of this novel. It was set in the Prohibition Era, and featured gangsters and magic--the perfect combination. We would have enjoyed to see more world building, but all in all agreed that it really fit the 1920's vibe. Given a choice between the main characters Alex and Joan, Alex was by far our winner. He was dynamic and bro [...]

  • Lori Goldstein

    As in her first book, City of Savages, Lee Kelly's prose shines. A Criminal Magic is an alternate 1920s world where instead of alcohol being banned, magic is. Vivid description of the world and the magical spells make this book a must for those who love all things fantastical and yet the gangsters and the underworld make it appeal to those who love a good mystery/detective story. With a slow build of a love story between the two main characters, fans of a touch of romance in their books will als [...]

  • Clarisse

    You had me at "THE NIGHT CIRCUS."

  • colleen the convivial curmudgeon

    3.5Just finished this. I liked it, but didn't love it. Gave it 3.5 stars, downgraded to 3.The first issue I noticed was that while the chapters switch between Alex and Joan's perspectives, the voices were too similar. This issue had started to go away as the story progressed, but then when they started to be in the same place it became an issue again. I would be reading a chapter and literally forget which "I" was speaking from time to time. (Would've been better in third person, maybe, as then [...]

  • Angie

    Okay honestly? I feel like I should have been paid to read this book. I AM STILL SO INCREDIBLY BITTER OVER THE AFTERNOON I WASTED ON IT. SO. BITTER.Basically the ONLY thing about this book that didn’t suck was the magic system. It was interesting. Underdeveloped but unique. If the story had focused on the magic, on the alternate universe where it’s magic and not alcohol that’s prohibited by the 18th Amendment, I might have enjoyed it. The characters and plot ruined everything though.There [...]

  • Ben Babcock

    A Criminal Magic hooked me from the start. A friend gave this to me for my birthday (apparently it was on my to-read list, not that I’d remember). I started it on Saturday, and 25 pages in I texted her to let her know she had picked well. Lee Kelly’s story of sorcerers labouring under a magic Prohibition in an alternative 1926 is just captivating. From parallel plot-lines to a careful, judicious use of magic, Kelly tells a story that is about love but isn’t necessarily a romance, a story t [...]