Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
An unregistered, human con wizard and a duty-bound, straightlaced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.
After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities—all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. From selkies to trolls, elves to Sasquatches, all the magical creatures needed help because their was no returning them to their world or families. These magical events are called RARE—Random Anomalous Reality Events. And they have made magic now a reality, pulling it out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality.
The result was a great deal of chaos, pain, anger, and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA—the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation—to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.
Quinten is a young human just trying to get by. But Quintan has a background awash in pain and betrayal and isn’t about to put his trust in any establishment, an attitude that makes New York City a difficult place to make a living. A bit of a con with a fluid moraltiy, still Quinten has a good heart if also one that’s kept under lock and key.
Living by his wits and sometimes magically-induced luck, he works as a ‘free-lance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small time con—according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. And that means an introduction to Val and the very agency Quinten has been trying to avoid.
But darker events are looming over all mage users and its’ up to Val, Quinten and a small group of friends (or almost friends) to stop the evil existing in their midsts.
Already a huge fan of Angel Martinez and her fantasy worlds, now I’m going to add Bellora Quinn to my list! Quinn’s Gambit, the first in a new Aura series, pulled me in by the first paragraph and kept me enthralled until the very last word. All of the characters the reader will meet inside Quinn’s Gambit are so beautifully realized! It really doesn’t matter who the character it, whether its Val, the elf prince, Kai, a drow and IT specialist and his lover Tensin a Yeti, or Sin aka Sinistrus a unlucky succubus who prefers men instead of the females he needs to feed on. One after another, a whole cast of bewitching characters appear to capture your heart and make you care about the tumultuous situation and universe they find themselves in.
The authors leave the origin of the blast and the experiment performed somewhat murky. All we know is that now holes in the fabric of the universe is allowing beings from other levels or plains of existence to fall through, permanently, into this one. Just from the mention of a selkie who committed suicide when she fell shockingly to ground in a desert in southwestern United States, and the reader gets it. These poor beings have been ripped without warning from their worlds and loved ones, and the authors make us feel their continued pain and confusion. Valerian lives with the constant pain of loss and we hurt for him because the cost to him and the others falls within the spectrum of loss we can well imagine.
Quinten is another special character. His background is slowly revealed to all in the story and once known, explains his living and working circumstances as well as the wall he has created around his heart. I think there is still so much more to be divulged about Quinn. There is an enormity to him and his powers that the authors are just starting to explore. Quinn is a puzzle and we still don’t have all the pieces to this compelling young man when we reach the end of this story. I can’t wait to see what else will come.
Quinn’s Gambit contains several mysteries, a ton of heartbreaking dramas, and, of course, a romance to begin and solidify between Quinn and Val. The writing is tight, the imaginative elements splendid and engrossing, and the heat that occurs between Quinn and Val so hot and sexy its almost combustible. The only place that I wanted more was the ending. I wanted it to be fuller, longer, and with more exposition to the scenes there. Yes, I wanted the “cherry on the top, with sprinkles”! Lucky for us all, Quinn’s Gambit is but the first in a new series, Aura, from Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn. I. Can’t. Wait!
Pick up Quinn’s Gambit (AURA Series #1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn and begin your journey within this amazing new universe. It’s one of my favorite, highly recommended reads this month, perhaps of the year.
Cover artist Posh Gosh does a great job with the New York City skyline and Quinn. Terrific job.
Sales Links: Totally Bound Amazon Buy It Here links to come
Expected publication: March 6th 2015 by Totally Bound
seriesAURA Series #1
Thanks for the review! I, too, am a fan of Angel Martinez. Have this new book on my high-to-get list.