Rating: 5 stars out of 5
James Martin is a teacher, a powerful Psychic, and an alcoholic. He used to work for the Center for Magical Research and Development, a facility that houses people who can’t control their supernatural abilities, but left after one of his students was killed, turning to vodka to soothe his emotional pain. The problem is he still has one year left on his contract.
When James returns to the CMRD to fulfill the rest of his contract, he finds himself confronting the demons of his past and attempting to protect his new class from a possible death sentence, because if they don’t pass their final exams, they’ll be euthanized.
James also discovers that his class isn’t bringing in enough sponsors, the agencies and world governments who supply grants and ultimately purchase graduates of the CMRD, and that means no profit for the facility. James and his students face impossible odds—measure up to the facility’s unreachable standards or escape.
When I start reading a novel by a new author, I always try to approach that first chapter with a fresh outlook and happy expectation that perhaps I’ve found a new writer to add to my TBR pile. Sometimes it happens and sometimes not. On the rare occasion I find an author that goes immediately on my auto buy list. Welcome, JP Jackson to that list.
Magic or Die by JP Jackson is the first in their Inner Demons series and oh my, what a killer of a story and way to launch a series! Immediately, Jackson gives us a main character in trouble. James is a sodden drunk living in squalor. He’s also a powerful Psychic. One forced to be a teacher to other young psychics at a Magical Research and Development facility.
The character of James is so well constructed. A drunk using alcohol unsuccessfully to stop the memories of the past from haunting him. Or are they really just memories? James is complex, and will show great growth over the course of the book. And in a way great failure. He’s amazing and the reader will commit to him utterly.
But James will come to teach a group of young Psychics. Some wild, vulnerable, compelling, and the reader will come to ,well, if not love them, then, become inordinately fond of them. We want them to succeed. All will feel alive, horrifically, hauntingly, alive.
There are multiple stories being told here. The author does a admirable job of keeping each one appearing throughout the entire story so you are always aware of the many threads flowing through it. And their importance to the characters and overall arc.
There is one concerning Jame’s missing sister which is a stunner, one about the Covens and one of the pupils Jame’s will teach, more about the facility itself…all these intriguing narrative balls that the author keeps juggling to high suspense and our great entertainment and sometimes horror.
Yes, I care about each and every one of these people/beings and need to know more. Especially after that ending.
I used to absolutely hate cliffhangers. That would really guarantee a story a lower rating. But over the years, that slowly changed until I can see my way past that. So yes, this has a cliffhanger. One that raised many, many questions for me that I hope are answered in the next story.
Because everything leading up to that ending? Just incredible! The characters, the writing and plot! So I can imagine the author knows exactly where he is going next here. I want to be there too.
Pick up Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson and see why I cringed, cried, laughed, and loved everything about this story. Then we can wait together until the next one is released!
Cover art is just perfect for the story and tone. Love it.
NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
ebook, 313 pages
Published July 2nd 2018 by NineStar Press
SeriesInner Demons #1