Stray Magic (Stray’s #1) By Kelly Meding


Stray Magic

Edelweiss Plus Review

TITLE: Stray Magic (Stray’s #1)
AUTHOR: Kelly Meding
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
PUBLISHED: June 19th 2018 by Harper Voyager

This is one of my most dreaded types of reviews. A critical one. I hate doing critical reviews. But as reviewer honesty is one of your most essential attributes this type of  review tends to make me feel as if I’m tearing the author apart. I hate it. Loving reading means you love authors. You don’t want to bring hurt to your loved ones. If I feel this terrible writing it I can only Imagine how the author will feel reading it. I procrastinated HARD on this review. As my subscribers you guys have to comment below let me know if I’m crossing the line from critical to asshole…… anyway here’s my latest review.

Stray Magic is an urban fantasy novel the first in the new Strays series by Author Kelly Meding. Kelly Meding has been on my TBR list for a very long time so now that I’m reviewing I jumped at the opportunity to get an ARC from Edelweiss.

The Novel is written in the first person POV of the protagonist Shiloh Harrison. Shiloh is the second in command in the Federal Para – Marshal Unit based in Hebron, Maryland the story opens with our protagonist trying to blow off some steam with her lover after wrapping up a lengthy case. They were supposed to have three uninterrupted days of carnal bliss, but crime doesn’t pause for your love life.  Shiloh is called back out on another case shortly after arriving home.

Shiloh’s team is called out to a case where vampires have invaded and are holding a trailer park full of people hostage. The Master Vampire Woodrow Tennyson has concocted this plan to keep the members of his line safe. Vampires and werewolves are being abducted and never heard from again, to protect his people he’s placed them in a high visibility situation where they are under surveillance and safe from being abducted. I thought that was a very original plot twist.

Tennyson is holding the trailer park hostage until he receives assistance locating his missing people. And Somehow after threatening to harm Shiloh’s mom Tennyson becomes a defacto member of the team throughout the investigation.

The title of this book is telling. Stray means precisely that. Shiloh’s team is a mish-mash of supernatural rejects from different species. You would expect the characters to pull through circumstances in exceptional ways as the underdogs of the supernatural world that they are. But that isn’t the case. The team is made up of Shiloh our main character she’s a half Djinn half human which seemed interesting at first, but Meding’s take on it gets old fast. We then have Novak the devils reject an incubus who has been kicked out of hell, stripped of most of his powers, and is in hiding. Jaxon Shiloh’s Ex a Skin Walker who turns into a Seven Point Stag, Kathleen the Dhamphir (half human half vampire), and Their Leader Julius, a human.

The author intends to write Shiloh’s character as a hardcore rough around the edges Female badass, and while Shiloh makes an attempt depth, her character is equipped with the personality of a petulant teenager and therefore misses the mark. Several of the character interactions and relationships lack chemistry; most seem forced or weird.

As a reader you can when something doesn’t mesh with the natural progression of the story or the character relationships.  In a few of the scenes, it appears as if the author wrote herself into a corner.  Meding gets tripped up when she doesn’t follow her own rules of magic.  A few times Meding comes up with unreasonable loopholes to get the characters either out of a jam or to create conflict; as a result, some aspects of the story seem unrealistic, as ironic as that may sound. Now I understand this is all made up but the thing about fiction especially urban fantasy is the author has to write eloquently enough to make you believe it could happen. The writing has to in-effect paint all over the walls of your subconscious. It’s not something I can explain, but all true bibliophiles understand what I mean.

There are also several instances where something is over, or unnecessarily explained something; it occurs often enough to be annoying. Sometimes with information that isn’t imperatively relative to the characters or storyline and wouldn’t be relevant to the reader. The book does have some redeeming qualities though. The Plot and action are instant and continuous. Meding doesn’t leave you in suspense long, and there are no boring parts. (just frustrating ones). The events move along quickly. The premise was interesting, but it was all a bit rushed.  The way the book is written doesn’t give the reader the opportunity to bond with the characters this is the first book in a series, but it reads like a fourth or fifth. Frankly, the author missed the mark on this one. However, my copy was an unedited proof, many of the issues I found with the book may be corrected in the final print. So I say give it a chance, and if you’ve read the book leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think.

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