Title: Magic Unleashed (Venators #1)
Author: Devri Walls
Published: 10th April 2018 – Brown Books Publishing
Format: Ebook – 363 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
Today I’m doing my first every #BlogTour with Dave from The Write Reads and The Write Reads On Tour and I couldn’t be happier! I’m so glad I decided to say yes to reading and reviewing this book because it surprised me and I absolutely loved it! I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to read this book if not for this tour, so thank you so much to Dave and to Devri, I had a blast reading the book! Keep reading to find out what I thought about Venators #1 Magic Unleashed!
Six years ago, Grey Malteer was attacked by creatures he thought couldn’t possibly exist. They repeated a word, calling him a name he’d never heard before…Venator. Since then, his life has been a hellhole of secrecy—hiding old pain alongside strange new abilities.
Rune Jenkins has an itch, as she calls it, but it’s more than that. It’s an anger that builds up like the inside of a boiler whenever she’s around anything remotely supernatural. The pressure is growing steadily worse and she can’t understand why. All she knows is—her control is slipping.
By order of an unknown council Grey and Rune are pulled through a portal in the St. Louis arch, landing them in an alternate dimension where creatures of myth and legend exist. A realm that calls them, Venators.
Made up of centuries old fae, vampires, werewolves, elves and succubi the council’s corrupt nature becomes obvious as they seek to wield the newly returned Venators as weapons. Wedged in an impossible position, Grey and Rune must decide their fate—do they go against the council’s wishes and help the innocents of this unforgiving land, or face the possibility of execution by the council.
Magic Unleashed is the first book in the Venators series, written by Devri Walls, a dark fantasy young adult fiction series. The plot is very unique, I’ve never read a book like this one I don’t think and I really loved its originality. I also really liked how the story was in a third-person narrative but we still got loads of characters’ thoughts and the shift from one character to another was done very well. I absolutely flew through this book and was engrossed right from page one.
This story is set in an alternate universe to Earth (called Eon) where every single creature you have ever read about in books and fairy tales are real: aka, werewolves, goblins, faeries, elves, vampires, and Venators, a special breed of people with magical and inhuman abilities. A long time ago, Venators and these creatures lived side by side and the Venators helped people, but one day, the tables turned and the Venators were cast out. Hundreds of years later, the Venators are back, but they don’t know that yet.
I haven’t read many books in alternate universes, but I realised while I was reading this book that I had missed this setting so much! The whole book is written in a way that is truly magical and I was in awe of the descriptions and just how real everything felt. Devri did an amazing job with the world-building, it felt surreal, but at the same time so magical and fantastic and I loved every minute of it. I was totally sucked down in this world and I really want to go back to it now!
A lot of books I have read have been lacking on the worldbuilding front, or it has been so complicated and political that it has totally gone over the top of my head, but I was able to picture everything so vividly in this one and I loved my time travelling through Eon with Rune, Grey, Tate, Verida and Beltran.
When I think about the characters in this book, the little person inside my head claps like a giddy three-year-old because I loved each one so much! There are loads and loads of characters in this book, but I’m just going to focus on my favourites.
Rune: She is the “heroine” of the story and one of the Venators. She also has a twin brother called Ryker who is important in the book too, but because we didn’t get much information about him in book 1, I’m not going to speak about him. I immediately liked Rune, she is very down-to-earth, but she is also a perfectionist, much like me, so I really identified with her. She is loyal to her duties and to what she thinks is right, she is also very strong-willed and came across as a well fleshed out character, but also really believable. She is worried about her brother and about Grey and she tries to not let her emotions get the better of her.
Grey: He is the “hero” of the story and the second Venator chosen by Tate. Right from the start, you can tell that Grey has gone through a lot and that he has suffered, he is scared about letting his feelings show and he hides in his large trench coat and behind his long, dark hair, but from the minute he steps into Eon, he really becomes who he is meant to be. I fell for Grey, he is so sweet and caring despite all he has gone through and I really cannot wait to read book 2 because I already miss him.
Tate: I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that he is the one, along with Verida, who personally picked Rune and Tate as the next Venators because he could see that they were compassionate and had a heart. We don’t learn much about Tate, but he is also a really strong character. I really loved his relationship between him and the Venators, it felt really special.
Verida: She is the first vampire we meet and she helped Tate to keep the Venators safe when they arrived in Eon. At first, her intentions weren’t very clear to me and I didn’t know whether I liked her much or could trust her, but she has grown on me a bit and I can tell that she wants what is best for her people and truly cares about Rune and Grey.
Beltran: We don’t meet Beltran until the last third of the book, and I have to admit that at first I really didn’t like him… but I think he is actually my favourite character now! He is a shapeshifter and can go from different animal to human forms in a heartbeat. I like reading about shapeshifters and he really grew on me. He does his best to keep Rune and Grey safe and I really want to see how his character develops, along with something else… You’ll have to read the book to find out though!!
Like all fantasies, this book is set in a world unlike our own, but a world in which some things are similar and I think that the world was one of my favourite things in Magic Unleashed, along with the magic/creatures.
It’s been so long since I’ve read a book like this, with loads of different creatures, but this one was done really well and although you could see a distinction between all the characters along with their “species”, it wasn’t the type of distinction that makes you feel like the author picked a creature from lots of different stories and mashed them together. Each character was solid and I could easily tell them apart, by their personalities and their motives/intentions.
Hardships and personal conflicts is another theme in this book, and I think that it was handled really well. It is clear to see that both Rune and Grey have suffered, be it from their Venator blood that set them apart from the rest of humans they lived alongside, or from ulterior events in their lives. But above all, they stand up and fight and don’t let people get them down, they are strong-willed and determined and I adored every minute I had with them.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
I am such a fantasy fan, and this book did not disappoint! I was expecting to really like it because the blurb had won me over from the get-go, but I wasn’t expecting to love it so much! Everything about it was so good, and although I would have liked to have a bit more character info, or for the book to be a bit longer, I have to give it 5 stars because it was just SO great!
If you like fantasy, dark fantasy, magical creatures, alternate universes and “save the world” type of tropes, I think you are really going to like this one, especially if your reading tastes are anything like mine! I am keeping my eyes peeled for any other book written by Devri Walls and intend to make my way through them one by one!
Once again, thank you so much to Dave for this #BlogTour and for making me discover a new brilliant author and series.
That’s all for now, I hope you liked this review, see you soon,
About the Author – Devri Walls
Devri Walls is a US and international bestselling author. Having released five novels to date, she specializes in all things fantasy and paranormal. She is best known for her uncanny worldbuilding skills and her intricate storylines, and her ability to present this all in an easy-to-digest voice. Now gearing up for her first national release, Devri is excited to introduce her sixth novel, book one in the Venators series. She loves to engage with her loyal following through social media and online sessions she organizes for her readers. Devri lives in Meridian, Idaho with her husband and two kids. When not writing she can be found teaching voice lessons, reading, cooking or binge-watching whatever show catches her fancy.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here: Amazon UK (affiliate link) – Amazon FR (affiliate link) – Amazon US – AbeBooks (affiliate link) – The Book Depository (affiliate link) – Barnes and Noble – Audible FR (affiliate link) – Audible UK – Kobo