Reviews: The Fool & The Magician-Karen Amanda Hooper


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NOTE: This is a serial. All parts are around 60 pages.

Currently FREE on most platforms (check first).

cooltext1804448395 copyIn a faraway future, Kelsey Zellar is starting her senior year at yet another school thanks to her twin sister’s troublesome obsession with outlawed virtual reality games.

Every school they’ve ever attended is pretty much the same: lunchroom drama, rich kids binging on enhancement candies, and classmates rallying for or against the government’s strict control over everything from entertainment privileges to caffeine consumption.

Unlike her sister, Kelsey follows the rules and keeps her nose out of trouble and politics while sniffing out her next flavored latte and favorite novel. But when Kelsey meets a charming book connoisseur, and accepts his offering of a tarot card, she takes the first step toward two new addictions: the guy of her dreams, and his illegal dealing of virtual escapes into her beloved storybooks.

Kelsey straddles the worlds of fiction and reality, but is she a fool for believing in her own happy ending?

cooltext1804472332 copy4/5 Stars

PROS:

  • The world building is intense without being overwhelming. The setting is futuristic with things like hover crafts and virtual reality school lessons. The creativity is astounding, it’s like The Neverending Story meets The Jetsons. Between the quirky little inventions, the tyrannical governmental expectations and regulations, and the ease in which each aspect is introduced, the entire story feels like truth despite its magical and sci-fi undertones. 
  • Any book nerd will swoon, seriously melt into a puddle of envy at the library, the love interest, and the power of the Arcana cards. The ability to use a card to transport into a story as a main character is one of the coolest things I’ve ever read. I was instantly enchanted and envious of the sheer possibilities. To experience classics like The Chronicles of Narnia, literally first hand as Lucy, while remaining yourself is a dream come true. 
  • The mystery is high, there are plenty of clues, and things that seem like puzzle pieces that are so much more than they seem. 
  • Xander. OMG. He’s like a fantasy. Instant perfection. Hot, a librarian, intelligent, obsessed with books, loves coffee, he’s playful and witty. A dream come to life. Honestly, I’m pretty impressed by Kelsey’s self-control.
  • Kelsey is a soul sister. She likes to keep on the straight and narrow, is completely protective of her twin sister, and doesn’t trust easily. She prefers books over people and lives for coffee. Sometimes, her complete mistrust is hard to understand and her opinions fluctuate. 

CONS:

  • It’s so short. If you have a free hour to read pick this up but expect a killer hangover. Because the word count is so low, it goes by quicker than ever and it’s painful when it ends. Luckily, the release dates are relatively close together.
  • Not the biggest fan of the cover.

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NOTE: This is a serial. All parts are around 60 pages.

cooltext1804448395 copyThe second book in the VIRTUAL ARCANA series.

The series starts with book 0: The Fool.

Mysterious cards keep appearing in Kelsey’s life, stirring up questions and forcing her to keep secrets from her sister, Keekee.

Triggered by Kelsey’s fear and Keekee’s worry, the twins become bright blips on their tyrannical government’s radar.

Xander’s magic seems to be their only chance at escaping a dangerous confrontation, but is Kelsey willing to break multiple laws and finally step into Xander’s illegal world of virtual reality?

cooltext1804472332 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Starry Sky Publishing.

PROS:

  • The role of the Arcana and the cards is even more prominent in this episode than The Fool. The mix of mysticism and magic with advanced technology is captivating. The story sucks you in much like the virtual reality cards in Xander’s library. 
  • The evils of the government and just how much control they have over each citizen is huge in this segment. The way they manipulate, threaten, and coerce creates an air of hopelessness for Keekee and Kelsey’s future plans to escape. 
  • Attraction between Xander and Kelsey mounts as the danger rises. The fact that he gives Kelsey a choice and is willing to help her despite the risks is sweet. Despite her misgivings, the magic Xander radiates with the tarot cards and his mind-blowing virtual reality library is a tantalizing temptation that she can no longer resist. 
  • Kelsey scrambles to understand how Xander’s magic is possible and deal with her blossoming feelings. Kelsey puts her heart and loyalty to her family above her own safety. She’s a heroine in the making. 

CONS:

  • Keekee is headstrong, radical and pushes down Kelsey’s feelings, insisting that hers are the right ones and that Kelsey’s sacrifice should mirror her own because they’re twins. Keekee has secrets, she hides things from Kelsey even though she does a lot to try to keep Keekee safe. Keekee is so explosive in her personality sometimes that it’s a little unlikable. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

JPG e-book Awoken by Sarah Noffke13450339Feuds-–-Avery-Hastingscover_insignia

 

 

 

 

 

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