Like most people, I loved Harry Potter when I was young and it was probably the first fandom I was a part of. I love magic, fantasy, and stories that take me away to a secret world that I wish I could be a part of. So when I saw the description for Magical Intelligence, by M.K. Wiseman, I thought, this could be it! This could be the closest I get to an auror story that has magic, mystery, and action! The description, via Goodreads:
When you are a member of Britain’s first team of wizard spies, every mission might be your last. But as the dawning of the 20th century draws ever nearer, magic grows weak. Violectric Dampening, the clash of man-made electricity with the Gifts of magekind, threatens M.I.’s existence. And if that isn’t enough, they’ve now been discharged from their own government. Obsolete. Distrusted. And now hunted by one of their own. Myra Wetherby has always feared her so-called fits, strange visions of people and places that she cannot explain. It is the emotional manipulation, however, a strange empathic connection to those around her, which threatens her very sanity. A danger to her family, Myra runs away, falling straight into the hands of the newly ousted Magical Intelligence team. Who just so happen to need an ability like hers. Which makes Myra one of them . . . whether she likes it or not.
So the story isn't really an auror story. It actually felt more like X-Men, meets Avengers: Civil War. And you know what, I loved it! Even though the idea of an auror thriller is what drew me to this book, I did want to go in with an open mind. I didn't want to compare this book to Harry Potter, or expect it to be a certain way. And I'm glad I wasn't distracted by those preconceived notions! M.K. Wiseman is telling a story that takes place in a different world, a different time, and with characters who are not in school. I also had to look up "mage" because even though I had heard it before, I realized I couldn't quite define it or explain what a mage was confidently. A mage is a magician or learned person. Which sounds pretty much the same as a wizard, but! I did a little more googling and the difference between a mage and a wizard is that "a mage is a creator of spells and a wizard is a user". This is a key difference in the type of magic you will come across in Magical Intelligence, versus the kind of magic you would think of when you think of aurors. Some positives about the book! There is a lot going on and I can't say that I was ever bored while reading it. But I also wasn't overwhelmed. The characters were pretty awesome too! I really connected with Myra's frustrations in understanding herself, though her's was a much more extreme situation. But even aside from the protagonist, all of the other characters were likable and interesting. One thing that did leave me wanting more, was how much I got to know about each of the characters. I do wish that I could have gotten to know more about Robert, James, Stephen, Laurie, Benjamin, Kady and Aiden. Even some details of Myra's past are still unknown. There are aspects where I wish I had more background information than I did when the book ended. Knowing that this is a series, I do wish in some ways that it had slowed down, so that I could have that chance to get to know each member of the team. But again, this book was action packed, and I can't wait to see what else is in store for the M.I. team in the coming books. I'm also really looking forward to finding out more about Magical Intelligence; it's history, when and how things went wrong, and about the key players in driving this wedge between mages and ords (ordinary, non magic people). So without further ado!
Recommended book pairings for Magical Intelligence!
1. A Wand. Every mage has a wand, and you'll need one too! Luckily there are tons of places where you can find them, but I recommend an etsy shop! Not only can you get a one of a kind wand for a one of a kind mage, but you would be supporting a small business. Something that we can't do enough! You can check out Heartwood Wands or Fantasy by Numbers for your wand needs! 2. Slippers. Poor Myra has found herself on the run in the middle of the night. More than once! And each time her poor slippers take a beating. If you're like Myra and you're out and about at night, or if you're like me and pacing while you read this adventure filled book, you're going to need a quality pair of slippers. These slippers from Pendleton in Acadia Stripe are too cute and look like they have all the support!
3. Invisible Ink! Spies are always sending and receiving secret or coded messages, but you might not have a helping hand like Myra. So if reading about this secret agency brings out your inner Bond, you might want to start sending some secret messages of your own! Check out this set of invisible ink pens from Pottery Barn, and start sending some secret messages with your BFF!
I'm really looking forward to the next installment in this series, and I hope you'll give it a shot too! But if you don't want to take my word for it, you can check out reviews from other book bloggers participating in the Magical Intelligence Blog Tour!