A Nix Review – TranceHack by Sonya Clark (4.5 Stars)

Posted March 18, 2014 by Nix in review / 1 Comment

Trancehack by Sonya Clark
Series: Magic Born #1
Published by Carina Press on 2013-10-28
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Sci-Fi
Pages: 199
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

It's 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.

A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He's had little experience with the Magic Born and isn't sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he'd be so drawn to her.

Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money's tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla's determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.

When Calla's trancehacking and Nathan's investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?

89,000 words

FTC : I requested this book from NetGalley for a fair and honest review. I have  no relationship with the author.

After reading the Mojo Queen a few years ago, I knew I liked Sonya Clark’s writing. After seeing this one was published by Carina I decided that this was a book I needed to read. The premise is so intriguing, so different to anything that I have read before that I was excited. I wasn’t disappointed and devoured this as fast as I could.

The premise of the book is simple; those that have magic are segregated from birth (yes, they are tested that young) and put into zones. In these zones, there is no rights, and a hell of a lot of external oppression, but the people that live there have managed to create a community. It is into this (hostile) community that Nate has to go following a murder of a high profile scientist and it is on this case that he meets Calla. Once they meet, we are taken on a tale of sex and intrigue in a city of magic and persecution. It is very different and very good.

The relationship between Calla and Nate is the main plot thread and it is both happy and sad. It was lovely to watch them fall in love (they are both very likeable characters) but it was quite upsetting to see them believe their relationship would be doomed because of Calla’s magic status. They couldn’t stay the night together (Calla wasn’t allowed out of the zone for more than 18 hours), they couldn’t go on dates (Calla wasn’t allowed in most restaurants) and, if he chose to stay in the zone with her, Nate would lose everything. It was a lot to give up for one person and I agreed with them; it did seem hopeless. I wanted them together so badly but I couldn’t see anything but resentment in their future if they stayed together.

As characters, Cella and Nate bring different things to the table. I liked the contrast of Nates naivety and Cellas cynicism when it came to the  way that the world worked. Their life experiences have shaped the way that they see things and I enjoyed the way that they brought a balance to each other. They matched well and I could only hope that they could find a way but, bar a destruction of the entire infrastructure of the world, I didn’t see that happening. The chemistry between them is intense which made it even harder to watch them on their journey as I knew that, for them to have a HEA, it was more than likely that someone would have to make huge sacrifices.

The world that this book is set in was the main draw for me and my only complaint is that we didn’t learn that much about it. As a reader, I felt that I only got a brief snapshot of the complexities of it and the different layers that made it unique. I’m glad this is a series book as I know I will gradually learn more. I also wanted to see a bit more of Cella’s powers! The suspense plot is fabulous and I didn’t see any of the plot twists coming.

This is a gritty romantic suspense set in a dystopian world where external forces conspire to keep our romantic couple apart. With magic and intrigue aplenty, this is one I recommend for dystopian fans.


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