Monday, July 21, 2014

*Blog Tour* A Magic Within by Sara V. Zook



 Normalcy. I need to get back to a state of normalcy. What’s happened to me? Why am I here in this orphanage, and why am I forbidden to leave? Everyone is so very cruel here. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. It’s the paranoia getting to me. It’s like someone’s always watching, always listening. There’s a general fear around here, and for some reason, it seems fueled by my arrival, but why are they afraid of me? I didn’t ask for this. I don’t even know how I got here. I need to go home. My parents must be worried sick. There has to be someone here who can help me, who can give me answers and lead me in the right direction so I can get out of here. There is this one boy, Lydic. Could he be my key to getting out? I can see it in his eyes he feels sorry for me. He seems to know more than he’s letting on. These people aren’t like anyone I’ve ever met before.







  When Riley finds herself lost and alone in the woods after chasing after her escaped dog, she fears that she will die there, unable to find her way back to camp. But luck is on her side, maybe, and a mysterious stranger comes along and carries her off. But she finds herself with far more questions than answers. 

The idea behind this story, is excellent. It's somewhat reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz (at least the movie version. I'm ashamed to admit that I have yet to read the books), and even mentions it a time or two (which earns it bonus points from me). Like Dorothy Gale, Riley suffers a trauma and then wakes up in a strange place. However, she doesn't receive the warm welcome from the locals that Dorthy gets in Munchkinland. I'm sure her welcome would have been much warmer if she'd killed the wicked witch upon her arrival though. 

I really felt like I was in Riley's shoes for most of this story. I spent a large portion of the book completely confused as to what was going on, just like Riley, and I wasn't even really able to figure out what was going on before Riley did, and I'm usually pretty good at figuring major plot points out long before the characters do, so bravo Ms. Zook for keeping me confused. 

This book had action, adventure, mystery, and some pseudo-mythology, overall a really good fantasy combination. It let me down in the end though, and left me with a lot of unanswered questions. There were a few things that I was hypothesizing about while reading, that failed to happen or be revealed, and the ending wrapped up very quickly, almost like Ms. Zook just ran out of ideas (or maybe she has so many still swirling around in her head for these characters that there is going to be a second book. I'm genuinely hoping that is the case). This book ended basically in an HEA when I was really looking for a cliffhanger, considering where the characters were towards the end. 

Overall I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, because it was really well written, a very unique idea, and it kept me engaged through the end. The missing half-star is for the quick wrap up at the end. I would still definitely recommend this book to fantasy fans and I will be checking out some of Sara's other books in the future. - Katie


 Sara V. Zook is a paranormal/fantasy writer. She is the author of the Strange in Skin Trilogy, Clipped, Evanescent, Book 1 in The Sempiternal Series and A Magic Within. She lives in Pennsylvania with her 3 small children and husband.



  sarabook1 sarabook2 sarabook3          sarabook4  sarabook5


  1. Thanks so much for having me today and for reviewing the book! This one is just the beginning of a series! <3

    1. Good to know. That means my hypotheses may still be true then :) I look forward to the next book.