A Disappointingly Bland Story
By James Swain
Tor, $24.99, 352 pages
Peter Warlock works as a successful stage magician in New York, has a nice house, and a loving girlfriend, Liza. He is also a psychic and conducts weekly séances with six others to help identify and prevent mass crimes. When the group foresees the deaths of hundreds of thousands, they must work on finding those responsible before it is too late. Following clues and visions, Peter also stumbles on the answer to the death of his parents’ years ago and realizes that he is more powerful than he ever imagined.
Dark Magic starts out with an interesting concept: psychics aiding the police to prevent crimes before they happen. From there, unfortunately, the story becomes cliché and predictable. Inexplicably allowed to help the FBI (after his friends hack into their system), Peter is given information in return for helping the FBI using his magician skills. The dialogue feels forced and unrealistic, and the characters themselves are one-dimensional. The development of Peter’s powers is interesting as is Peter’s ultimate choice about what type of man he wants to be. Overall this book is disappointing.
Reviewed By Barbara Cothern