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review 2020-04-05 14:36
The Spirit Thief
The Spirit Thief - Rachel Aaron

The Spirit Thief was another random pick from the TBR. And it was a nice surprise.

The magic systems is an interplay between the magicians and the spirits they bond with and obey them. It was quite original. The ploys were not overly intricate, but that can be nice for a change.

It was a very easy read, a bit like a YA but without the seemingly mandatory romance (another plus). I am very curious to see where this series is going next.

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review 2019-03-11 23:11
"Minimum Wage Magic - DFZ #1" by Rachel Aaron
Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ Book 1) - Rachel Aaron
A huge smile of a book: clever and original plot, engaging main character and wonderfully narrated.



"Minimum Wage Magic" is a light-hearted quest-based book set in the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ), an almost lawless, so-magic-it's-alive city built over the ruins of old Detroit. The anything-goes magic-rich DFZ is populated by mages, cybernetically enhanced humans, personal AIs designed to provide emotional support, a few seriously dangerous Gods and more dragons than any other city in the world.


We discover the DFZ by following Opal Yong-ae's increasingly desperate struggles to make her next debt payment. Opal used to make good money as a Cleaner, using her skills as a mage and her degree in art history to turn a profit from buying foreclosed apartments from the City and clearing out the magical, and sometimes lethal, the previous occupants left behind.


Recently, Opal's luck has not been good. She doesn't have the money she needs to pay her debt and her latest buy turns out to contain nothing but the body of a recently deceased and very secretive mage. To pay her debt she has to uncover the mage's secret and avoid getting killed by the various people who want that secret kept.


What follows is a fun, deadline-driven quest to unravel the mystery and turn a profit. Along the way, Opal makes an uneasy alliance with a moody rival. The usual unresolved sexual tension clichés are largely avoided in favour of a humorous odd-couple dynamic where the honest but secretive Opal has to work with her grouchy, semi-luddite. entirely non-magical but more than a little criminal, partner who constantly declares that he is only in it for the money.


As Opal falls deeper into danger, we learn the secrets of her past as well as the plans of the dead mage. The plot keeps up a brisk pace with lots of action, great world-building and some interesting and credible characters.


This is a feel-good book with an engaging heroine, an interesting puzzle and a whole new world to explore.


Although it's set in the same world as the Heartstriker series, which started with "Nice Dragons Finish Last" you can start with this book and not be left feeling you've missed something. 


I preferred "Minimum Wage Magic" over "Nice Dragons Come Last" because Opal gave the story a more human and vulnerable perspective and I think the ideas are little more grounded in the realities of the DFZ.


I strongly recommend the audiobook version of "Minimum Wage Magic" which is flawlessly performed by  Emily Woo Zeller. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample of her work.

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text 2019-03-06 13:46
Reading progress update: I've read 69%. - what a pleasant surprise
Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ Book 1) - Rachel Aaron

I picked this up after reading Elentarri's review


It's even more fun than I expected. A feel-good treasure hunt to a deadline that unfolds a whole new world, has some good action scenes and keeps me smiling all the way.

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review 2019-02-24 09:29
Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron
Minimum Wage Magic (DFZ Book 1) - Rachel Aaron

TITLE: Minimum Wage Magic


AUTHOR:  Rachel Aaron



"The DFZ, the metropolis formerly known as Detroit, is the world’s most magical city with a population of nine million and zero public safety laws. That’s a lot of mages, cybernetically enhanced chrome heads, and mythical beasties who die, get into debt, and otherwise fail to pay their rent. When they can’t pay their bills, their stuff gets sold to the highest bidder to cover the tab.

That’s when they call me. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner: a freelance mage with an art history degree who’s employed by the DFZ to sort through the mountains of magical junk people leave behind. It’s not a pretty job, or a safe one—there’s a reason I wear bite-proof gloves—but when you’re deep in debt in a lawless city where gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own, you don’t get to be picky about where your money comes from. You just have to make it work, even when the only thing of value in your latest repossessed apartment is the dead body of the mage who used to live there.




An entertaining and fast paced romp!

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text 2018-10-07 17:20
One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron 99 cents and on KU!
One Good Dragon Deserves Another - Rachel Aaron

After barely escaping the machinations of his terrifying mother, two all-knowing seers, and countless bloodthirsty siblings, the last thing Julius wants to see is another dragon. Unfortunately for him, the only thing more dangerous than being a useless Heartstriker is being a useful one. Now that he's got an in with the Three Sisters, Julius has become a key pawn in Bethesda the Heartstriker's gamble to put her clan on top. 

Refusal to play along with his mother's plans means death, but there's more going on than even Bethesda knows. Heartstriker futures are disappearing, and Algonquin's dragon hunter is closing in. Now, with his most powerful family members dropping like flies, it's up to Julius to save the family that never respected him and prove once and for all that the world's worst dragon is the very best one to have on your side.

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