Hidden Magic (The Dragon Lord #1) by Melanie Crouse

20559201Published January 24th 2014 by Boekweg Books

I DNFed this book 30% into the story. I’ve read in the “acknowledgements” that the author needed six years to write this book, that she had help from other writers, bloggers, beta readers, mentors and what not. 6 years and nobody ever said this story was crap? Lol, what a waste of time!

This story is just so damn confusing. I thought it was a fantasy full of magic, dragons and romance. But instead you will be treated to a weird mix of a parallel universe, science fiction, dystopian, steam-punkish magical world. The story takes place on the world of Nazdravan and on Earth. Only the dravani, humans with magical abilities, can travel from one world to the other through a portal. But simple humans apparently live on both worlds. (How is that even possible?) I was expecting medieval / historical fantasy, but there are obviously trains and speedboats and some technology like telephones and television on both worlds.

The magic is never really explained in the first third of the book, the world is not introduced only hinted at and the plot is non-existent. There is no back history explaining how it came to be that there are other planets inhabited by humans, the gypsies from the first chapter never ever get mentioned again. Why was it important to introduce the reader to them in the first place? There seem to be enslaved humans, but apart from a small remark at the beginning there is no more mention of it. The society this people in the book live in is so puzzling because not once does the author really describe anything. Apparently there are different kinds of magic: healers and fire mages. Again no explanation is given as to how this magic is supposed to work or how it came to be or what the Dragon Lord has to do with it all. This is all so damn frustrating. It’s just plain boring! I was left with a lot of unanswered questions while the story concentrates on Jenny and her first encounter with (*insta love alert*) Arram. Those were the most unexciting first 100 pages that I have ever read: full of nothing but dull introduction and the foreboding of a love triangle.

I could have put up with that and just skipped a few pages because I really wanted to know what kind of hidden magic Jenny discovers. But then Jenny starts fainting, and fainting, and fainting and if she is not fainting she is blushing scarlet. That girl is so naïve and unlikeable with her consistent “I want to have adventures”. Whoa, here is a MC that really got me enraged. If you are in the forest and came unexpectedly across a dangerous, roaring, aggressive fucking lion, what would you do? I sure as hell would not take a step towards it because I am curious and want to pet it. Yeah she is that dumb.

She dawdled over breakfast, savoring the guilty pleasure of reading at the breakfast table, until a glance at the kitchen clock sent her into a panic, and she raced to get ready. But Sarah was still not back when she was finished, so Jenny went outside to wait, feeling very independent.

Why the panic, why the guilty pleasure and why the fuck feel independent? I get the impression Jenny is 5 instead of 19 (I think) years old.

The university campus was quiet. She wandered aimlessly around, stopping when she found herself back at the fountain. Jets of water diffused down like rain into the large basin, which was ringed by several small statues of children, and Jenny studied them with delight.

Yes right, a child. Can’t take her seriously.

Combine that whiney, childish, innocent, silly, immature MC with a boring New Adult romance set-up and a confusing world-building and you get the impression what awaits you. I mean the title of the book is Hidden Magic – The Dragon Lord #1. I don’t want to read about campus and waste bins and telephones and trains and a stupid girl thinking she discovered the big freedom just because she left her sister’s apartment by herself. I want dragons!

I couldn’t be bothered to read any further then past page 100. I have better books to read and better things to do.

Thanks for netgalley for providing me with a copy.


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