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Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem

Handbook for Mortals, Lani Sarem, book review, New Adult, Paranormal, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller.

Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing ''normal'' is much less important.

Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show's good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.

Zade's secrets and the struggle to choose between Mac or Jackson creates reckless tension during the grand finale of the show. Using Chaos magick, which is known for being unpredictable, she tests her abilities as a spellcaster farther than she's ever tried and finds herself at death's door. Her fate is left in the hands of a mortal who does not believe in a world of real magick, a fortuneteller who knew one day Zade would put herself in danger and a dagger with mystical powers...

Handbook for Mortals is the first book in the series of this urban fantasy, paranormal romance series by author Lani Sarem.

Following Zade through the trials--and romance--of finding her own place in the world, readers will identify with their own struggles to fit in, reflected in the fantastic, yet mundane world of Zade's life.

Handbook for Mortals is in development as a motion picture set to debut in 2018
Source: I received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours on Netgalley with the option of leaving an honest review.
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Format: eBook, Print
Publication Date: August 16, 2017
Series: Handbook for Mortals (I think)


Zade, a small-town gal who comes from a long line of Gypsy fortunetellers and magick practitioners, decides to move to Las Vegas and join a well-known illusionist's crew. Having been accepted by the troupe that is filled with eclectic personalities, Zade embarks on an adventure that leads her to become a rising star in the act and finds herself smack dab in the middle of a love triangle between a guy who doesn't believe in magick and another guy who does. Where will Zade's destiny take her? Only time and a bit of magick gone wrong will tell.

As I normally do, I avoided reading the reviews before I read this book. I really wish I hadn't, because reading them would've prepared me for what was in store.

The book starts out pretty slow and it was apparent to me that it is a semi-autobiographical work of fiction. I was really hoping to find a strong female protagonist who was overcoming challenges to evolve from a free-spirited, willful, and petulant young woman who could not resist the temptation to use her magickal abilities to pull mean-spirited and petty pranks on people who upset her into a confident woman who used her intelligence and inherent charisma to make a life for herself. What I ended up with was a young woman who had no respect for magick using her charms and charisma to get what she wanted, regardless of the consequences to herself and others. Everything she wanted, she got and the biggest obstacle she had to overcome was deciding which guy she was supposedly destined to be with.

I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy character building more than I enjoy a long and drawn out description of the setting; however, the author seemed to assume that readers would have a good grasp of the setting because it was completely ignored. The secondary characters felt a bit contrived and it seemed their sole purpose in the book was to make Zade the star. I was also deeply offended by the complete and utter lack of respect and understanding of the Craft, or "magick" as the author puts it, and Zade's "magickal legacy."

Needless to say, I am not open to reviewing the other books in this series when they are released.

I'm not prone to joining in the controversy surrounding a book; however, just so you know, I was also tempted to not post the front cover image of this book because it looks to me like a Photoshopped version of Gill Del Mace's "Knife Thrower." However, I will leave it up to you to decide.

About Lani Sarem

Lani Sarem, author. Courtesy of Goodreads.
Lani Sarem basically grew up in the entertainment industry. She began acting at age three and continued to act and perform through her early years. Lani began writing scripts when she was eleven. Over the years she has become a jack-of-all-trades in the entertainment business. She became a rock n’ roll gypsy at fifteen and started touring with bands and working on festivals. She’s toured with everyone from Ryan Adams to Gnarls Barkley. She also became one of the youngest female managers in the business and managed bands like the Plain White T's, 100 Monkeys and Blues Traveler. Lani has appeared in films like Mall Cop 2, Jason Bourne, and Trailer Park Shark. Handbook for Mortals is a debut novel of a series of books, which are also being made into feature films. You can follow Lani on her social networks to keep up with her many adventures and look out for her at a Wizard World Comic Con near you.

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Handbook for Mortals on Goodreads   Handbook for Mortals on Amazon