Smoke and Mirrors (Blackhollow Academy, #1)
by Jess Haines
What is it about:
A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she's just like all the other magi.
A dragon who sees through her lies.
Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.
Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she's got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can't afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven.
The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate.
As an illusionist, she doesn't have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems...
Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight....
What did I think of it:
I love Haines' H&W Investigations series, so when I was offered a review copy of this book I jumped at the chance.
And this is such a fun read!
Kimberly is in a difficult situation, but is doing her best to survive. She has a strong moral compass to guide her through. I liked Kimberly and wanted her to succeed. She contacts Cormac, who can help her find the familiar she's looking for. Cormac was a really cool and great character as well.
I loved reading about the two of them getting to know each other, Kimberly learning more about the other magical creatures they encounter, and about Kimberly's adventures in general.
(For fans of the H&W Investigations series there are a few cameos, btw.)
There were a few moments where I wanted to slap Kimberly. First when it was apparent she never watched any teen movie where a popular guy asks out an outcast girl, and a second time when she does something so stupidly dangerous, she might as well have gone skinny dipping in a lake full of alligators.
Those two events aside, I very much enjoyed this book, and I'll get my trotters on the print version as soon as it's on bookdepository. And I'll be keeping an eye out for more.
Why should you read it:
It's a really fun YA/NA Paranormal read.
Buy from Amazon here