Book Review: Quinn’s Gambit by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn

Quinn’s Gambit by Angel Martinez and Bellora QuinnTitle: Quinn’s Gambit
Series: AURA Series, Book 1
Author: Bellora Quinn and Angel Martinez
Genre: Urban Fantasy, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: March 6, 2015 by Pride Publishing

An unregistered, human con wizard and a duty-bound, straightlaced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.

After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities—all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called RARE—Random Anomalous Reality Events—have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA—the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation—to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn't the easiest city to make a living. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically-induced luck, he works as a ‘free-lance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small time con—according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn't expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined.

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Reviewed by: Crissy

Why I Read This Book: Give me a fantasy world any day—high fantasy, dark fantasy, mythic fantasy, urban fantasy. I’m all over it. So when I read this blurb, I was very excited to read the book. While a good book, I found it lacking and a bit unsatisfying.

The Setup: In a world where magic runs rampant and fairytale creatures fall from the sky, darkness is brewing. And when the higher-ups at AURA (the Agency for Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation) decide to cut off all magic, it inadvertently sets off a tidal wave that AURA agent Val, an elf, and human mage, Quinn are forced to sort out. All the while trying to sort out the strange attraction between them.

What I Liked: The world in this story is spectacular. I enjoyed the way the authors built the events that brought magical creatures to this realm and surrounded the plot around those instances because without that rip in dimensions, this story, this world would not be possible. The mix of humans and fae and how they interact as if it’s completely normal is fascinating.

What I Also Liked: Individually, I liked the characters. Val’s struggle to find his place in the human world is counteracted by how Quinn thinks he knows his place—maybe. Also they have this sort of good guy, shady guy thing going on—where Val is the law enforcement and Quinn is a hustler. It makes for an interesting contrast between them. I think there is more to Quinn’s story than we get to see. He has this amazing magic that everyone gets to see but that no one knows where it comes from or how to harness it. It’s evident that he’s special, but the extent of his abilities have yet to be tapped.

What I Didn’t Like: I think the biggest thing that frustrated me about this story was the romance side. I don’t feel like Quinn and Val really much face time as a couple. Their relationship, to me, seemed more friends with benefits to insta-love and I was left wondering what happened. Also their mating felt like more of an afterthought.

I will say as interesting as Quinn’s magic was, I was a little frustrated at the lack of knowledge that came with Quinn’s powers. The development there is inconsistent and I can’t tell you exactly how without giving part of the story away.

In My Opinion: Quinn’s Gambit is good, but I was hoping for more. Maybe the next book will answer my questions and soothe a little of my frustration.

Crissy’s Rating:
3 1/2 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.

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