In Inherited Magic, Andrew Gordinier introduces a world of magic and adventure, perpetuated by mages who lurk unseen alongside normal humans. John, a seemingly ordinary human whose life is falling apart, inherits a strange package from his grandfather containing a box and a key, and what he finds inside catapaults him into the world of magic his grandfather and mother never had a chance to tell him about while they were still alive. Gradually John begins to find his way in his new life as a student mage, but his blundering leads him into serious trouble that just gets worse.
I really enjoyed the world and story Gordinier created in this book, and I hope, as the ending of this book suggests, that there will be more books to come, as the next great new fantasy series. However, this book as it is, needs some careful proofreading. There are some misspellings, garmmar errors and other minor problems, but there is a whole page in chapter 11 that is repeated in its entirety, and a few other glaring errors that really stand out. In addition the narrator has an obnoxious tendency to break character, going from a third person omniscient narration to first person in ways that weaken the book a lot, Either this narrator needs to be a character, and developed as such, or he/she/it needs to stick with being just a narrator. As it is now, the narration is inconsistent and distracting.
My other major complaint with this book is its female characters and the way John and other characters interact with women in this story. All the women are sexy and secondary except the antaginist Veronica, who is beautiful and evil, more of a caricature than a real, fleshed out character. This book is not as overtly sexist as it easily could be, but it also doesn’t try very hard to get away from using women simply as eye-candy and window dressings for John’s adventure. So, while I liked the world Gordinier created and would love to read more, I would lose interest in it pretty quickly if future books in this world also had no strong, well-developed female characters.
I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars because of its proofreading issues, awkward narrator and flat female characters. I definitely recommend this book, but I do hope that it can be proofread more thoroughly before book 2 comes out.
I received my copy of this book for free in exchange for a fair review.