Reviewed by Donna
SERIES: Magnified #1
AUTHOR: Mell Eight
PUBLISHER: Less Than Three Press
LENGTH: 171 Pages
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2016
On her deathbed, Yani’s Great Grandmother reveals she has one last story from her past to tell: that of his Great Uncle Yakov, who helped her survive the Nazis. It’s a story of vampires and werewolves he can scarcely believe—and in the wake of his Great Grandmother’s death, Yani realizes the story is far from over.
The world of vampires and werewolves isn’t a safe place for a human, even one with Yani’s unusual family history. With danger at his door, the smart thing would be to run, but much like his Great Grandmother Yani has never been very good at running away—especially with his loved ones and the whole world at stake.
Mell Eight has turned me into a fantasy junkie, and I immediately add any new book she’s released to my must-read list. However Magnified was a little different to what I’ve come to expect from this author. I’m use to Mell Eight sweeping me off to some magical land, or surrounding me with magical creatures, and although the magical creatures do eventually make an appearance here, the beginning of this story stood on the merit of some emotive writing alone.
The story begins in 2004, with Yani’s great grandmother Channa, surrounded by her very, very large family as she prepares to die. Yani has heard all of her tales of the past before, of her escape from Nazi occupied Poland dragging four children along on the terrifying journey to a safer life in America. But before she dies, she needs to share with them one final story. The story of her brother Yakov, and the vampire he fell in love with. The vampire who helped the starving, half dead family to survive.
I am so not a fan of flashbacks. Normally they annoy the heck out of me, because I get more involved with one part of the tale than the other. But I loved these flashbacks to 1944. I loved getting to know Channa and Yakov and their tale of survival. So each time we moved forward to 2004 again, where Channa was dying, was a little heartbreaking. We know that Yani is going to be the main character, but Channa and Yakov are so remarkable that you want to know everything you can learn about their lives too.
When the timeline moves on to the present day and we meet adult Yani, the whole feel of the story changes. Suddenly we have an abundance of magical creatures gracing the pages, from werewolves and vampires to mages and demons. A whole secret world within our world is revealed and as usual, Mell Eight does a fantastic job of dazzling me with her attention to magical detail. And to my great pleasure, Yakov does make a reappearance!
This is very much the first book of a series. While Yani does meet his love interest they are only just working towards a relationship by the end of the story. And while the bad guy in this installment is vanquished, there’s already more mystical mayhem lined up. But I think this is my new favourite when it comes to Mell Eight’s series. I can’t wait to find out what Yani and his friends have to face next.