Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose Id
Length: 207 Pages
Category: Paranormal, Multicultural, Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: A solid book two in the Aberrant Magi trilogy. Derivation gives the reader more of the wonderful characters and intricate world building at which the Lyn Gala excels.
Reviewed By: Cassie
Blurb: Darren and Kavon have committed to each other, but magical rules are changing and that tests the strength of their bond. The death of a prominent Egyptian shaman and the shadowy remains of O’Brien’s conspiracy to kill adepts and steal their magic also pressure the new couple. Kavon is determined to protect his partner through these storms, but he is also painfully aware of his own tendency to hover. And as Darren is quick to point out, he is an armed federal agent who won’t allow Kavon to keep him off the front lines.
Making the relationship even more difficult, the spirit guides who offered their loyalty have their own hopes and needs. The world is changing, and Darren’s spirit guide pushes them to find the right path to navigate. However, Kavon has never enjoyed being pressured, and he is particularly uncomfortable walking into a situation he doesn’t understand. Worse, the longer he knows Darren and his guide, the more confused Kavon becomes about how magic even works. The two men must pull together or the forces moving in the shadows threaten to destroy them before they have any chance at happiness.
Review: I’m so glad this trilogy came with an expedited release schedule. I would have really hated waiting for more than a month between releases. Lucky for all of us, all three books are out! And this trilogy is definitely worth the reading. So, without further ado, BOOK TWO!!
Derivation clocks chapters from both Darren and Kavon, so we get a mixed POV. It’s nice to a gain insights from both halves of their partnership. Darren also has more access to Kavon’s emotions through the magical bond they share, which means Kavon is much less mysterious than he was in the first book. It’s refreshing to see a partnership develop in which one character is more beta, while still treating each MC as an equal with important talents and strengths to offer to the relationship. Lyn Gala is exceptional at writing pairs like this, and Derivation is no different. Kavon’s and Darren’s personalities and needs dovetail nicely, so there’s not a lot of internal strife. Most of the pressure brought to bear on the couple comes from external sources.
Seeds of conspiracy that were planted in book one come to a head here, and Kavon is desperate to shield Darren, physically, magically and politically. Kavon’s devoted himself to hiding the extent of Darren’s access to his fledgling magical powers to keep Darren safe, and Darren is fully supporting Kavon’s lead. We see a lot of caring and partnership develop between the two here, and it’s really nice to watch their teamwork deepen and evolve.
The alternate universe continues to be new and interesting, with the spirit guides providing a fun twist on the magical concepts. I’m still enjoying all the detailed world building. My only complaint is that what could be a mystery/thriller plot is really more action/adventure. Instead of dropping clues and intrigue for the reader, more often, the key players are either unknowable (with no clues to identity provided), or known but distant, so the reader is only invited into the exposition and not the mystery. Mostly the reader is just along for the ride, which is okay. But I do really enjoy trying to figure out a good who-dunnit, and I miss having that opportunity here.
Overall, this is a solid book two. The series arc advances while still leaving pieces of the larger case Kavon and Darren are working on outstanding, to be addressed in book three. The characters continue to be likeable and sympathetic, developing in their magic and relationship. The alternative, magic-wielding universe is interesting and well designed, so it’s a pleasure to learn more about it. I’m looking forward to finding out what book three has in store.
You can buy Derivation here: