First, the Horribly Truncated Summary: Quinn finds out she is divine after losing her virginity to a changeling.
Unfortunately for her, the changeling tries to strip Quinn of her godlike powers. It doesn’t get any better when her father (also a god) charges in while she’s still naked and makes her forget the whole “deity” thing.
Disclaimer: Netgalley gave me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Sadly, I have a kindle, so I could not read Netgalley’s version.
Second Disclaimer: Curiosity Quills Press gave me a kindle version of this book when Netgalley’s version didn’t work. Again, all in exchange for an honest review.
Third Disclaimer/Side Note: I received Color Wielders at the same time as I was reading The Last Grand Master. I proceeded to confuse the two publishers from there. While I wouldn’t mind if CQP published M/M romance, that is not what this book is about. Far from it, actually.
However, somewhere on the interwebs, there is a naked man reading one CQP book in his armchair. Nothing ever dies on the internet.
Anyway, the review must go on.
I was surprised that I liked Colour Wielders as much as I did. I was fully prepared to dislike this book from the outset. Why?
I hate when people use creative spellings for the word “magic”. That’s it. That’s what did it for me, seeing “Magykal” on the cover. Usually, when I see a misspelling of magic (in fiction), it’s a cheap shortcut to making your own magic system. The fact that this book was able to defeat that preconception is a very good thing.
So then, why did I pick up the book in the first place?
The cover was pretty. I have detailed my cover obsession in the past.
Anyway, my summary above is true. Quinn and her brother live most of their lives a normal people, completely oblivious to the deity status of their parents. However, things are shifting within the god realm and their parents can no longer shield the two from the truth.
We also meet Arik, a minor deity who is ostracized from the collective for his views (and his suspicious infamous mother). He refuses to declare himself for Mirk or Soluis (Dark or Light, respectably) and seeks to take care of other ostracized citizens of the “Magykal” realm. He helps run a theme park with Quinn’s banished uncle, which is the oddest thing I’ve seen a rebellious character ever do. It not only works, it makes sense.
Of course, Arik can’t stop thinking about Quinn once she starts coming into her powers. A lot of the book deals with their romance, but it’s also a book about discovering a different realm with gods you thought you knew.
My biggest gripe about this book is that it does end on a cliffhanger. And not just a cliffhanger, but a “we’re not going to resolve any plotlines here” cliffhanger. Another, though no less minor, complaint is the near-endless posturing by the gods. It felt empty when I first read it between Arik and Loki (yes, THAT Loki), and it doesn’t improve when it continues throughout the book. The added use of “characters talking about what they already know for reader benefit” hurts more than a few quick backstory lines would in the same place.
Also, this version of Loki is not the Loki I know. The trickster god is downplayed in favor of a mentor for Arik, giving this Norse giant characteristics I’ve never seen associated with him.
I will continue with the series, however, because the two main characters have endeared themselves to me. Quinn was wonderful from the moment she wanted to take out Bambi and Thumper with a BB gun. Her unicorn tattoos have as much zest as she does. Arik, while difficult to figure out (and seven feet tall, see previous reviews for complaint), has several redeeming qualities and feels genuine compared to several other gods in the book. Quinn’s brother and cousin are also good characters to watch.
Although odd at first, the blending of Celtic, Scandinavian, and Arthurian lore was a welcome change from the norm and worked to create a unique world. The micro-Celtic habitat that Quinn calls home is all-the-more fascinating when the various yard decorations come to life. Lastly, the ability to read a person based on colored auras gives the book a texture that I found appealing, but then, I am easily swayed by shiny descriptions… and covers…