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4.4 out of 5 stars234
4.4 out of 5 stars
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2013
I enjoy Urban Fantasy novels; the blend of ancient and modern, arcane and everyday. Crimes Against Magic is everything good about this genre. There's monsters new and old, and Magic. Lots of magic.

Nate has lost his memory, but the reader gets flashbacks into his past even while he's starting to unlock his long-lost memories. The mix of past and present is dealt with cleanly and easily, so there's not even the slightest feeling of not knowing what's going on. Meanwhile, the story fair rockets along at a breathless pace, with a cast of characters you can't help but like - even when you probably shouldn't.

I bought the second book before I'd finished the first, because I knew I'd want to go straight on. And I hope book three is out soon, because one thing I'm not is patient! Especially when the writing is this good.

The details are meticulous - the fight scenes are clearly drawn and easy to follow; the action is non-stop; and the details about weaponry is enough to be interesting without sounding like it's cut and paste from Wiki.

Bring on book number 3. And 4... and 5....
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
During my quest to find any and all examples of good Urban Fantasy novels, started by my love of the Felix Castor stories, I have found many strange and wonderful worlds - That of Jack Nightingale, Constable Grant and Matthew Swift to name but a few. And now to my utter joy, here is Nathan "Nate" Garrett, who awoke in a warehouse ten years ago with no knowledge of who he is. His only clues - A gun, a Sword and a piece of paper with his name on it, along with a tendency to practice magic. And there is the backdrop for a magnificent tale of magic, mayem and general delightful madness. Set in two time periods, we slowly learn more about Nate, his true identity and what has brought him to where he is today. Using his skills as a thief, one particular job puts him on the path to this knowledge and also sets in motion a series of events that throw him right into the deep end of all things strange and magical. This was a great novel to read - I especially liked how the author has woven a mystical tale around his protagonist, taking on such great legends as Arthur and Merlin, Helen of Troy, amongst others. Nate as a character is both honourable and frightening in his actions, you will certainly root for him all the way, whilst at the same time feeling a vague need to give him a good talking too! The supporting cast of characters are all just as good - you will meet Vampires and Werewolves, Gargoyles and Psychics, all of whom add depth and heart to the tale. If you like Urban Fantasy you will love this. If you love Thrillers and Mystery but have not yet dipped your toe into the world of UF, then this is for you - you will get the best of all worlds. I don't think I have ever been so pleased to see the great words "Book 1" in the title! "Born of Hatred" Book 2 is now sitting on my Kindle and I will be heading back to see what Nate is up too very very soon. You should come too...
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2013
Found my way to this book on the recommendations page at the end of the previous book I read on my Kindle. Read the sample, then jumped in with the massive investment of £1.92. Really excellent value.

I am a huge Jim Butcher fan & these books have a similar flavour, personally I could not give a stronger recommendation. Rather than me waffling on anymore & giving spoliers I would suggest Kindle owners give the sample a go.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2013
It's great to read British novels in this genre. There are far too few. This has hints of Butcher's Dresden but Nate Garret is much more confident. I would definitely recommend and I am now looking for more by this author.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2012
Set in modern day London but with a host of historical and fantasy characters, the story creates a world in which the ancient and the modern don't seem so far removed. Magic still exists and there are things that haunt the dark places of the world.

Ten years ago, Nate Garrett woke up in an alley with no memory of his past life. In building himself a new life as a contract thief, he has discovered a lot about himself, including his abilities as a sorcerer, but the truth about his past eludes him.

Hired to steal a laptop full of corporate secrets, he approaches the job like any other, but a nasty surprise is waiting for him. The secrets locked away in his mind interest a lot of people and some of the secrets are very dark indeed.

Nate has to rely on his instincts and the friendships he has formed in the ten years since his memory was obliterated. As things spiral out of control, he ends up in a race against time to figure out who he really is, in the hope that it's someone who knows how to win what looks like an impossible fight.

When I first started reading Crimes Against Magic, the use of amnesia set off warning bells but McHugh handles the concept thoughtfully. It defines Nate's character through both his unwillingness to form strong connections to the people around him and a ubiquitous sense of hiatus and expectation. Rather than a weak cliché plot device, it is a central shadow which touches and informs every element of the story.

While it takes a little while to get to the meat of the story, there is plenty of action to hold the reader's interest right from the get go. While I didn't hit that point of not being able to put it down until somewhere around the last third, I certainly never felt like I wanted to put it down for good.

Fans of urban fantasy and classic myths and legends will find plenty to love. There's also plenty of fast cars and guns, fiery women and gritty fist fights, so I think this book would check a lot of boxes among readers of crime, thriller and action adventure too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2013
The book is set in modern day London with flashbacks to 15th century France. The story begins with a flashback and it instantly set the tone for the remainder of the book. I was immediately gripped from the start with the scene McHugh painted. The story flowed so easily and I eagerly devoured each page with the impatience to get to the next.

The novel switches from present day London for a couple of chapters before switching to 15th century France. I normally have a strong dislike towards flashbacks, as I just want to get on with the main story and not revisit past events. In the past, when books have utilised flashbacks, I found myself speed reading past them - but not with this book. The flashback chapters were riveting and when the scene moved to the present day, I felt irritated at stopping, but then I would soon become engrossed into the present day storyline that I found myself annoyed at moving back to the past - and thus the cycle was repeated.

The book contains themes of Greek mythology interwoven with Arthurian legends. A combination that might leave you scratching your head but it worked really well. And I enjoyed the twists McHugh applied to classic tales like the Iliad and King Arthur.

As like most urban fantasy novels, it is told in first person and solely from the main characters (Nate) point of view - while I would've liked to have seen into the thoughts of other characters - it allowed the reader to build a connection to Nate.

One particular aspect of the book I liked was the strong, feisty woman that Nate encountered throughout the book. They're not your - helpless, damsel in distress princesses awaiting their prince charming - but independent woman who know how to look after themselves.

The book does contain violence and some scenes of light sex - it doesn't cross over to being explicit and though I wouldn't suggest the book to children, it should be fine for young adults/teenagers.

Some negative points:

The main character - Nate, is seen as a powerful figure and feared by his enemies but he continuously finds himself in situations where he's being pushed around by his adversaries. It's not a major criticism - just a slight annoyance.

The book, near towards the end, loses some of its beguilement. The story focused a little too much on Nate's amnesia, and at times, to the determent of the story.

The support cast to the main protagonist were interesting and likeable but not developed to the point that I was overly apprehensive about whether or not they died.


This is an excellent, action packed, urban fantasy book. It's a real page turner, and I finished the book within the day - a clear sign of how enjoyable I found the story.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and if you're looking for an edgier, less forgiving version of Harry - then let me introduce you to Nathan Garrett.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2015
im generally a greater follower of traditional fantasy but the premise for this more modern tale yet with links to the past and connections to fantasy lore intrigued me into attempting this novel, what can i say apart from im stunned, onc e started i couldnt put it down and finished the novel in one (very late) night sitting.
Mr McHugh starts with rather a stark character yet with the flash backs we get to build a quite thourough and convincing main character who im overjoyed to see is not without flaw and has a significant dark streak with a take no prisoners attitude when you mess with those he calls friend. Nate is not perfect, he can get hurt physically and emotionally and this makes for some tense moments when your not quite sure everything is going to work out and it gets you fully caught up in the action and just cant put the book down.
The story just seemed to roll along at a breakneck speed and before you know it your done and significant hours have passed in the blink of an eye, some stories you read that have flashbacks tend to feel disjointed and spoil the flow of the story but here the author has managed to make them an integral part of the story and it doesnt even seem an interruption to the main plot . All in all i am thouroughly hooked and the rest of the series got added to shopping basket...... the only problem now is slowing down the consumption of the story lol
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2013
I have recently finished reading all the Dresden files and was looking for something as good. I found it here. a cracking read, good characters and plot. Thank you Steve keep up the good work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2013
A genuine rival to Jim Butcher. I look forward to reading more. Recommended. Could do with better proof reading. Some slightly annoying Americanisms, like "dove" .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2014
I picked this up in one of the deals as I liked the description and I am into urban fantasy at the moment. Best book buy of the year so far.
The main character is well written and I had no problem in rooting for our hero during his many perils.
It's an urban fantasy very much in the style of the Dresden Files but is not afraid to go its own way.
McHugh has run with his own take on a very British mythology and I have to say I really like what he has done with a backstory that could have easily fallen into cliche.
There are a few weaknesses in McHugh's writing and there is the danger of the main character being a bit of a mary sue but the i cannot fault the plot and pacing of this book.
So despite a few minor niggles I'm still happy to give this book 5 stars and recommend it to my reading buddies.
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