City of Broken Magic
Five hundred years ago, magi created a weapon they couldn’t control. An infestation that ate magic—and anything else it came into contact with. Enemies and allies were equally filling.Only an elite team of non-magical humans, known as sweepers, can defuse and dispose of infestations before they spread. Most die before they finish training.Laura, a new team member, has stayed alive longer than most. Now, she’s the last—and only—sweeper standing between the city and a massive infestation.

City of Broken Magic Details

TitleCity of Broken Magic
Author
ReleaseNov 20th, 2018
PublisherTor Books
ISBN-139781250169273
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction

City of Broken Magic Review

  • Cathy (cathepsut)
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting set-up. There are bicycles, cars and dress styles reminiscent of the early 20th century. Steampunk, but not quite. The city itself comes across as a version of Minas Tirith, with added technology. Radios and telephones make an appearance, powered by amulets imbued with magic. The magic system is something I have not come across before, although the skills the Sweepers gain through use of the amulets made me think of Brandon Sanderson‘s Stormlight Archives and the Surgebinding used th Interesting set-up. There are bicycles, cars and dress styles reminiscent of the early 20th century. Steampunk, but not quite. The city itself comes across as a version of Minas Tirith, with added technology. Radios and telephones make an appearance, powered by amulets imbued with magic. The magic system is something I have not come across before, although the skills the Sweepers gain through use of the amulets made me think of Brandon Sanderson‘s Stormlight Archives and the Surgebinding used there.Women are supposed to be wives, wear dresses and are considered whores the moment they do not comply. Nonetheless our heroine runs around in trousers and learns a trade. There is a bit of a wild mish-mash of ideas and concepts going on.Promising start, but pretty much from the beginning there was no suspense for me. I did not dislike the writing, but it definitely did not do it for me. I had to make myself pick up the book every single time. I started some heavy skimming about seven chapters into the book, around the time they picked up Okane. What a disappointing character. When he first showed up, I thought „Oh, interesting, some hidden plot and mysterious forces...“. However, he turned into some mopey, inarticulate teenager. DNF at 52%. The book felt very episodic up to that point. Every other chapter or so there is a gradually worse and more powerful monster to be vanquished. I suppose in the last chapter there will be a dungeon master level infestation and—I had the odd peek at the chapters in the second half of the book—the crucial and predictable reveal. It‘s ok, I suppose, but nothing new or exciting.I received this free e-copy from Macmillan-Tor/Forge via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!
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  • Rosie Rizk
    January 1, 1970
    First off, I don't think they did a good job with the blurb. I don't normally summarize a book in a review, but I think this one needs it since the official one is not detailed enough, and doesn't properly fit the book. Here goes:The story is set in a country that uses the equivelent of late 20th century technology. Women are expected to marry, but it is acceptable for them to take on secretarial type jobs. There are some rare, but amazing women working in higher tier jobs (politics, police, etc First off, I don't think they did a good job with the blurb. I don't normally summarize a book in a review, but I think this one needs it since the official one is not detailed enough, and doesn't properly fit the book. Here goes:The story is set in a country that uses the equivelent of late 20th century technology. Women are expected to marry, but it is acceptable for them to take on secretarial type jobs. There are some rare, but amazing women working in higher tier jobs (politics, police, etc.) In addition to technology, they also use amulets for various purposes. Once those amulets run out of juice, human eating monsters come out of them. Sweepers are trained in the job of exterminating these dangerous beings. The problem with our MC's city, is that their politicians convinced people that their city is sort of immune to monsters. Anytime there's an incident, it's blamed on the mobs. This means that Sweepers have bad press, and next to no staff.So we have dangerous monsters, and two and a half Sweepers to clean up the problem. However, there's currently a spike in the frequency & strength of the attacks, and Laura (the MC) has to figure out how to excel at her job, work with her new fellow useless apprentice, deal with her taciturn boss, and somehow survive a sudden massive invasion, among other things.I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a lot of The Screaming Staircase series by Jonathan Stroud, although the characters are older (in their 20s). It's got a similar plot and vibe - quick thinking characters fighting a never-ending battle against monsters that think humans make for a good meal.The book is well written, with a good mix between action, character development, world building, magic weapons, and an excellent plot. I liked the sparks between Laura and her boss, Clae, who pisses everyone off, because why not? I'm also happy that while there were potential moments with several characters, Laura remained focused on her job, appreciated her status as a free single woman, and didn't go running off after romantic rainbows, despite family pressure.It ends with most of the big issues resolved, although there's lots of room for a second book, and I'm pretty sure there will be one. Scratch that, there HAS to be a continuation. Basically, this was a great book. It kept me up late into the night. I highly recommend it.Disclaimer: I received an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 28%I just couldn't get into this one. The writing was fine, the worldbuilding kinda confusing, but I just wasn't caring about the characters or the (few) events that had occurred up until this point. Also I'd like to point out the summary is kind of misleading. I expected this to be a contemporary/real world-ish setting and it's not. It's something entirely different. And Laura is not the only member of the squad so.. I don't know why that's mentioned, either? Anyway. Not my cup of tea.
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  • Annemieke / A Dance with Books
    January 1, 1970
    3,5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest reviewI am going to start off with saying that the official synopsis is misleading. It talks about an elite team. It’s not. It says Laura is the last one standing, she’s not. It talks about sweepers being non-magic humans. They aren’t. I feel like the synopsis is trying to sell this book to be a lot more epic than it really is. It’s not. Having said that, I don’t think this is a bad book either. It i 3,5 stars Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy in exchange for an honest reviewI am going to start off with saying that the official synopsis is misleading. It talks about an elite team. It’s not. It says Laura is the last one standing, she’s not. It talks about sweepers being non-magic humans. They aren’t. I feel like the synopsis is trying to sell this book to be a lot more epic than it really is. It’s not. Having said that, I don’t think this is a bad book either. It is just that I see so much wasted potential. Laura is an apprentice to the head sweeper Clae. At the moment of starting this book they are the only sweepers of their city. As sweepers they have to diffuse amulets that have become infested. Their job is made harder by the fact that the council is selling to their people that they are safe between the walls of their city and that infestations rarely happen. It is why their team is so small and why training is mostly during actual situations. The increase of infestations is worrying. How are they going to be able to handle it with just the two of them? And how can they make the city see that they aren’t safe at all? The whole idea of having to diffuse amulets that have become infested is such an interesting and original idea. But it lacks a little in the world building. The problem I have is that the world building was very confusing. And for a good portion I was just kind of going with it. When they get the new apprentice we suddenly get a chapter full of info dump on things we hadn’t gotten. But that didn’t make it anymore clear and it was hard to grasp what kin was or how the pitts, where they put the diffused amulets, exactly did. I still can’t tell you. And I don’t have a good idea of all the rings of the city. There are also bits that don’t make sense. How Clae never told Laura why the tree they visited was important. And I am still fuzzy on the whole of the city not knowing that they still have so many infestations in the city, ones that aren’t just placed by the mobs. It just doesn’t make sense for them to believe that when the city’s nearby still have to deal with it. Other cities make fun of them for it.On the other hand I did enjoy the characters for the most part. Laura was great to follow. She is very determined to make it in the job as sweeper in a society that would still rather see woman married and taking care of kids or as a receptionist. The fact that she wears pants is scandalous of course. She doesn’t let herself get side tracked by romance (though there is some potential there). She just doesn’t want to get forced into a life that society expects her to have and be unhappy. She has seen how they have treated her aunt (who she lives with). The one thing I didn’t like about her was how she got jealous of their new apprentice. Akane came to them after a job they worked, where he was a slave. Slavery is not suppose to be a thing anymore but when you have money that apparently doesn’t matter. Akane is very different from Laura. He takes this chance at apprenticeship because it is what Clae offers and what else is he going to do? He doesn’t have anything. He is very fearful and clearly heavily impacted by his life as a slave. Finding his way in a job that offers so many new things, danger and with a boss that perhaps isn’t quite so empathic is so hard. I felt for him. I don’t think Clae did right by him. Clae is the head sweeper. The prodigy if you will. Or so he is shown at the start. He is brass, rude and won’t negotiate. But as the story continues we discover things from his family and his past that clearly shaped him to be who he is. Overall I still think this book is worth a read. The world building isn’t as strong as it should be with this setting. But the idea and characters are still great to read about. For now it seems to be a standalone but I am expecting there to be a sequel. While major things were wrapped up, there are still some things left that I think Laura and Akane will want to deal with.
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  • Hélène Louise
    January 1, 1970
    4,5 *Not a perfect book but a near perfect read :)RTC near publishing date
  • Melliane
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5
  • Rebecca Bowyer
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to come!
  • *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating 3.5/5.Full review to come!
  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    This book features a determined young woman making her way in a dangerous profession - one of a bare few underresourced people fighting monsters, the existence of which the city is determined to officially deny. That's an excellent start, and it progresses with plenty of excitement and action, and some degree of personal and interpersonal growth. The setting was a bit lightly done; in particular, I always have a problem with an isolated island (especially one, as here, consisting of isolated cit This book features a determined young woman making her way in a dangerous profession - one of a bare few underresourced people fighting monsters, the existence of which the city is determined to officially deny. That's an excellent start, and it progresses with plenty of excitement and action, and some degree of personal and interpersonal growth. The setting was a bit lightly done; in particular, I always have a problem with an isolated island (especially one, as here, consisting of isolated cities which it's dangerous to travel between) developing high technology. That's something that arises more naturally in a continental setting where there's a lot of exchange of ideas and mobility among the population. I read a pre-publication copy, and my enjoyment was markedly reduced by the author's lack of apparent acquaintance with the past perfect tense. A lot of authors today, when narrating in past tense, fail to go into past perfect to signal that they are talking about an event in the earlier past, which is disorienting and annoying. I hope, but don't necessarily expect, that this will be fixed by the time of publication; there are a lot of instances of it, which generally means that even a good copy editor will miss some. Setting this aside, I found it good, though not great; a touch more depth to the characters and some more thought given to the setting would have helped. I received a copy via Netgalley for purposes of review.
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  • Jason S Wrench
    January 1, 1970
    After reading some of the reviews on here, I admit that I was a bit confused in the beginning of the book. The introduces a number of terms that are used elsewhere in fiction like "infestation," "gin, "kin," etc. that had specific meanings attached to them in this word, but did not resemble those in our world. I do think some initial clarification could have been given to make it easier to dive right into the world.Once I kind of figured out what was going on within the world Bolender created, I After reading some of the reviews on here, I admit that I was a bit confused in the beginning of the book. The introduces a number of terms that are used elsewhere in fiction like "infestation," "gin, "kin," etc. that had specific meanings attached to them in this word, but did not resemble those in our world. I do think some initial clarification could have been given to make it easier to dive right into the world.Once I kind of figured out what was going on within the world Bolender created, I really enjoyed the book. There are a lot of interesting twists and turns that I did not expect. And even though I saw the climax of the book coming from before I finished the first 1/3 of the text (the evil rich guy does something stupid and sets the heroes up for catastrophe), I enjoyed the journey there. I was given the opportunity to read a pre-publication version of the book, and the text still had a few awkward grammatical issues, but I'm sure that will be cleaned up before actual publication. When it's all said and done, I'm not completely sure what I would characterize this book as. It's part urban-fantasy, part steampunk, and part supernatural, and yet it's not completely any one of those at the same time. Overall, I definitely think this book is a good read and would encourage anyone looking for something a bit different to read it when it comes out in November 2018.
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  • Jennifer Jamieson
    January 1, 1970
    Laura has been apprenticed to Head Sweeper Clae for a few months now, and work hasn't stopped being dangerous and weird. Sweepers come to the rescue when citizens forget to check that their magical amulets are still full of magic and operating without damage. When amulets are empty or damaged, that's when magical monsters they call Infestations can take hold--and infestations like eating living things. Their city's Sweeper team is smaller than most, as the city of Amicae lies to it's citizens--i Laura has been apprenticed to Head Sweeper Clae for a few months now, and work hasn't stopped being dangerous and weird. Sweepers come to the rescue when citizens forget to check that their magical amulets are still full of magic and operating without damage. When amulets are empty or damaged, that's when magical monsters they call Infestations can take hold--and infestations like eating living things. Their city's Sweeper team is smaller than most, as the city of Amicae lies to it's citizens--it tells them they're free of naturally occurring monsters, and that any occurrence of Infestations are purposefully put there by vengeful members of the mob.When Laura and Clae kick out an Infestation in the house of a rich man, they take one of his servants as payment--one with a natural aversion to Infestations, and was suffering from severe and repeated abuse from his 'master'. His name is Okane. Clae frees Okane and takes him as a second apprentice.Okane senses something big is coming.Bolender has created what I hope is the start of a series. The setting is rich and new--populated with some pretty great characters I'd love to see more of. I quite enjoyed the book--it's entertaining and action packed.
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  • Laura Edgely bishop
    January 1, 1970
    What happens when magic doesn't work the way it should? Well, Monsters, of course. Clae and Laura are sweepers and charged with dealing with these monsters. There has been an increase in monster activity, is the mob responsible? The Sullivans hire Clae and Laura to come check out their house and make sure it is clean. They soon find out, the Sullivans want to change the pipes in the city, but in order to do so, they must change the place the sweepers use to keep the monsters at bay. Needless to What happens when magic doesn't work the way it should? Well, Monsters, of course. Clae and Laura are sweepers and charged with dealing with these monsters. There has been an increase in monster activity, is the mob responsible? The Sullivans hire Clae and Laura to come check out their house and make sure it is clean. They soon find out, the Sullivans want to change the pipes in the city, but in order to do so, they must change the place the sweepers use to keep the monsters at bay. Needless to say, the Sullivans feel they are above the law, and have caused a rift. Can the sweepers control the chaos released by a rupture in the system? Read this one to find out! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Natty
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I've read any other book that has this style and system of magic and it's interaction with the society built around it. Truly novel and incredibly entertaining, the story builds to a truly engrossing pace full of action and a brilliant strong female character that is strong and resilient and independent. I love so many things about this story and it was one of the most unique and engrossing books I've read in a while.
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    It's a debut written by a very young writer and it feels like it. The pacing is uneven and I skimmed fairly large swathes of descriptive passages to try to keep things moving along a bit. I did like the relationship between Laura and Clae, but wish the book hadn't been strictly from Laura's POV so that I could have gotten more of the relationship between Clae and others and more insight into Okane and his relationships once he joined the team. The world-building, too, is a bit inconsistent or pe It's a debut written by a very young writer and it feels like it. The pacing is uneven and I skimmed fairly large swathes of descriptive passages to try to keep things moving along a bit. I did like the relationship between Laura and Clae, but wish the book hadn't been strictly from Laura's POV so that I could have gotten more of the relationship between Clae and others and more insight into Okane and his relationships once he joined the team. The world-building, too, is a bit inconsistent or perhaps just under-developed or incomprehensible. It's set in a fantasy world, but with parallels to ours. There are invented currencies, but the same names for months and days of the week that we use. There is a mish-mosh of levels of both societal and technological development—women are supposed to be wives and mothers, but there are a number of women in positions of authority and importance and no one seems to think twice about it; there are bicycles and radios, but trains are new—which seem to shift and change depending on what is most needed or interesting for the plot at the moment.There is a lot of promise and a lot to like here, but, in the end, it felt overlong and in need of a stronger editorial hand.
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  • Coreena McBurnie
    January 1, 1970
    I love the premise of this book, that there is a small group of “sweepers” who fight monster infestations that the city in a realistic fantasy world is loathe to acknowledge.The main character, Laura, is engaging. We immediately want to root for her and for her to become the sweeper she has always dreamed of becoming. I love strong female protagonists, and Laura certainly is one.The world building is great as well, with the setting being something I was immediately drawn into — I wanted to learn I love the premise of this book, that there is a small group of “sweepers” who fight monster infestations that the city in a realistic fantasy world is loathe to acknowledge.The main character, Laura, is engaging. We immediately want to root for her and for her to become the sweeper she has always dreamed of becoming. I love strong female protagonists, and Laura certainly is one.The world building is great as well, with the setting being something I was immediately drawn into — I wanted to learn more about how this society worked and how the magic had influenced it.However, I found the book dragged a bit, especially in the middle. Maybe I didn’t find the antagonist strong enough or there wasn’t enough of a big conflict, just lots of little ones.
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  • Neil Plakcy
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this but was annoyed at the way the product page at Amazon spoiled the whole plot. Laura Kramer is an interesting character and so is her boss Clae Sinclair, but I tended to skim over the points that explained the gin and the kin, the sources of magic, and all the back story about the different towns and history. Perhaps that will be important if this becomes a series.
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  • Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Review pending.
  • Jessica Walters
    January 1, 1970
    When is book 2 getting here?
  • Liz (Quirky Cat)
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow.
  • Smart
    January 1, 1970
    This book was lacking for me! I'm finding myself steer away from sci fi! There's nothing new anymore! Predictable book! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
  • T.J. Burns
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from MacMillian Tor via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Alysa H.
    January 1, 1970
    ** I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley **
  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    It was a awesome fantasy/action read! The main character is a strong young woman who is focused on her job and staying alive. I love the head sweepers attitude of ‘it’s better to be a pain’ and how rude he is to everyone. The was actually a fair amount of humour in this book.I kept expecting a bit of romance in the book, but the story sticks straight with the fantasy genre.The main characters had a lot of personal growth through the book. When the book finished I couldn’t wait to find out how th It was a awesome fantasy/action read! The main character is a strong young woman who is focused on her job and staying alive. I love the head sweepers attitude of ‘it’s better to be a pain’ and how rude he is to everyone. The was actually a fair amount of humour in this book.I kept expecting a bit of romance in the book, but the story sticks straight with the fantasy genre.The main characters had a lot of personal growth through the book. When the book finished I couldn’t wait to find out how they got over the next personal and professional hurdles they had. At the end of the book, you could almost see quite a few people plotting things that would get in the way of the main charcter in the next book.
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  • Suzanne Schick rivera
    January 1, 1970
    Middle of the road for me. It is quirky, has monsters, magic, and mystery. Clae is the right kind of weird and I really wanted to fall in love. It just was missing that spark.
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