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Vilja Reads

I'm a student, so I don't have nearly as much time for leisure reading as I'd like. If I manage to read an entire course book instead of just the assigned chapters, I'll review that here, too.


Baggage - Jack Vivace

Garcia is a freelance magician with a part-time job at a call centre and an uneconomical penchant for good deeds. A purse-snatcher gets away with her bag of tools, which starts a series of events that leads her first to the underworld, then on a road trip to Los Angeles with a librarian and two clingy ghosts.


This was an easy quick read, and charming in a way. Events advance at their own momentum and the incidental practical magic - like the Walmart in the underworld - is especially engaging. There isn't anything very mysterious about magic to Garcia - it's just a trade like any other, fascinating like gardening to a hydrangea enthusiast, and that's where the charm of the story lies. 


That being said, like many self-published stories, this could have used an editor or a beta reader. There were mistakes such a point repeated twice as the author was deciding between two ways to give the information and forgot to delete one, a few typoes - of the sort that spells weak as week, which wouldn't be caught by a spell-checker - and most glaringly, a character who changes her first name from Barbara to Peggy in the two add-on scenes in the end. Apart from these sorts of technical problems, the story occasionally tended towards telling not showing, and I'm personally peeved that we got no physical description of any kind for half the cast.


If you can put those kinds of concerns aside, it really is a very pleasant read, with a likeable lead and a lesbian romance, which is always a bonus for me. And why wouldn't you? We don't demand perfection, only to be entertained.