Title: The Last Of The Magi : The Devouring
Author: G.S Eli
Release Date: April 8 2020
When a tarot card reading reveals an evil secret from biblical times, Mila, an orphaned gypsy, is forced to confront his true destiny. When he recklessly ignores the prophecy, a twist of fate brings two Americans into his world: Casey, an heiress, along with Jack, her ingenious companion, who were both stranded in Berlin by unusual circumstances. The three teens accidentally plunge into a world of dark secrets contained within Berlin’s abandoned underground tunnels. There, they uncover a lost artifact once wielded by the Nazis that awakens an evil force. Seeking to possess these powers, a sinister cult unleashes a shadow army to hunt for this holy relic. Mila and his new friends must flee to escape certain death, and they are burdened with unlocking the mysteries of the artifact’s lost history, which promises to uncover what was Hitler’s unholy vengeance against the Gypsies.
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Even though this story was filled with fiction and fantasy, it does a really good job of bringing to light the relatively unknown victims of the holocaust. The story was so well-written that it had me questioning what was fiction and what wasn’t.
Sometimes in YA novels, we forget that the protagonists are just teenagers. We see them making big decisions and reasoning as if they were adults. In The Last Of The Magi, we don’t forget because there are moments (sometimes in the middle of the action) where the MC’s would do something or say something and I suddenly remember that they are literally just teenagers and that made the reading experience more enjoyable.
I did feel disconnected with the story a bit when there would be sentences and sometimes whole conversations in German with no translations and I would either have to stop reading and find the translation or move on not knowing what had just taken place. There are also one or two scenes where, even though the conversation is in English, the only way for me to put two and two together is if I had previous knowledge of what they were talking about. (I mean I did, but if I didn’t I imagine it might not further the story in the same way).
The protagonists were pretty like-able (most of the time) and I was rooting for them. But, I didn’t feel a strong connection to Jack and Casey. Maybe that was because I was really given much to connect to, but I can’t help but feel like the story could have been better if I really cared about these characters.
There isn’t much going for description, setting’s wise except for a few places here and there and even then if was only a few lines that just barely gave us the vaguest idea what we were supposed to be looking at.
There was a part where Jack, who is not Romani, refused to use the term “Gypsy” because he said he had just learned that it was a slur and I was like okay that’s something new I learned. But then he and Casey, another non-Romani who are supposed to be Mila’s friends, use the term multiple times after that scene with no consequence or acknowledgement from any of the Roms around them and that did impact my reading experience.
The plot and the adventure did do its best to make up for any downfalls that book had. I don’t know exactly what it was but something about this story kept me intrigued.
That’s All I Got, Danielle.