Angela Benedetti’s A Hidden Magic was a breath of fresh air for me. I love paranormals and fantasy, but usually they seem to be pieces of a few famous fantasy worlds cobbled together — not very original. Not here. This story took me by surprise and I found myself happily immersed in this unique universe that seemed to flow naturally from one page to the next. Before I started reading M/M, I used to read popular YA paranormals and many of them were about the Fey, in all different manifestations. I remember now why, although I loved the premise of these books, they always turned me off. I always felt like I was supposed to like the fey.
It’s great that Cole appreciated this aspect of the book, because that was one of my goals in writing A Hidden Magic — making the fey alien and dangerous, not just gorgeous people with pointed ears and a long lifespan. Not that I mind that kind of fantasy, but I wanted to do something different. Even when one of the fey seems to be on your side (like Willowen, or Azzy) they’re doing it for their own reasons, and their motives are based on an alien point of view. I love that Cole caught that and enjoyed it.
There was also a particular device employed by Ms. Benedetti that I rarely see in M/M and really value if well written into the story. The prose changes very subtly with each characters emotions. The story is written in third person close, so if we’re viewing the action through Rory and he gets excited the prose will speed faster and the syntax will reflect his excitement. Conversely if Rory (or any character who has the lens) gets sleepy and is still trying to describe the scene, the prose will slow, the syntax disjointed, until it seems the prose falls asleep right alonside the character. This is done very subtley and when it is done will like it is here, it is a very effective tool in taking the reader along with the emotions of the character or the speed of the action. I was very impressed by this.
Cole’s picking up on that made me beam, like, massively. There are times when I have to fight to keep some of my run-on sentences while going through edits. Yes, I go long at times [cough] but it’s always for a reason, and Cole gets a hug and chocolate for picking up on how it works and how it enhances the reader’s immersion into the POV character’s head.
Read the whole thing here.