The Sorcery Code by Dima Zales
Disclosure – I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
The Sorcery Code is a fantasy novel by author Dima Zales. Although it is not billed as young adult, I think it would actually work well for that market, as it is a clean story with no foul language, no sex and only superficial violence (nothing is graphically described or abnormal).
The author’s bio mentions that Mr. Zales has a Master’s degree is computer science, which makes perfect sense. As I was reading the story, I kept thinking that the magic system in the book felt a lot like computers, if computers were magic. There are two realms – the Spell Realm and the Physical Realm. Some of the people who live in the Physical Realm are able to access the Spell Realm to create magical results, but it is difficult and complicated, requiring mathematical codes and exact parameters (just like computer programming). Only those with these aptitudes are able to perform magic.
I found this to be a unique and enjoyable take on magic and was probably my favorite aspect of this novel.
The main characters are Blaise (a sorcerer), and Gala, who is the unexpected result of a magical experiment performed by Blaise. He was attempting to create an object from the Spell Realm which would facilitate magic without the complicated formulas normally required. Instead of an object – he got Gala, a beautiful young woman who was “born” as a result of his spell.
Although this is a pretty unique plot device (at least, I haven’t seen it anywhere else), the story itself is fairly simplistic. There are some political machinations by other sorcerers in the story. A somewhat vengeful, but not really evil ex-girlfriend with her new man. And Gala’s journey to the realization of her innate magical skills.
The main characters suffer a bit from being the author’s “little darlings.” Blaise is handsome, kind and brilliant. Gala is gorgeous, kind, and uber-powerful. And the antagonists suffer from being not mean enough. Although they are opposing the main characters’ interests, none of them are really “bad.” All of them are presented in a pretty positive light, they just happen to have a different viewpoint. While this may be realistic, it makes for bland characters. The author here needs to work on beefing up his antagonists and his conflicts, as nothing truly challenges our heroes. Every obstacle is easily and painlessly overcome, resulting in a is pleasant, if not very exciting, story.
I found the ending to be a bit abrupt. One moment they are dealing with the aftermath of a major battle, and Oh, look! The book is over – read about the continuing adventures of Blaise and Gala in the sequel.