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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In Magical Intelligence (M.I. Book 1) by M. K. Wiseman, 14-year-old Myra Wetherby has so-called fits that show her strange visions of people and places that she cannot explain, threatening her sanity and making her an outcast. Turns out she's an Empath, and her special ability is a boon to a group of Britain's wizard spies who have been discharged from their own government. It's the dawning of the 20th century and man-made electricity clashes with magic. Electricity sickness or Violectric Dampening renders the wizards weak. They are also at war with a formidable enemy, Professor Silas Addair and his followers. Whether she likes it or not, Myra is now a member of the ousted M.I. spies. She must develop her power and learn how to fight if she doesn't want her first mission to be her last.
The late Victorian era serves as a perfect background for Magical Intelligence. It's a solid combination of historical fantasy and coming-of-age story laced with magic where the characters’ internal struggles are as intense as the suspenseful fight scenes. The story’s pace is steady, and the substantially complex details around the magic abilities of the characters are fascinating to read, giving significant depth to the plot. Myra is an easy protagonist to root for as her ability can become her admirable strength or her greatest weakness depending on the situation and emotional state she's in. I also gravitated towards Laurel, a somewhat motherly figure among the dismissed wizards as she becomes a source of significant mystery for the spies' next endeavor. Overall, this is a solid start for M. K. Wiseman's new series and there are more than enough intriguing surprises and hooks to keep readers excited for Book Two.