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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Twisted Magic: Gallows World, Book 1 is a paranormal romance novel written by Sharon Stevenson. Liv woke up disoriented, cold and trembling. When she reached within for her magic, she found only its absence, and that made her remember the sentence the Trackers Council had passed upon her the day before. All of Liv’s magical talent, all her inherent and learned skills were gone. They had warned her that she would be subject to various side effects from the procedure, such as the shivering she was already experiencing, and hallucinations. She would be kept there at headquarters until her body adapted to the change, and then she’d be assessed and determined if she could be released. Gwen, the elder who had argued for the loss of her magic as her punishment, reminded Liv, when they met the next morning, that it was the lightest penalty she could have received. Making vampires was forbidden; it was murder, even if the human had volunteered to be turned. Still, Brody was here with her. She was surprised at that as she had taken the sole responsibility for the vampire brothel, but knowing he was also there made her feel like there could actually be a way out of this mess, that she would regain the magic that was so much a part of who she was. Brody had been savior, mentor and friend to her as she had grown in her power and magical skill -- and he would have been much more if she had let him. Together, they could get out of this.
Sharon Stevenson’s paranormal romance novel, Twisted Magic: Gallows World, Book 1, transports the reader to a harsh world where vampires roam and feast upon humans, and witches have the power to make willing humans into more vampires. Liv is a complicated character whose abusive parents and sadistic boyfriend have made it almost impossible for her to trust anyone. Her relationship with Brody, or lack thereof, creates a dynamic tension throughout the story as Brody finds himself unable to refuse her anything, including the dark magical training that led to her charges in front of the Tracker Council. I loved the original take Stevenson had on vampirism and the role of witches in creating and mastering their vampires, and I enjoyed seeing these two intriguing characters work together. Stevenson’s plot is unpredictable and fun, and her characters are complex and interesting. Twisted Magic is fast-paced and exciting, and it’s most highly recommended.