Prequel to the Magnus Blackwell Series

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
289 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2019
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Author Biography

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trisha Dawn for Readers' Favorite

Blackwell: Prequel to the Magnus Blackwell Series tells the history of the titular character. Written by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor, the story explains how Magnus lived his life and how he ended up with such a fate. The year was 1886 when the rich Magnus Blackwell met orphan Jacob O’Connor at Harvard. Despite their great differences, they developed a close friendship. However, both fell in love with the same woman. Although Blackwell denied any ill feelings towards his friend, this drove him to the dark side which eventually led to his own undoing.

Authors Alexandra Weis and Lucas Astor have created a seductive world in which readers will not have difficulties getting deliciously lost. The novel is quite addictive; it won’t be easy to put down! It’s the cohesiveness of the characters, them being at the right (or wrong) place at the right time and human imperfection which make it a successful narrative. Magnus Blackwell is your classic bad boy, chasing skirts even when he had an interest in someone, but his character evolution made him unpredictable and who wouldn’t want to know what he does next, right? Jacob O’Connor, the good guy, had an interesting turn and I doubt people wouldn’t want to follow up on what happens to him. The main women – Frances and Katherine – deviate from the usual 1800s ladies and having them in the story made everything extra spicy.

The authors have also presented us with interesting, mystical and sexy themes but they wrote in such a way that it wouldn’t be confusing or messy. This novel was able to present humanity seriously while injecting seduction and something supernatural, shaping it into a very sexy, magical and compelling read. This book is highly recommended most especially for those who want to get away from daily life for a little while.

Dan M. Kalin

Authors Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor have presented a prequel to the Magnus Blackwell Series, titled Blackwell. A piece of historical fiction, the story is set in the late 19th century, mostly in areas surrounding Boston, Massachusetts, and relates the story of Magnus Blackwell. The book starts with the meeting of Magnus and Jacob O'Connor as students on the campus of Harvard University. Jacob comes from a very modest background while Magnus is the scion of a hugely wealthy family. Magnus is drawn to the driven Jacob and they soon become inseparable friends. True friends only until they compete for the affections of a very attractive Radcliffe student, Frances. Magnus had tactically relinquished his claim while harboring dark intentions behind a genial public façade. Jacob, taking his friend Magnus' word, pursues and wins the heart of the lovely young woman. How far is Magnus willing to go to defeat his best friend and win the fair Frances?

I enjoyed the production standards which the authors have achieved with Blackwell. The book is lavishly accentuated with chapter artwork, which sets the period mood. Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor weave a rich tapestry with many plot threads to engage and entertain a reader. The character of Oscar Wilde is incorporated within Magnus' quest for dominion over both his friend and desired love. Oscar Wilde quotations and references are liberally sprinkled throughout. Wealth and privilege, Oscar Wilde and New Orleans voodoo practitioners, the age-old drama of two friends who desire the same woman; Blackwell is a wild ride.

Deborah Lloyd

Magnus Blackwell, from a wealthy Boston family, and Jacob O’Connor, a sponsored student, become unlikely friends during their student days at Harvard University in the late 1800s. Jacob took his architectural studies seriously, while Magnus used his financial position to slide through his college program. Their relationship changed when both became enchanted by a Radcliffe student, the beguiling Frances McGee. When Jacob won her heart, Magnus left for a trip to the fascinating city of New Orleans. There, he befriended Oscar Wilde, enjoyed houses of ill repute and dabbled in a voodoo experience. This changed his life forever. In Blackwell: Prequel to the Magnus Blackwell Series, written by Alexandrea Weis with Lucas Astor, a voodoo curse unfolds, affecting the lives of Magnus and Jacob and those they loved.

This book engages the reader from the first page to the last. The historical details of Harvard University, Boston wealth and the New Orleans lifestyle are certainly fascinating. Additionally, the information about voodoo and spiritualism during this era is compelling. The writing style is superb; the story flows smoothly, with various settings and a full cast of intriguing characters. Each one is described well, and the reader can easily imagine their unique characteristics. There are a number of sexual scenes that may be disturbing to some readers, and these further illustrate the evil and good embodied by the characters. Authors Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor have written a captivating tale entitled Blackwell: Prequel to the Magnus Blackwell Series. An unforgettable read!