I am HONESTLY a big fan of heist novels that do not involve six crows (and I oop—), the found family trope, a story with heaps of magic, and a tense slow-burn romance. Put them together in a novel that is adventurous as Die Hard meets Harry Potter (expecto patronum, mfer!) and you get Spellhack, M.K. England’s newest novel that has just recently come out!
Ready for some SFF action? Read on for my review!
I would like to thank Your Tita Kate and M.K. England for this opportunity to read and enjoy the Spellhacker eARC in exchange for an honest review. Unlike other reviews, this one does not contain any spoilers.
A lovable band of misfits? Check. High-tech magic? Check. Last heist ever? . . . Try again. Packed with high-stakes action, humor, and hijinks, this genre-bending YA fantasy from the author of The Disasters is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.
In Kyrkarta, magic—better known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.
Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever. But when their plan (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world. No pressure.
With a diverse cast, infinite wit, and a fresh take on magic, Spellhacker will keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to explosive finish.
About the Author
M.K. England is an author and YA librarian who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls rural Virginia home. When they’re not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, digging in the garden, or feeding their video game addiction. They love Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in their presence. You’ll regret it.
M.K. is the author of THE DISASTERS (2018) and SPELLHACKER (2020), both from Harper Teen. Follow them at http://www.mkengland.com.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
An engaging page-turner, Spellhacker had me spellbound from start to finish. I’d always go “Oh my feckin’ god, Diz, DON’T SCREW THIS UP!” in every other chapter. But she’s a lovable kid who just wants a shot at peace and freedom. In a quasi post-apocalyptic world where maz is money and power combined, Diz and her friends really need to pull all the strings to find a way to climb out of their hellhole.
And that’s what makes Spellhacker exciting: you never exactly know how they’re going to get out of their mess and you’re compelled to follow their crazy, zany adventures. You’re dragged into their piling mishaps that test not only their dream of being free but also their friendship, especially due to Diz’s stubbornness that sometimes bothers me (as an adult looking at a much younger person, I guess).
While all that thievery and running around takes place, you still get to see a more intimate side of the team. Everyone has their own issues, their own hangups. Diz is hesitant on falling for Remi, a nonbinary character and a maz engineering genius. They’re somewhat carefree and yet has secrets and reservations of their own, and it all adds up to the story that takes them from one detour to another.
Overall captivating, funny, and an absolute joyride, Spellhacker is one magical and diverse story you’ll love to read over and over.
Spellhacker by M.K. England is out now!
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