Radiant by Karina Sumner-Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was recommended this one a while back and I feel slightly sheepish that I’m only just now getting to it.
I wanted something close to Jemison’s Fifth Season and I can see a few similarities, but other than the eventual near-end blow-out that takes on some huge-magic ramifications, it’s really its own beast.
Skyscrapers of magic. This part is rather cool. Kinda modern but after some huge collapse, the technology is now almost entirely based on magic. I’m reminded of Max Gladstone and dystopian urban fantasy mixed heavily with ghost talking. Sound cool? It is.
It takes a while to get into the magic system, otherwise focusing mainly on relationship building, a friendship between an abused ghost and the mc girl who, rather than disposing the half-alive mostly-ghost for the complicated job that it is, develops a strong friendship, instead.
Later on, however, is where I think this novel shines, when the world building blooms and the magics develop and then, all of a sudden, everything goes to hell.
It is technically a YA fantasy, but it is easily strong enough as a regular modern fantasy. I’m definitely continuing this.
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