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An Unreliable Magic

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The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, an unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong. Tala, Alex, and the rest of their friends are safe for now, but know the Snow Queen is still out there. They have to be prepared for when she eventually atta The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, an unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong. Tala, Alex, and the rest of their friends are safe for now, but know the Snow Queen is still out there. They have to be prepared for when she eventually attacks—and all decide to do so in their own way. When Ryker comes out of the woodwork, showing himself when he starts attacking American detention facilities and freeing refugees. And the Nameless Sword, a legendary weapon that according to Avalon legend, will make its wielder the most powerful warrior of their time turns up with her name on it, Tala's life gets messier...But when the Snow Queen arrives with an unlikely ally, the group will have to work together.


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The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, an unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong. Tala, Alex, and the rest of their friends are safe for now, but know the Snow Queen is still out there. They have to be prepared for when she eventually atta The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, an unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong. Tala, Alex, and the rest of their friends are safe for now, but know the Snow Queen is still out there. They have to be prepared for when she eventually attacks—and all decide to do so in their own way. When Ryker comes out of the woodwork, showing himself when he starts attacking American detention facilities and freeing refugees. And the Nameless Sword, a legendary weapon that according to Avalon legend, will make its wielder the most powerful warrior of their time turns up with her name on it, Tala's life gets messier...But when the Snow Queen arrives with an unlikely ally, the group will have to work together.

30 review for An Unreliable Magic

  1. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Y'all it's gonna be a trilogy and I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 3! Rin did it again. I've completely fallen for another of their series. Tala is such a relatable character and I love her journey so much. I also am a goner for this ragtag group of misfits. So many things emotional impacted me in this book and I am so glad this series exists. Can't believe I have to wait ANOTHER YEAR for the e Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Y'all it's gonna be a trilogy and I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 3! Rin did it again. I've completely fallen for another of their series. Tala is such a relatable character and I love her journey so much. I also am a goner for this ragtag group of misfits. So many things emotional impacted me in this book and I am so glad this series exists. Can't believe I have to wait ANOTHER YEAR for the end. *Cries eternally* Rep: Scottish-Filipina Avalonian immigrant cishet female MC, white Avalonian gay cis male side character, Chinese nonbinary side character with two dads, biracial Japanese cishet male side character, Latine cishet male side character, Filipine cis male side character who uses sign language, various other Filipine side characters, queer-normative world. CWs: Violence, fire/fire injury, injury/injury detail, confinement, ICE raids (MCs raid ICE), child abuse, racism, xenophobia, homophobia/homomisia, death, police brutality.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shealea

    Once Upon A Time but make it even more chaotic and entertaining. Full review to follow. 🌻🍃 More bookish content on Shut up, Shealea 🍃🌻 instagram • pinterest • twitter • ko-fi Once Upon A Time but make it even more chaotic and entertaining. Full review to follow. 🌻🍃 More bookish content on Shut up, Shealea 🍃🌻 instagram • pinterest • twitter • ko-fi

  3. 4 out of 5

    Roos

    Rtc, but I can already tell that it was good!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna T

    Can someone please lend me a time machine so I don't have to wait for the sequel? Please?? This is quickly becoming a new favorite series!! I love the character progression in this second of three books. In the first, we get to know each of the significant character's personalities. In the second, we get to see their deeper feelings and ambitions and see how their relationships with each other develop. I was really happy with all the character progressions, with the exception of West, who was the Can someone please lend me a time machine so I don't have to wait for the sequel? Please?? This is quickly becoming a new favorite series!! I love the character progression in this second of three books. In the first, we get to know each of the significant character's personalities. In the second, we get to see their deeper feelings and ambitions and see how their relationships with each other develop. I was really happy with all the character progressions, with the exception of West, who was the only Bander not given a significant subplot and who felt a little cast to the side. Rather than the typical band of adventurers in the wilderness plot, I really enjoyed having a bunch of interconnected plot points flow so we'll together. I'm always skeptical when I realize a story is told from multiple perspectives since that can make the story feel less cohesive instead of more. But Rin Chupeco clearly excels at plot planning since the multiple perspectives actually made this plot more cohesive. It felt more realistic, with each character splitting up on different missions but always working together for a common goal. They also had personal interests aside from the main objective, which added to this very fantastical version of earth still feeling very realistic. It was also really fun to explore more magical technology in the daily lives of Avalonians, though I do wish we would have gotten to explore the wilder parts of the country more. But the world building in the first book was better than I gave it credit for, because while I felt like it was too much to take in initially, I was able to jump right into the second months later without feeling lost at all. There's even been a time skip in between books, but it skips to such a natural place I didn't care at all. It's so hard to write a review without spoiling what made the first book so great and the second one even better, but if you like fantasy, urban fantasy, magic, fairytales and mythologies, and any combination of the above, then this trilogy is for you. Now all that's left to do is cry in bookworm because I have to wait for the third book, and automatically add every other Rin Chupeco book to my tbr.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marta Cox

    To truly appreciate what is happening and why you really need to have read the first book Wicked As You Wish were we learn every fairytale, myth and legend is actually connected and true ! Everything from Peter Pan to Robin Hood, Wonderland and Neverland, King Arthur's Court to the Snow Queen all feature and many more just too numerous to mention. It's a tour de force of tremendous imagination and the characters each truly stand out loud and proud as they again do battle to protect Avalon. I love To truly appreciate what is happening and why you really need to have read the first book Wicked As You Wish were we learn every fairytale, myth and legend is actually connected and true ! Everything from Peter Pan to Robin Hood, Wonderland and Neverland, King Arthur's Court to the Snow Queen all feature and many more just too numerous to mention. It's a tour de force of tremendous imagination and the characters each truly stand out loud and proud as they again do battle to protect Avalon. I loved the diversity of the characters here and its done with a deft hand that doesn't shy away from situations that others frequently move clumsily through. I did have to reaquaint myself with some things and try to remember who was who and sadly for this reader that meant the first third or so wasn't perhaps as riveting as the previous book. However when things started to happen I was well and truly gripped and definitely found it a page turner. Yes it's fun, yes there's action and betrayals and even just a smidgen of romance but as it ends I'm already desperate to know what happens next and hopefully we won't have to wait too long. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marcella

    I love every seconds of this book! Took my chance of jumping straight into this 2nd book (own the 1st one will read it very soon!) bcs my netgalley arc is acting weird and I don't want to miss my chance on this amazing book... and oh boy I love it so muchhh. Fast paced, action packed, and lovable characters! The Wonderland setting is impeccable! I love Tala, Loki, Alex, Nya, Ken, Zoe, Gray... actually I love everyone. Have so many fav scenes but I adore Loki and baby Jabberwocky (I want a wocklin I love every seconds of this book! Took my chance of jumping straight into this 2nd book (own the 1st one will read it very soon!) bcs my netgalley arc is acting weird and I don't want to miss my chance on this amazing book... and oh boy I love it so muchhh. Fast paced, action packed, and lovable characters! The Wonderland setting is impeccable! I love Tala, Loki, Alex, Nya, Ken, Zoe, Gray... actually I love everyone. Have so many fav scenes but I adore Loki and baby Jabberwocky (I want a wockling too!), Zoe and Gray! Also rooting for Tala and Ryker but... that epilogue... I need book 3 ASAP! Love this one so much!! << Review copy received via Netgalley in exchange with honest review >>

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    Firstly, I have to say that I am loving the new cover designs because I feel like they definitely fit the series a bit better. This, however, is my least favorite of Chupeco's series. That is not to say that I did not enjoy it completely, but it certainly felt anticlimactic. I received an ecopy of this through netgalley; however all opinions are my own. Firstly, I have to say that I am loving the new cover designs because I feel like they definitely fit the series a bit better. This, however, is my least favorite of Chupeco's series. That is not to say that I did not enjoy it completely, but it certainly felt anticlimactic. I received an ecopy of this through netgalley; however all opinions are my own.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lu

    Thank you so much, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review. Tala, Alex and their friends are safe for now, but nothing is simple in their lives. The Snow Queen is still out there, threatening Avalon and them all, portals are opening in Avalon without control, Ryker is intervening and saving refugees children kept captive, Tala's relationship with her father is strained since the revelation about his past, the Nameless Sword turns Thank you so much, NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review. Tala, Alex and their friends are safe for now, but nothing is simple in their lives. The Snow Queen is still out there, threatening Avalon and them all, portals are opening in Avalon without control, Ryker is intervening and saving refugees children kept captive, Tala's relationship with her father is strained since the revelation about his past, the Nameless Sword turns up with Tala's name on it...Tala's life is getting more and more messier, but she's not the only one with struggles. Alex is facing politics and new responsibilities, while trying to undo the curse on him, Zoe is struggling with her feelings, Cole and what she lost using the spellstone, Loki is facing pressure and their will and desire to discover what is happening in Avalon and with the Ozcorp technology, Ken and Nya are trying to understand what their dooms mean for each other, West finds himself a star in his canine form and this book is a true rollercoaster. I absolutely loved reading Wicked as you wish and its sequel is amazing! As the first one, the chapter titles are hilarious, like "In which everyone is talking about the Fight Club" and I love these characters and how the author is able to intertwine POVs, their struggles, feelings and problems with the complex and intriguing plot. I love the Bandersnatchers and the relationships they have and I loved how they were developed and deepened in this second book. Alex and Tala, Zoe and Cole, Ken and Nya, I really enjoyed reading their personal struggles and problems and how seamlessly they are intertwined with politics, exciting getaways, mysteries and battles. As for the first one I loved how the magic and technology are mixed, and how characters from myths and books are real and important in their reality, like the Cheshire cat or the Jolly Rogers, Hook and Peter Pan. Each character is wonderfully characterized and I was so happy to learn more about them all. The plot is captivating and I enjoyed how everything was pieced together in the end, alliances, relationships and revelations. I also loved how the author addresses refugees' problems and injustice, abuse and loss in these books, with sentitivity and care. I can't wait to read the next book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lance

    E-ARC generously provided by Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 3.5 stars rounded up. With larger than life prose and an even larger accompanying cast, An Unreliable Magic is a vibrant sequel that bites off slightly more than it can chew at points.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Meigan

    An excellent continuation of the Hundred Names for Magic series, AN UNRELIABLE MAGIC continues Tala’s, Alex’s, and the rest of their group’s adventure. In this installment, our group is still trying to defeat the evil Snow Queen, though there’s a new threat as American refugees are being threatened. ⁣ ⁣ I love that this time around, we get to see more of Avalon and get a deeper look at all of the fairytales and fables that make up this world. We also get a bigger glimpse at more of the magic that An excellent continuation of the Hundred Names for Magic series, AN UNRELIABLE MAGIC continues Tala’s, Alex’s, and the rest of their group’s adventure. In this installment, our group is still trying to defeat the evil Snow Queen, though there’s a new threat as American refugees are being threatened. ⁣ ⁣ I love that this time around, we get to see more of Avalon and get a deeper look at all of the fairytales and fables that make up this world. We also get a bigger glimpse at more of the magic that makes up Avalon, and I loved getting to explore much of that alongside our characters. The world-building continues to blow me away, it’s so easy to get sucked in to this magical, rich world that Rin created with this series. The blend of fairytales and an alternate America is just *chef’s kiss*. ⁣ ⁣ I absolutely adored the first book, and now after finishing book 2 I can say that this series is one of my all-time favorites. With its diverse cast of characters, inclusion of real-world social injustice issues, and strong sense of loyalty and family, there’s just *SO* much to love. Rin is already one of my very favorites, and I’m convinced that anything they write is destined to be pure magic, much like this series. ⁣ ⁣ Do yourself a favor and add this series to your tbr. I’m so thrilled this is going to be a trilogy, and I will be waiting oh-so-impatiently for the third book. ⁣ ⁣ *Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the digital arc.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Sledge

    1.5 rounded to two. This sequel was just as confusing and felt as pointless as the first. Along with more language I didn't understand and that wasn't even translated the cast of already confusing amounts of characters continued to grow. Throw in a random throw back to the villain of the first book, plus a whole lot of "I want to love you but I can't!!! MY DOOM!!!!" and you've now read the same book I did in a much shorter amount of time. I honestly don't recommend this book or it's predecessor. I 1.5 rounded to two. This sequel was just as confusing and felt as pointless as the first. Along with more language I didn't understand and that wasn't even translated the cast of already confusing amounts of characters continued to grow. Throw in a random throw back to the villain of the first book, plus a whole lot of "I want to love you but I can't!!! MY DOOM!!!!" and you've now read the same book I did in a much shorter amount of time. I honestly don't recommend this book or it's predecessor. It's confusing, adds too much content to have a real plot, and it's just not well written. I'm bummed, as I've heard nothing but great things about this author, but after these two books I don't find myself looking to read more. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Krizia Anna

    Thank you to Sourcebooks, Ms. Chupeco and Netgalley for the ARC copy. I had to read the first one so I can fully appreciate the sequel. With "Wicked As You Wish," I gave it 3 stars. I felt that it needed more especially in building up the characters and the plot. It has thr possibilities and potential but it felt sort of flat. Book 2, "An Unreliable Magic," was a lot better. We know more about the characters. I love the side stories of the other Banders, it gave you an idea of who they are and no Thank you to Sourcebooks, Ms. Chupeco and Netgalley for the ARC copy. I had to read the first one so I can fully appreciate the sequel. With "Wicked As You Wish," I gave it 3 stars. I felt that it needed more especially in building up the characters and the plot. It has thr possibilities and potential but it felt sort of flat. Book 2, "An Unreliable Magic," was a lot better. We know more about the characters. I love the side stories of the other Banders, it gave you an idea of who they are and not just part of the story background. Although, I feel Tala and Alex are a bit too good to be true though

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rose Stewart

    Wish I could rate this one higher, because I love RC and enjoyed the first book, but the "second book in a fantasy trilogy" syndrome hit this hard. Normally I'm all for an ensemble cast, but this would have benefited from one or two subplots either being combined or cut. I felt like every chapter I had to remind myself where everyone was and what they respectively had going on. Wish I could rate this one higher, because I love RC and enjoyed the first book, but the "second book in a fantasy trilogy" syndrome hit this hard. Normally I'm all for an ensemble cast, but this would have benefited from one or two subplots either being combined or cut. I felt like every chapter I had to remind myself where everyone was and what they respectively had going on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    henri reads

    when i finally hold this in my arms ahhhhhhh

  15. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

    Wow, this was such a fantastic read, loved being with these characters in this world again, loved the shenanigans that went down in this book! Can't wait for book 3! Wow, this was such a fantastic read, loved being with these characters in this world again, loved the shenanigans that went down in this book! Can't wait for book 3!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Opal Edgar

    Another fast-paced rump through a world of multicultural magic with a colorful range of characters full to the brim of banter. This is the second volume in the series and it's keeping all its promises. There is no time to sit down with this series and I feel like the action is always sprinting full tilt and sets the expectation high on readers with incredibly creative and jam packed ideas. This is not a book that focuses on settings and such, here you will run past many many things, there was pr Another fast-paced rump through a world of multicultural magic with a colorful range of characters full to the brim of banter. This is the second volume in the series and it's keeping all its promises. There is no time to sit down with this series and I feel like the action is always sprinting full tilt and sets the expectation high on readers with incredibly creative and jam packed ideas. This is not a book that focuses on settings and such, here you will run past many many things, there was probably enough to make a few books, I mean the cast is also huge and they all have so different stories and backgrounds and make references to sooo many things. In this case I think it works, it's the style of the author, and it connects to my ADHD brain like a charm. If you like playful characters, plot twists, adventure fantasy, strong women, unlikely Hodge podge mixes of culture, fantastical, pop culture and fairy tales, you will be swimming in happiness.

  17. 4 out of 5

    ThatBeMeDiana

    Rating 3.5/5 This book needs to downsize - a lot. I really wanted to give this book a better review because it touches on so many important topics like ICE concentration camps, immigration, etc. But there is so much info dumping that it takes away from the story. Each chapter felt like they introduced an important piece to the plot, but some interruption always happens mid-conversation and when we return to the "conversation" we get a rushed closure of the topic that doesn't feel right. Banter. Tha Rating 3.5/5 This book needs to downsize - a lot. I really wanted to give this book a better review because it touches on so many important topics like ICE concentration camps, immigration, etc. But there is so much info dumping that it takes away from the story. Each chapter felt like they introduced an important piece to the plot, but some interruption always happens mid-conversation and when we return to the "conversation" we get a rushed closure of the topic that doesn't feel right. Banter. That's about 40-50% of the book. There so much banter sometimes that it takes away from the plot. Plot. There's so many. I started a notepad listing events that happened but it got out of control. There's TOO much plot that it doesn't give each story justice. I wish the author picked 2-3 storylines to follow to dive in deeper, because they felt too surface level. Characters. There were so many that my eyes started glazing over each name. They each have their own lore which I was interested in but again, each character's story was so rushed that we don't get to fully appreciate their character and they turned out one dimensional. Fairy Tales is interwoven into technology, but there again is so much that it can be overwhelming. Overall, the story was interesting but could be split up into 2-3 books to add more depth. If you are interested in politics you would be able to understand the depth of the book more but if you aren't the info dumping tries to get you caught up but falls short sometimes. I believe this author has so much potential with this series. Again it just needs to downsize a lot to flow better but I'm happy such important topics are getting talked about. Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to enjoy this ARC! Warm regards, Diana Banana

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This review can also be found in Currant7 Recommends. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars POV: multi-characters, limited Representation: - LGBTQ representation: cis, pan, sapphic, nonbinary, gay - supporting and otherwise - Myriad cultures, heritage, ethnicity, race, and nationalities like Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Nigerians, and Europeans Note: this is a trilogy, so coming into this book would require readers to read Book 1 first to ensure all the characters and settings are well developed. Plus, the most This review can also be found in Currant7 Recommends. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars POV: multi-characters, limited Representation: - LGBTQ representation: cis, pan, sapphic, nonbinary, gay - supporting and otherwise - Myriad cultures, heritage, ethnicity, race, and nationalities like Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Nigerians, and Europeans Note: this is a trilogy, so coming into this book would require readers to read Book 1 first to ensure all the characters and settings are well developed. Plus, the most important - the ending still needs resolving, which Book 3 will have to finish. So, if you are a reader who already wants everything laid out well, it is best to get all three books before starting the trilogy. ---------------- Tala Warnock is back with her band of characters. This time, she's more prepared with her powers and learns even more from her ancestors, who came straight from the Philippines to help protect Avalon. This time, she and her team start learning more about themselves at a deeper level - their purpose, their prophecies, and how these prophecies weave into the fate of Avalon. ---------------- Things I Love About An Unreliable Magic Amazingly fantastic adventures and extraordinary abilities. Even if most of the exciting moments are within the kingdom of Avalon, there were many ground-breaking, memorable ones for the characters. Each character goes through a lot of self-reflection and discovery of their heritage, background, and purpose while protecting Avalon from villains besides the Snow Queen, as first realized. There were many heart-stopping and emotionally draining moments that got to me. Each character's special "powers" are unique and further develop as Tala and her gang fight to defend Avalon. Mini telenovela feels and drama. The multi-POV helps readers connect to the characters better and later connect each one of the "partnered-up" groupies to realize the importance of each character. Believe me that there are a lot of "voices." Still, it was not confusing since (a) the chapter tiles mention something about the chapter and the character POV, and (b) each tone and voice is distinctly unique personalities and colloquialism oozing out of the scenes. Plot twists that dug into the "meat" of the series Leaving Book 1 with a hint of a traitor at the end was surprising BUT interesting as Book 2 began. I wasn't sure how that traitor came into play until the absolute end! Flabbergasted is not even close to how I felt when the traitor revealed itself at the end. All the workings of the book culminated quite nicely. Aside from the traitor, there were "other players" that felt harmless at the start but as the book went on, what these players possessed seemed to have manipulated the populous perception that the good guys like Tala and Alex, Avalon's king. Also, no matter what the good guys did, countless "detractors" feeding "bad press" kept popping up to destabilize Avalon further. All of the above, the traitors, "enemies in sheep's clothing," and double agents, seem to hit underlying political connotations regarding the state of the world. I get it and can see it hinted at in various political unrest depicted, and I respect the author for pulling those themes to the forefront. Funny banter in Filipino! One of my most looked-forward moments is when the Filipino characters inject their brand of Filipino slang expected from Filipino titos/titas (uncles/aunties). I couldn't help bawling over so much, especially when Tita Baby told General Luna to "Landian mo" - a definite Filipino signature of flirting and "making the best of the situation." *wink wink* It is hilarious each time. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sassy, spice, and spunk of the Katipuneros! The ending...a cliffhanger of the sort. Closing on the ending of this book, Tala somewhat gets what she wishes for as what she wished at the very beginning. But at what cost? The basis of Tala being the MC is that she was remarkable and noteworthy. A reluctant savior in Book 1, a slow acceptance in this book, then poof! What happens when it all disappears? What if she comes into the next book as not the Tala we all knew? Did I pique your interest, readers? She seems that way, even after a big, epic enough battle that cost everyone to evolve and change - for the better or worse? This is anyone's guess for now. ---------------- Overall, An Unreliable Magic is a non-stop, emotionally charged rollercoaster of emotions with a good balance of light-hearted "Filipino" etiquette and beliefs that are relatable and tug my heart each time. I love the witty writing and creative plot that shaped the character's growth and development. Each event helps the characters evolve through thought and choices that bring out bravery and courage to take on their fates, reunite families, and unrealized love. I appreciate the author continuing her underlying theme (mentioned in Book 1) of racial and socio-political implications are explored, discussed, and later criticized, drawing a lot of afterthoughts. I am excited to see the following (and final) book in the series, which should be a real doozy on how the author will resolve the complex items readers are left within this book and wrap up the series nicely.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eule Luftschloss

    trigger warning (view spoiler)[ mention of genocide, kidnapping, being held hostage, mind control (hide spoiler)] After the events of book one, people try to get on with their new kind of life, and to get used to new things they have learned - especially what Tala learned about her father gives her food for thought. The fight against the Snow Queen carries on while the Royal American States do... nobody really knows what's going on there. This book relies very much on you having read the first one. trigger warning (view spoiler)[ mention of genocide, kidnapping, being held hostage, mind control (hide spoiler)] After the events of book one, people try to get on with their new kind of life, and to get used to new things they have learned - especially what Tala learned about her father gives her food for thought. The fight against the Snow Queen carries on while the Royal American States do... nobody really knows what's going on there. This book relies very much on you having read the first one. I don't recommend trying to get into this in book two, ignoring the first one. Same as in book one, the world-building is an incoherent mess. All available myths, legends and fairytales have been mashed together, and it doesn't feel as if it fits together at all. Since I was prepared for this, it didn't feel as jarring as it did in the previous installment. Since I knew what to expect from the setting, I concentrated more on the people we're following, and I think I am growing to like them. They work nicely together, and I really like the depiction of family, and family gatherings after ages where people who haven't seen each other for ages try to catch the other's up in as little time possible. What I did not like was the trope of the protagonist deciding to not share vital information. I understand being overwhelmed at first and having to wrap your head around, but that's one thing friends are for: To help you with that kind of thing. And then she was too far in to casually announce what had happened in book one while nobody was there, so she didn't. An important aspect of the plot was trying to help those who are downtrodden in the Royal States of America, saving immigrants, especially children, from ICE facilities. This is an important topic that has to be talked about until long after these atrocious happenings are stopped, and I understand the passion I felt while reading this. I simply think it did not fit into the plot well, or rather, again, the inclusion felt like a mess like everything else. The whole thing reminds me of my first attempt at writing a longer story, where I included random ideas where they happened and rolled with them, without trying to make it coherent and where I was so annoyed with my work afterwards that I didn't attempt to edit. It's not even finished till this day. So I am wondering if it is just this series, or if I will dislike other works by the author, of whom I heard nothing but good things, which feels at odds with my personal experience of their work. If this is a trilogy - you never know what'll happen until it's out - I think I'd like to read on, finish this series, as I have already read the mayority of it. If I were new to this author, I'd try another series first. I guess I only recommend this to completionists who want to read all of Rin Chupeco's books. The arc was provided by the publisher.

  20. 4 out of 5

    The Biased Bibliophile

    I want to preface this review by saying that, while reading, I found out that Rin Chupeco made some racist comments on Twitter last year, and I won’t say that this did not affect my feelings towards the book. That being said, I tried to consider the book separately from Chupeco’s comments, but I most likely won’t be reading anything else by them, as I prefer to support authors who are inclusive. ***SPOILERS for Wicked as You Wish*** An Unreliable Magic picks up right where Wicked As You Wish left I want to preface this review by saying that, while reading, I found out that Rin Chupeco made some racist comments on Twitter last year, and I won’t say that this did not affect my feelings towards the book. That being said, I tried to consider the book separately from Chupeco’s comments, but I most likely won’t be reading anything else by them, as I prefer to support authors who are inclusive. ***SPOILERS for Wicked as You Wish*** An Unreliable Magic picks up right where Wicked As You Wish left off. The Banders just saved the kingdom of Avalon, Tala just drew the nameless sword from the stone in secret, a prophecy foretold that there is a traitor in their midst, and basically all the characters have dooms (aka prophecies) that are both intriguing and vague. The main premise of book 2 is that OzCorp is engaged in some sketchy business in Avalon and the Banders and their crew need to find out what’s going on. Frankly, I have so many issues with this book. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that the first book was certainly left open-ended, and I was hoping more would be resolved by the end of this book, but alas my hopes were misplaced. The few answers that this book gives, such as revealing the “traitor” and further exploring some of the characters dooms, were anticlimactic. Similarly, many of the open endings from book one were still left open by the end of book two. I can appreciate leaving some open ends, but authors need to give readers something to keep them going. Marissa Meyer does this perfectly in my opinion, especially in The Lunar Chronicles. However, it seems like Chupeco doesn’t even try to satisfy readers at all. Furthermore, most of the book revolved around politics, even more so than the first book. Now, don’t get me wrong, authors can certainly incorporate politics into books to make a statement, but I personally read fantasy to escape reality, and I would say 80% of the book was about politics. The few action-packed scenes that were enjoyable were sparse to say the least. More than anything, I just felt like the incorporation of politics overtook the plot, and it wasn’t really what I signed up for. Additionally, there are some characters in the novel that were likeable, but unfortunately there were so many characters and side-stories, that it felt hard to fully connect with any character. Many of the chapters go back and forth, following different characters, and by the time I would start feeling invested in one character by the end of a chapter, Chupeco moved on to another character in the next. Overall, Wicked As You Wish was certainly not one of my favorite books, but it was okay. On the other hand, I actively disliked the sequel, An Unreliable Magic. While the premise for the books was interesting, I did not like the direction Chupeco went with the books. If you enjoy open-ended books that discuss politics, this would likely be a great book for you, it just wasn’t the right book for me, and I would rather support other authors going forward.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brigitte

    An Unreliable Magic opens with Tala’s failure. Her constant attempts to complete Avalon’s obstacle course throughout the book mirror her character arc, with each new attempt bringing her closer to understanding what she needs to do both in the labyrinth and outside of it. I found her character arc to be all encompassing, while she retains her fierce protectiveness and stubborn streak, this sequel to Wicked as you Wish is about her learning to listen to others, especially her father. Each of the o An Unreliable Magic opens with Tala’s failure. Her constant attempts to complete Avalon’s obstacle course throughout the book mirror her character arc, with each new attempt bringing her closer to understanding what she needs to do both in the labyrinth and outside of it. I found her character arc to be all encompassing, while she retains her fierce protectiveness and stubborn streak, this sequel to Wicked as you Wish is about her learning to listen to others, especially her father. Each of the other Banders also have their own character arcs. Zoe’s stands out as the most poignant, with Ken’s a close second. Though Loki and West both have their own POVs throughout, their arcs were less prominent, likely because they’ll extend into the next book. As for Alex, he’s a far more enjoyable character now that he’s not being cagey about important secrets. He wears his crown well, though glimpses of the teen he is shine through in certain scenes. Overall Chupeco’s characters remain the book’s strongest aspect. They write them in such a way that you can’t help but care for the lot of them. The way they wrote the teens was my favourite as each is has a distinctive voice without coming off as too mature. They all have impulsive, even occasionally petulant moments that makes each of them delightful to experience. Chupeco also continue their inclusion of multiple LGBTQ+ characters. There is another non-binary character that comes along apart from Loki, while Alex’s sexuality also features as a prominent subplot. An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco expands the world they developed in the first book. Magic and its effect on history and politics are at the center of the story; we get to see both the good and the bad of it as governments and corporations alike seek to exploit it. Chupeco also expands Avalon’s history along with that of prominent families and segen. Through Ken’s and Cole’s gifts, shadow magic also becomes prominent in this book, while Chupeco also explores Tala’s magic and her clan’s history. Despite how well Chupeco develops their characters, the same can’t be said of the book’s pacing and plot. I found the first half meandering, with the main plot often shadowed by the many subplots. I found the subplots just as engaging, but it lacked some of the structure of the first book at times. However, there’s more coherence in the second half, especially as the subplots start to converge leading to a climactic ending. Overall I enjoyed An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco. I found it escaped the middle book syndrome, even going so far as to say that it’s stronger than its prequel. I wasn’t left with as many questions as last time and I’m thoroughly excited for the next book. If Wicked As You Wish intrigued you, An Unreliable Magic will no doubt captivate you.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda

    Content Warning: Racism, Violence I really enjoyed Wicked as You Wish, which was book one in this series. I’m not sure why it was a struggle for me to get through this sequel. One thing I love about Rin Chupeco books is the diversity she puts into her books. This story is no exception – there is so much diversity, it’s wonderful! Being a Filipino-American, I love seeing all the Filipinos represented in this book, especially with the women warriors. The old crew is back and the fairytale settings a Content Warning: Racism, Violence I really enjoyed Wicked as You Wish, which was book one in this series. I’m not sure why it was a struggle for me to get through this sequel. One thing I love about Rin Chupeco books is the diversity she puts into her books. This story is no exception – there is so much diversity, it’s wonderful! Being a Filipino-American, I love seeing all the Filipinos represented in this book, especially with the women warriors. The old crew is back and the fairytale settings are present again and when I say fairytale settings I mean the author includes every fairytale out there from Peter Pan to Alice in Wonderland and then some. It’s a chaotic mix but it works. The thing is, this is totally a mood read kind of book for me and I was not in the mood for this type of this story. I tried my hardest to get into the mood though! What tripped me up was the huge cast of characters. I didn’t re-read the first book before going into this one and maybe that would have helped. Because of this the first chapters of the book was going way too slow for me. It was a struggle for me. I was having trouble connecting to Tala because I was getting invested in Ken and Nya, but then I would be trying to remember who was who from the first book. There is so much going on in this book and it did not slow down. I just felt like I couldn’t catch up yet I usually love fast paced books! I think there was just too much going on for me in this one. Why you should read it: *fairytale infused story (every fairytale and myth you can think of) *lots of action and so much diversity *you want to be back with Tala, Alex and their crew Why you might not want to read it: *too much going on, first part of the story is slow *it was hard connecting to the characters, too many characters to remember *(re-read the first book if you can) My Thoughts: The great thing about this series is the action, the diversity and how all the fairytales come together in one creative story. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into the story. There was too much going on in the story and I didn’t re-read the first story to reacquaint myself with the large cast of characters, and I struggled through the first part of the story. It’s definitely a book where I need to be in the mood for. I think many fans of the first book will enjoy this one and be happy to see the same characters from book one.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Dang

    Prophecies, complicated relationships, and a kingdom to save. The crew is all back again and this time they’ll be facing their potential dooms, an Ice Queen with crafty motives, love interests with secrets, and oh, the possibility their entire kingdom could go up in ice. The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic Trilogy picks up where the first one finished, with Alex newly coordinated as King, with Tala giving up the all powerful Nameless sword and discovering her father’s secret past, a Prophecies, complicated relationships, and a kingdom to save. The crew is all back again and this time they’ll be facing their potential dooms, an Ice Queen with crafty motives, love interests with secrets, and oh, the possibility their entire kingdom could go up in ice. The second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic Trilogy picks up where the first one finished, with Alex newly coordinated as King, with Tala giving up the all powerful Nameless sword and discovering her father’s secret past, and Ryker dealing with the conflicted feelings of who he will have to side with, his mother who has committed crimes but has loved him or the girl he has fallen in love with who keeps saving him despite the things he’s done. Alex must deal with not only the difficulties of ruling but finding a way to protect his kingdom, his friends, and the complicated relationship with his ex. Tala is struggling to accept her father’s past, with the other side of her family she didn’t know about, and the fact that the boy she fell for, who had betrayed her, is back and she has no idea what his motives are except that he is constantly telling her that no matter what happens he’ll always protect her. The crew are all dealing with their own separate curses, drama, and family issues: Zoe and Cole discover how intertwined their dooms are and how despite both fighting their feelings for each other... they just might be more in love than either cares to admit, Nya and Ken also must deal with their dooms and how Nya’s secret might break their budding feelings, Loki must face a decision and uncover what matters to them. All in all this was a wonderful continuation of the first book, I had fun reading about the growing relationship between the characters and OH MY LOVES RYKER AND TALA, I LOVE YOU BOTH SO MUCH AND THAT ENDING?!?! I’M ALREADY BEGGING FOR THE LAST BOOK RIN CHUPECO!! *Thanks Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire, Sourcebooks Fire for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Boilermaker96

    Oh my goodness I wholeheartedly recommend this book! So good! I enjoyed the first book in this series and I was intrigued to see how the second would play out. I loved it, even better than the first. I actually plan to reread the first and purchase this when it officially comes out to get the full experience all over again. I applaud this author for creating a series that is a reimagining of modern fairytales with diverse characters and creative twists and turns throughout the story. This book b Oh my goodness I wholeheartedly recommend this book! So good! I enjoyed the first book in this series and I was intrigued to see how the second would play out. I loved it, even better than the first. I actually plan to reread the first and purchase this when it officially comes out to get the full experience all over again. I applaud this author for creating a series that is a reimagining of modern fairytales with diverse characters and creative twists and turns throughout the story. This book brings us back to Avalon, where the frost curse may have been broken, but there is still a load of work to do to rebuild the country. King Alex is burning the candle at both ends to rule a county and strengthen diplomatic ties while also secretly sanctioning the Banders to mitigate international injustices. Tala struggles to understand how the loving father of her childhood could also be the villain of old legends. She is also trying sort through her feelings for Ryker, who she has feelings for, but she is also deeply hurt by his betrayal and loyalties to the enemy. Zoe is managing the ramifications from her curse, and Cole tries to help her to safely manage the ramifications. Some of Nya’s secrets are revealed, and Ken is hurt by what he finds out. West becomes famous, but nobody actually recognizes him. Last, Loki balances his desire to be a Fianna and also his duty to Alex and the Banders. All the while, the Snow Queen still plots for Avalon’s destruction. Overall, fantastic read. I cannot wait for book 3. Buy and read this book. The only criticism I have is that I like the cover style of the first book more than I like this cover, but the story inside is so good it’s really not a big deal. Again, I highly recommend! Thank you NetGalley for providing be with an ARC of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Anderson

    *I received an advanced reader's copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* I fell in love with this world in Wicked As You Wish. I loved the idea that Fairytales were existing right alongside everyday people. Top that with the political commentary, bad-assery of the characters and some adventure and I was sold. The dynamic and diverse character cast was well done. I felt like each character had their own voice, their own personality, and their own story *I received an advanced reader's copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* I fell in love with this world in Wicked As You Wish. I loved the idea that Fairytales were existing right alongside everyday people. Top that with the political commentary, bad-assery of the characters and some adventure and I was sold. The dynamic and diverse character cast was well done. I felt like each character had their own voice, their own personality, and their own storyline within the main story arch. These stories were woven together well, including the ominous and riddle-filled "dooms" each character has. I also really enjoyed meeting Tala's grandmother and the rest of the agimat clan; I anticipate them being a polarizing force in the next installment. An Unreliable Magic picks up right where Wicked As You Wish ended. This time around, we really got to delve a bit deeper into the other characters surrounding Tala and Alex. Those stories seem to be picking up a lot of momentum throughout An Unreliable Magic and I feel more connected to those characters now that we got some more one-on-one time with them in this novel; they felt a bit one-dimensional in the first book, so I'm glad to see them fleshed out a bit and able to stand on their own apart from the group. Ryker is the only character I am having a hard time with. I'm 99% sure that's the point, because Tala is confused about him also, but I feel like I'm missing a chunk of his story that would help me rationalize his journey better. I would have liked to see more interaction and relationship building between him and Tala, because even though they had established a "relationship" prior to the start of book 1; it feels insta-love to me, which just isn't my cup of tea. Of course, based on the adventure ramping up at the end of this book and the mysteries behind Ryker and of course that wall of fire we did not spend nearly enough time with, I am hoping the next book is coming out sooner rather than later!

  26. 5 out of 5

    M. K. French

    The Snow Queen is still determined to bring about the end of Avalon. Tala and the others all decide to prevent it, even after Ryker shows up after attacking detention facilities and freeing refugees. Legends tell of incredible power, and Tala's life only gets messier. It's only a matter of time before the Snow Queen arrives with an unlikely ally. This follows right after the first book in the A Hundred Names For Magic series, after Wicked As You Wish, so absolutely read that one first. (Don't wor The Snow Queen is still determined to bring about the end of Avalon. Tala and the others all decide to prevent it, even after Ryker shows up after attacking detention facilities and freeing refugees. Legends tell of incredible power, and Tala's life only gets messier. It's only a matter of time before the Snow Queen arrives with an unlikely ally. This follows right after the first book in the A Hundred Names For Magic series, after Wicked As You Wish, so absolutely read that one first. (Don't worry, you won't regret it!) Here, the frost receded from Avalon, and now there's more politics to deal with. Alex must provide leadership for his country, with the Fianna and the Banders keeping the people safe. While there are trials to be had, in the shape of our teens figuring out the nature of their dooms, Tala trying to finish the obstacle course and learn how to use her agimat, to the entire team tracking OzCorp's dangerous experiments. The dooms have repercussions for their love lives as well as for Avalon, and Tala is still figuring out her relationship with her father, Ryker, and her extended Filipino family. Magic carries a cost, and none of the teens are exempt. When Loki battles a jabberwocky early on, their weapon is damaged and they must work without it as it's repaired. Legal ramifications follow the raids into lockdown facilities, and using spellstones or spell shards results in very dangerous consequences. In this world of magic kingdoms and fairy tales come to life, which remains a feature keeping the teens and story grounded. Prophecy isn't always what people think it is, so I'm sure there's much more in store for them in future novels of the series. I for one can't wait to see it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Narah Quinn

    An Unreliable Magic picks up mere weeks after that ending in Wicked as You Wish, and while the evil Snow Queen is still a threat that the banders need to defeat, her role in book two is lesser as we focus on new and evolving enemies. Our favourite banders got some real page time this book with additional POVs to just Tala and Alex, which allowed us to delve into each character more effectively. The charaters in this novel really do hold everything together and I was really pleased that one of th An Unreliable Magic picks up mere weeks after that ending in Wicked as You Wish, and while the evil Snow Queen is still a threat that the banders need to defeat, her role in book two is lesser as we focus on new and evolving enemies. Our favourite banders got some real page time this book with additional POVs to just Tala and Alex, which allowed us to delve into each character more effectively. The charaters in this novel really do hold everything together and I was really pleased that one of the sub plots focused on each of their dooms and how (especially as teenagers) they behave towards the doom and the people closest to them. I did find this time round that our characters developments helped keep the booknon track as the first half lacked the same flow of book one with no seeming main story plot, but the character sub plots rounds it out and keeps you interested long enough for the main story to kick in and pick up the pace of the book. I really loved that so much if the story takes place in Avalon too, and that time was spent exploring the land, the magic, the family histories, and the multitude of fairytales that here are a real as you and I. Its really hard to properly review a series like this without spoilers so I won't attempt anything further than to say I am excited for book three! 4.5 stars, rounded down for 1st half pacing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lou | haus + hearth

    The world of Wicked As You Wish/An Unreliable Magic is like the Mad Hatter’s teaparty of fairytale/myth/legend absolutely madcap mashups that you never knew you needed but can’t help but fall in love with…I love having so many, many different characters/stories all being woven together into one world, which is also so similar and yet different from the actual real world. A lot of the characters are descendants of famous fairytale characters instead of everyone just straight up being those charac The world of Wicked As You Wish/An Unreliable Magic is like the Mad Hatter’s teaparty of fairytale/myth/legend absolutely madcap mashups that you never knew you needed but can’t help but fall in love with…I love having so many, many different characters/stories all being woven together into one world, which is also so similar and yet different from the actual real world. A lot of the characters are descendants of famous fairytale characters instead of everyone just straight up being those characters - which keeps it familiar but also new and interesting at the same time. There is SO much happening in this world and so many characters, story lines, character arcs…it is a lot to keep track of and does sometimes jump all over the place, but it’s also a lot of fun and wildly entertaining. Such a wonderfully inclusive group of characters, and very clear nods to the current real world political climate and current events that feels relatable and cathartic to read. I’m super invested in all of the main characters at this point and love the growth for all of them in this latest book…and can’t wait for the next installation to see what happens next! Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with this eARC!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah &#x1f33a; Books in Their Natural Habitat

    This is the second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic series, and I would recommend reading Wicked As You Wish prior to this one. I will do my best to keep this spoiler-free, but be advised you kay inadvertently be spoiled if you haven’t read the first book! Tala and the gang are all preparing for the Snow Queen to attack again, but they aren’t as unified as they once were. In fact, things just get messy and complicated and no one really knows who to trust anymore. Much like the first book, th This is the second book in the A Hundred Names for Magic series, and I would recommend reading Wicked As You Wish prior to this one. I will do my best to keep this spoiler-free, but be advised you kay inadvertently be spoiled if you haven’t read the first book! Tala and the gang are all preparing for the Snow Queen to attack again, but they aren’t as unified as they once were. In fact, things just get messy and complicated and no one really knows who to trust anymore. Much like the first book, this one also had a very large cast of characters. It’s easier to follow because generally I knew who they were now, but it’s still a lot of kids, a lot of parents, a lot of people otherwise. I think this is just generally a thing with Rin’s books. The book also has some re-telling elements of fairy tales while intertwined with current hot topics in society like ICE and medication costs. Overall, more action (yay) and there’s snarky chapter titles you can’t help but love. I generally enjoyed this book, moreso than the first, but I can’t say I would continue on beyond this point. Thank you to @netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. The review expresses my own personal opinions.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. An Unreliable Magic is the second installment in Rin Chupeco's A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, and continues to follow main characters Tala and Alex and their friends as they prepare to fight the Snow Queen. This isn't my favorite series of Chupeco's, and thus far that has been because each installment has felt bigger than its britches in some way. With the first book, the issue was simply getting Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. An Unreliable Magic is the second installment in Rin Chupeco's A Hundred Names for Magic trilogy, and continues to follow main characters Tala and Alex and their friends as they prepare to fight the Snow Queen. This isn't my favorite series of Chupeco's, and thus far that has been because each installment has felt bigger than its britches in some way. With the first book, the issue was simply getting the reader acclimated to the fantasy world and magic system -- there's a lot to balance when literally every fairytale ever is real -- and with its sequel, the issue has shifted to crowd management. Though I do think the world is interesting, and the characters are entertaining, there were just so many people doing all kinds of different things that I felt like I couldn't effectively keep up. Despite my misgivings about the overall volume of Things Being Managed in this book, I do think there was a lot that was good about it, most notably efforts at thematic elements which relate to our modern world. I am definitely hopeful for book 3; so much groundwork has been laid in books 1 and 2, book 3 is set up to potentially be the best of the bunch.

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