Magic or Die, the first book in the Inner Demons series from J.P. Jackson, introduces readers to James Martin. In this magic filled world James is a powerful psyche as well as a teacher. After refusing to work at the Center for Magical Research and Development he is pulled back in to teach five people with intensive magical powers to control their abilities. What he doesn’t know is that these people are far stronger than anything he was ever prepared for and the institution holding them has far more planned than he ever expected.
James is coping with the loss of a former boyfriend, who happens to continue feeding his guilty conscious by periodically appearing to taunt him. When he is forced to return to the CMRD he meets five people who have exceptional powers. Three not only have traditional magic abilities, but they also have demonic connections that imbue them with additional powers. There are also two people whose powers are impacted by psychological forces that James is not told of initially. While he grows closer to his students and tries to understand them, he also feels an immediate connection to the exceptionally powerful Isiah. The two men have a bond that also relates to the demon that Isiah is bonded with. As James learns more about what CMRD has planned he realizes that he and his students need to get away from them in order to survive.
I absolutely loved Magic or Die and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. James is battling not only real demons, but also his own psychological ones. As he finds himself connecting with his students he begins to care for them and build relationships that were lacking in his life. Each of the students is also fascinating to learn more about. Their powers are impressive and are much more mature magics than anything I have previously read. The one that struck me the most was Annabelle, who reminds me a bit of June Moon from the Suicide Squad comics. I think anyone who enjoys darker fantasy work will love this series and I also think people who like X-Men or stories about people with exceptional powers will enjoy it. You can find Magic or Die on sale now.
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