Book Review: Ace Is Wild by C.B. McKee

Ace Is Wild by C.B. McKee – 3 stars

Uprooted from a small Texas town, Florence “Ace” Fox is stashed in a camp for orphans, Weirdness abounds with the director talking of wizards and casting spells. He even claims she’s possessed, and that the entity is sending her power levels off the charts.

Rebel Wizards learn of her strength and decide they can use Ace to their benefit and greed to gain control of The World!! They plot against her.

In danger and on the run, Ace and her friends’ travel through the old west looking for a way to rid her of the entity. They discover that only the leaders of the wizarding world can help, but will she like their solution?

Jail, death, or powerless.

Great concept, entertaining characters, and a fun romp. I really enjoyed the book overall. Ace is a spunky young woman with an array of friends and allies that tickled my fancy. The novel takes place in the Civil War era, but doesn’t really involve the war or its politics. Instead, it focuses on a hidden world of magic in the era. However, it has a few problems.

First, there are so many typos it distracts from reading. In some places, the errors made comprehension difficult. Were it not for this, I would give the book 4 stars.

Second, the story gets a little off track at the end, in the Inner City of Magic. The final battle scene is too abstract to actually feel like a final battle, and the types of mysteries/questions raised and not answered are a little odd. The book is clearly set up to be part of a series and feels like a prologue instead of a first installment.

Third, the setting has some holes that can be confusing. It uses the hidden magic method of ‘people don’t want to believe so they don’t’, but never really displays that. The Inner City of Magic feels like it was created with the purpose of being wondrous, without any sense of coherence with the overall world. Magical things come out of nowhere and their explanations can be a little flat.

Still, even with these problems, I enjoyed it. If the author fixes the typos, I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys YA fantasy.

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