cover image Magicland


Charles Bastille. Morgan James Fiction, $16.95 trade paper (282p) ISBN 978-1-63195-564-8

Bastille’s debut artfully combines magic, technology, and romance when a witch and a bioengineered actor fall in love despite a centuries-long conflict between their homelands. Actor Belex is a Gath, a DNA-altered humanoid controlled by a collective network referred to as When he crashes just outside of Moira, the country Gaths call Magicland, his biosystem goes offline, leaving him temporarily blind. He’s rescued by Wiccan priestess-in-training Aurilena, but receives a cold welcome from the other Wiccans, who see him as a threat, as Gaths have been responsible for many Wiccan deaths over the years. With the help of High Priest Hilkiah, Aurilena attempts to acclimate Belex to their society. But as Belex’s biosystem comes back online, they discover a sinister Gath plot to destroy Moria and must race to save the land: when Belex’s systems are fully working, the town will be exposed and its people destroyed. Along the way, Aurilena and Belex fall for each other and fight the opposition to their relationship. Bastille handles the multilayered plot well, creating a fascinating world populated with empathetic characters. The result should win Bastille some fans. (Dec.)