SPELLHACKER by M.K. England

From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.


Title : Spellhacker
Author : M. K. England
Format : eARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : HarperTeen
Release Date : January 21, 2020

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★


Hollis’ 2 star review

I’ve not really had the best luck with queer fantasy lately and that is such a shame. Here is another story that has a great concept that just didn’t quite win in execution. But unlike another recent read, at least I didn’t hate this one? And also, unlike that same book, at least this author prefaced the novel with definitions for the magic system?

And speaking of the magic system, it felt.. new. The fact that not everyone could use it, and there were different levels of ability, but there didn’t seem to be any classism or jealousy between those who could and couldn’t was an interesting mix. The world, too, had a unique feel. I just didn’t love the characters? The plot, and the Big Bad, seemed a little.. thin? I don’t know. Potential was there, and I enjoyed England’s debut, so I kept pushing on. But this just wasn’t a win.

This does seem to be a standalone, however — just like their debut — so it might be worth checking out if you like fantasy and queer representation and heists.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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