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Madison Mosby and the Rose Widow

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Loved it! 😍

A very cool concept and an original take on magic in the world - a great series start!

I really enjoyed this, despite an abundance of typos (mostly spelling/homonyms, but also extra/missing commas) and an unlikely arc for the protagonist. Madison Mosby is fantastic - her snark and blatant disregard for societal norms jump off the page and make for hilarious sequences. I loved that - she's a take-no-prisoners character, and her wry acceptance of her crap life (which self-admittedly, is her own doing) is self-deprecating and fun(ny) to read. Until all of a sudden it isn't, and it becomes overwhelmingly "woe is me" and the recitation of drunken escapades/regrets starts weighing the story down...


Frankly, the story could use some editing at this point in the narrative. It's one thing to have a screw-up character make good - that's a common enough story arc but it works (most of the time). But here it just kept dragging on, and it slowed the narrative pacing quite a bit. Particularly when blended with the Finale chapters, which I understand are necessary to set the stage but which trudge along a bit in the beginning. It wasn't until the prison sequence that the Finale-focused chapters started to really engage me. From then on, the back-and-forth felt much smoother and more involved, and the story read a lot more consistently.


The overall story is a cool one, full of original concepts and a novel slant on magic and how it enters/leaves the world. Madison is surrounded by some very interesting side characters - particularly Langston and (surprise of all surprises) Sarah, who actually turned out to be one of my favorites by the end. The development of those two proceeded really well, with tidbits teased out throughout the book. Madison eventually gets over herself and comes into her own, but does so rather abruptly in a manner that required me to suspend disbelief rather a lot. She's a drunken mess for the majority of the book, then suddenly - WHAM! - she's a bad-ass who stops drinking and pulls rabbits out of her hat to defeat the bad guys. It was a sea change that didn't ring entirely true - although the new and improved Madison was so cool that I almost didn't mind.


This is a series with great potential. The characters and plot are engaging, interesting, and - most importantly - original and fresh. With a bit of editing, I think this could really be a hit. I'm definitely in for book two!

Reviewed by

Jill-Elizabeth.com is mostly focused on book reviews and guest posts on the writing process these days; family life has sucked up much of the time I used to spend writing my own fiction. But one of these days, I'll get back to it...

About the author

Jason has been writing since the mid-1700's when he was asked by the founding fathers to help with a little document called the Deceleration of F'ing Independence. He spends his free time reading to blind kittens and consulting with fallen African dictators on how to use art as therapy. view profile

Published on February 28, 2017

Published by

100000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Magical Realism

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