Books are a unique kind of magic. On that, most of us can certainly agree. But when a book actually houses some magic it can wreak havoc, as in Badge, Book, and Candle (Book Burners #1) by Max Gladstone (et al).
After a particularly gruesome day on the job, Detective Sal Brooks comes home to an odd phone call from her brother asking to stay at her place. He’s done this before when he’s been in trouble, so Sal isn’t too keen to get involved, but he’s already outside her door. Her brother tells her a brief story about the book he’s got wrapped in various T-shirts, but things start to go really strange when her brother opens the book. That’s when Sal gets thrust into an old, and rather secretive, fight against destructive magic housed within texts with the assistance of a priest, a techie, and a muscle woman.
The writing was rather enjoyable and the serial aspect was quite well established; however, the premise is one that has been repeatedly done before and this rendition didn’t really contain anything special to help set it apart from those that preceded it. I would be interested to see how successful a serial book is in contemporary society since it’s been underutilized in favor of trilogies.
Overall, I’d give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars.