Wonderstruck is a strong finish for Allie Therin’s historical urban fantasy series, Magic in Manhattan. To recap, Arthur “Ace” Kensie is the younger son of a wealthy and politically powerful New York family. As a lieutenant in the army fighting in WWI, he discovered that magic exists. Though he has no magic, he becomes part of an unofficial group of magic users trying to protect the world from paranormals who want to use magic for evil reasons. Theodore “Rory” Brodigan (not his real name) is a young, poor New Yorker who can scry the history of an object by touching it. Rory and Ace start off as antagonists, but Rory wins Ace’s heart by telling him to scram repeatedly (he does not say “scram”).
Rory and Ace are the heart of the series and the second book suffered a bit for keeping them apart. Standing against them as a couple are homophobia, the social and economic differences between them, Rory’s growing, but not under control magic, and Baron Zeppler and his lust for magical power. To overcome all that, Ace and Rory have to learn to trust each other and what’s between them. I loved that it took them three books to build that trust as they chased magical relics and faced off against the bad guys. Therin has done such a great job of building to a climax for the romance and for the mystery.
The ending was like being wrapped in a warm, fluffy blanket and given a plate of fresh pastries. I very much hope that at some point in the future, Therin gives us a short where Ace gives Rory a shave. As Rory says, “hngh!” Other than that I hope they get time to rest and enjoy one another. Allie Therin is such a good writer. I wish I were better at describing just how well she writes. Since I can’t, I’ll leave you with a quote:
“That’s what love does,” said Rory. “The best kind of love makes us stronger by ourselves, too. Meeting you changed my life. It changed me. And I like me better now.”
I received an advance reader copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.