31 Jan 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC by Rachel Aaron #SFFFridays

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!


Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron book coverAuthor: Rachel Aaron
Series: DFZ #1
Source: Audible
Publisher: Aaron/Bach
Publication Date: November 9, 2018

The DFZ, the metropolis formerly known as Detroit, is the world’s most magical city with a population of nine million and zero public safety laws. That’s a lot of mages, cybernetically enhanced chrome heads, and mythical beasties who die, get into debt, and otherwise fail to pay their rent. When they can’t pay their bills, their stuff gets sold to the highest bidder to cover the tab.

That’s when they call me. My name is Opal Yong-ae, and I’m a Cleaner: a freelance mage with an art history degree who’s employed by the DFZ to sort through the mountains of magical junk people leave behind. It’s not a pretty job, or a safe one—there’s a reason I wear bite-proof gloves—but when you’re deep in debt in a lawless city where gods are real, dragons are traffic hazards, and buildings move around on their own, you don’t get to be picky about where your money comes from. You just have to make it work, even when the only thing of value in your latest repossessed apartment is the dead body of the mage who used to live there.
There was so much goodness in Aaron's MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC that I'm sad it took me so long to read it from when I initially purchased it. A mix of bureaucratic misery, detective work, and magic, MINIMUM WAGE MAGIC has something for, quite literally, everybody. And it is the start to a new (favourite) series!

The worldbuilding in this is incredible! I loved seeing aspects of Detroit that I know and how it could be in the future if ~magic~ was a thing. I loved seeing how rebuilt and incredible it was because that's the way Detroit should be. Overflowing with mages, magical creatures, dragons, and gods, I wanted to be actually sucked into the story so I could live there. But I was so engrossed in the story that I felt like I was there.

The characters are incredibly written. Some of their personality traits were annoying and predictable but that's the case with well-written characers. I am so into how strong Opal is as a character, a woman, and someone who has to deal with bureaucratic bullshit. I also loved her relationship with her AI and with Nick. Both were great supporting characters that will definitely develop so much more as the series continues.

I liked that magic wasn't used as the be all, end all to everything and that some "old" technology (aka what we have now) was still being used. It helped centre me in the story and understand what type of technological advancements there were in the story and could be in the future.

I really enjoyed this one (and finished it in record time!) so I would recommend you check it out. It's a good starter into the world of Adult Fantasy because it still has that "coming of age" aspect and some really fun magic. I am excited to continue with the series!

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

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