Evolutionary Magic

Christina Herlyn

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Evolutionary Magic is the debut novel of Christina Herlyn, a dystopian urban fantasy set in an alternate history where our moon was shunted out of orbit by an asteroid, Atlas. As you might expect, this caused a massive amount of environmental damage, along with the failure of a substantial proportion of technology, the sudden appearance of mythological monsters, and potentially fatal genetic changes in some human new-borns. These children – Evolutionaries – can be treated, but the treatment has such side effects that older Evolutionaries can only be allowed to work for the newly-created Mythical Creatures Elimination Squad, hunting monsters.

Our protagonist, Andee, is one of those Evolutionaries, and she’s not particularly happy with the status quo, as MCES treats its not-strictly-human employees in a rather callous manner, so when she meets a man who tells her that what is being done to her and her fellow Evolutionaries is completely unnecessary, she must decide whether to believe him. Doing so will mean she will be hunted herself, but does she really have a choice?


Overall, Evolutionary Magic is a mixed bag. The simplicity of the writing suggests that the book is going to be aimed towards younger readers, yet the subject matter indicates otherwise. Some characters are comparatively well-developed, while others are so two dimensional it was hard to stop from rolling my eyes every time they cropped up (it might say a lot that my favourite characters were the horse and the cat). Perhaps a more experienced author would have developed a more scientifically plausible explanation for the moon/Atlas swap, I don’t know. What I do know is that the inclusion of mythical monsters can cover many sins.

Despite the plotline becoming fairly generic in places, it’s an enjoyable, action-packed, and fast-paced read. There’s a lot of back story to fill in, which could be why it feels too rushed at times, but it’s understandable given that this is a debut novel. I will be checking out the next book in the series, so it’s obviously promising enough to allow more time for development.

I received a free reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: Already published

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