Book Review: The Company of Magic, a YA Thriller by P.J. Milton

The Bottom Line: Harry Potter fans will be spellbound by this high flying YA thriller about the hidden world of magic and the organizations that control it.

Is Big Brother is always watching?

The Company of Magic PJ MiltonYes, and his name is Joshua. In the Roman Coliseum, Joshua, the CEO of a company of magicians called Sarras, presents his business card to a vampire named Tobias. There is no phone number or email address listed. He prefers to do all his business in person.

Joshua has an irresistible proposition for Tobias, who was born eight centuries ago: assassinate a 13-year-old boy who is dabbling in the dangerous world of magic. The pay? One hundred million dollars.

Tobias’ target, 13-year-old Jason Riley, had identified an ancient written spell on a museum piece – one that had been known only to Saaras since the fourth century. This young magus, or spellcaster, presents a significant threat to Sarras, a shadowy company of magicians. To stay alive, Jason needs allies, and fast.

Enter Scout Taylor, a young girl who pretends to be from Jason’s school. He’s onto Scout’s lie right away, but finding himself in need of powerful friends, is nonetheless eager to have her help. Scout comes from a line of magicians herself, and is always rambling on about “Uncle Charlie,” who is said to be so powerful that he can use crystals to transport people through time and space. She proves to be not only a wealth of knowledge, but also Jason’s personal guide as he is forced into a world of spells, giants, warlocks, werewolves and vampires that he never knew existed. As sidekicks go, Scout is first rate.

What sets Milton’s debut novel apart from other supernatural YA thrillers is the pacing, which is action-oriented, and never gets bogged down with superfluous backstory. Using the world’s great cities as a backdrop – Rome, New York, London, Paris and elsewhere – he has crafted a new universe that will likely draw many devotees. But can Jason and his new friends turn the tables on Sarras, or will this tale end in tragedy? Read The Company of Magic to find out.

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Bella Wright

Bella Wright blogs about books, film and media.

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