The central conceit of Trancehack seems appealing, marrying magic and technology with themes of segregation, propaganda, fascism and abuse of power. In some ways, it is successful; the idea of trancehacking (using magic to enter computers and networks, ala The Matrix) is really intriguing. But the tale is mired in its own complex mythology: It’s almost as if the author thought she had to include every historical and cultural description of magic — Native American, Druidic/pagan, fantasy — causing the magic system itself to seem clumsy and overwrought. The characters deal with serious issues, but the reader ends up just not caring so much.

Nate Perez is new to the city, and it’s his first time being near a magic segregation zone. When a high-profile murder is committed and he’s assigned to the case, Nate learns what it means to be Magic Born in the U.S. He soon realizes he needs the help of Calla Vesper, a “trancehacker” who uses magic to access locked-down computer files. Together they set out to uncover the truth behind the murder — but a state-orchestrated conspiracy may be more than they bargained for. (CARINAPRESS.COM, dl $2.99)
Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs