After 3 years it would good to catch up with Isiah again. 3 years to a guy who is centuries old is an afternoon nap but there’s still been enough time in between for him to shake off his last big battle and resume the search for the ultimate root of all evil.
The thing that taunts Isiah though is he knows its not a battle that requires the annihilation of all that is evil as thats just not how ‘The Balance’ works. I love the concept of The Balance. Essentially there is a place for everything and everyone, good, evil or neutral and as long as there is an overall balance of those concepts, humanity is able to survive and thrive – Upset the balance and you tip the scales in favour of one side and that side can then take advantage, rise up and take ‘free will’ away from the world. THIS is what drives Isiah more than anything – Well, its what drives ‘The Balance’ he is their personal soldier in the war on keeping things in check.
An essential point that RealmShift made still rings very true in Magesign and that is that everyone has the choice to believe in what they wish and if enough people believe in something, it will come true. So the eternal conundrum is that if Humanity really is in charge of its own fate then it's completely up to us to do what we believe is right since we create everything ourselves.
With that in mind, everything gets amplified in Magesign. The Balance shift is bigger, the baddies are badder, Isiah even more pissed at the Balance for making him do its dirty work and the events are colossal. A few new concepts are introduced, namely the use of Magic and the fact that Isiah may not necessarily be alone in his quest to bring things back from the brink.
The character development is very strong as the book progresses. Some of them you love and some you most certainly love to hate, but ultimately you find that you can relate to every single person in the book as they all display traits that are within us all – Although most of us have the ability to keep from acting on those impulses..
There has been an emerging trend lately of pacing books at the speed of an all out sprint from the opening scene – Magesign is no different – Alan Baxter has an ability to write a book with such visual capabilities that its like you are reading a movie – Each chapter is a scene within itself so it does feel like you are watching a movie unfold scene by scene – It does make it a little jumpy at times especially if you go a few days reading a chapter at a time as you will find yourself back tracking a bit to remember what happened but once your back on deck, its flat out until the apocalyptic finale.
Australian readers will love the local geographical references as you chase the story around Sydney and into the outback but there is plenty of international jet setting too!
Overall, Magesign is an excellent conclusion to the Realmshift saga although I couldn’t rule out a possible third instalment being possible – Alan would have to go deep to out-do Magesign’s finale, but Im sure he could!
(reviewed the day of purchase)