Trace of Magic Audiobook by Diana Pharaoh Francis (REVIEW)

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Reviews | 32 comments

Review of: Trace of Magic
Diana Pharaoh Francis

Reviewed by:
On April 22, 2016
Last modified:May 21, 2016


Trace of Magic Audiobook

By: Diana Pharaoh Francis

Narrated by: Elizabeth Phillips

Published by BelleBooks, Inc. 03/28/16

Trace of Magic Audiobook by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Trace of Magic Audiobook Sample

Trace of Magic Audiobook

3.5 Hearts

I’ve heard great things about Diana Pharaoh Francis for a long time from Berls from Fantasy is More Fun, so when I finally got a chance to review one of her audiobooks, I jumped at the chance. I didn’t really know much about this book going it. I had not read any reviews, only the blurb from Goodreads. I will say, that I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed it.

This is a world where you have people with different magical abilities. Riley Hollis is a Tracer. She can follow someone’s trace and see where they’ve been in the past. She is much stronger than she lets on though. If some of the powerful people figured out how powerful she really was, she would become a target. Most people can only track someone’s trace for a short time. Riley can track someone’s trace back forever and even after they died.

Detective Clay Price is known as a dirty cop. He is in the pocket of the mob as an enforcer. However, when he isn’t doing the mob’s work, he is actually a pretty good cop. He needs someone to do a trace for him, but doesn’t want it to be on the record with the police or the mob, so he comes to Riley. He makes her an offer she can’t refuse to work for him. Then her sister calls in hysterics because her boyfriend’s place is in disarray. Price and and Riley work together to find out what happened to the boyfriend. They find out it is all tied together.

I really enjoyed this story. It was full of action. I liked the magic. Riley is a great character that is full of sass. Price is decent character, better than I thought he would be, seeing that he was part of the mob and all. I was a little surprised that Riley gives in and sleeps with him as quickly as she did. She also starts to reveal more and more about herself to him faster than I would’ve thought, even after sleeping with him. There are also some really great side characters in this story that I would like to learn more about.

It was a pretty good start to the series. I would like to see the second book and see where this series goes. It has promise. The second book isn’t available on audio yet. I don’t know if it will be or not. I’ll have to wait a bit and see.

Trace of Magic Audiobook Narration

3.5 Hearts

This is my first audiobook with Elizabeth Phillips. I will say that I thought she did a great job. I has no issues with any of the voices, male or female. I was always able to distinguish between the characters. I did listen at an increased speed, but that is normal for me. I would recommend her for more books.

Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis

Diana Pharaoh Francis

I was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern California (outside a town called Lincoln which is now part of an enormous sprawl). I taught myself to ride a horse at the age of six, as no one had the time to teach me—they were all busy learning how to irrigate, how to cajole an angry bull into another field, how to pull a calf… Afraid of heights, and absolutely sure I was going to die, I managed to scramble up on the back of a very patient and lazy strawberry roan destrier, and plod off into the sunset.

Thereafter, I spent much of my early life on horseback, or so far buried into a book that the rest of the world ceased to exist (much to the annoyance of my family—it took several attempts to get my attention). We all had very specific jobs on the ranch and mine was horses and cattle—out rounding up at dawn. And since I rode bareback, my standing request was to wake me up 5 minutes before everyone else headed for the barn—time enough to dress and eat my Wheaties, and no sleep time wasted on saddling.

After high school, I attended college after college, racking up a BA and MA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in literature and theory. My very patient and supportive husband traipsed across the Midwest and back to Montana for me (though my husband insists that he’s been running and hiding and I just keep finding him), where I now teach at the University of Montana-Western. We also a son Q-ball, who in our humbly unbiased opinions, is the most wonderful son ever produced, and a daughter, Princess Caesar, who is the most wonderful daughter ever produced.

I have a fascination for the Victorians, weather, geology, horses, plants and mythology, I like spicy food, chocolate and cheesecake, and I have an odd sense of humor. (Or so I’ve been told. Often.) Incidentally, the Pharaoh is in fact my real name, and oddly enough, is of British origin.

Some of my current favorite sf/f writers are Ilona Andrews, Carol Berg, C.E. Murphy, Patty Briggs, Lynn Flewelling, Rachel Caine, David Coe, and Anne Bishop.

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Narrator: Elizabeth PhillipsNarrator: Elizabeth Phillips

Elizabeth Phillips is a voice-actor currently living in Columbus. She has been employed by multiple authors and companies.

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I like to thanks Diana Pharaoh Francis for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 3.5
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. I find that sometimes with UF it takes a bit to get going and often the first books aren’t strongest. Hopefully that is the case with this series for you.

    • That is exactly what I was thinking. I thought that this was a good start and that it has plenty of potential to grow into a fun UF series.

  2. I’ll be interested in seeing what you think of the next one. It sounds pretty good, even with Riley rushing it a bit 😛 Have a good weekend, Melanie!!

    • I thought that this was a great start to the series. I’m excited to see where this series goes.

  3. Oh I might have to do these on audio! I’ll have to see if my library can get this one. I don’t mind a slow start since UF often does that. 🙂

    • Exactly, I feel the same way about UF. Some of my favorite series are 3.5 star ratings for the first book. Some are even 3 star. Then end up with 4.5 or 5 star ratings later in the series.

  4. Sounds like an interesting novel. 🙂

  5. I’ve not heard of her before. I do like a little extra ability thrown in. Sounds fun!

    • I had not hear of her before Berls mentioned her to me at RT last year. I enjoyed my first book by her.

  6. Yay! I’m so glad you got to read DPF finally! I actually haven’t read this series yet – I own both books, but time and all… well you know how that goes! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Did she torture her characters? That’s something that she’s really done in the other series I’ve read by her and it’s an element I’ve really enjoyed (I know, I’m horrible!).

    • I know exactly how that goes. She didn’t torture too bad in this one. But that could come later. I need to try some of her other stuff. Thanks so much for putting this author on my radar.

  7. Oh, what an interesting premise, Melanie! And I guess the heroine is pretty smart, too, keeping the extent of her tracing power a secret.
    I guess I need to add this series to my TBR as well 🙂
    Have a wonderful weekend and happy listening!

    • She was pretty smart. I thought it was a pretty good start to a UF series. I’m hoping that the second book will be put on audio too.

  8. Hmm new author for me. Sounds like she’s on that I might like though. Thanks for the review.

    • This is my first time with this author too. It will not be my last. 🙂

  9. I Would enjoy this, and hey I gave the first Kate Daniels book a 3.5 and we all know how much I love that series!

    • That is my thoughts exactly. I’ve often found that the first book in a UF isn’t the strongest book, but that is okay. That doesn’t mean they’re bad books. I enjoyed this one and will pick up the next book. 🙂

  10. Sounds interesting. I’ll being add this series to my TBR. I really like idea of the magical world and magical people plus Riley sounds like a very unique character with some challenges that would make any story intriguing. Thank’s for the review.

    • I liked Riley too. Can’t wait for the next book. I just hope that they put it on audio.

  11. Clay Price is my kind of character, straight deviation from the goody-goody cops. Make ’em dirrty!

    • He’s no goody-goody cop, but I think he might be better than he let’s on. I’ll be interested to learn more about him.

  12. Hmmm I don’t think I’m familiar with this series. I’m always up for good UF though. Hope the next installment is even better.

    • I’m always up for UF too. The numbers of new UF series seems to be going down. I’m glad to see that there are still some good ones coming out though. 🙂

  13. I like going blind into a book sometimes. Or when I read the blurb and have forgotten most of it by the time I start the book. The Tracer ability sounds pretty original and like it would be fun to read about. I might check this one out. Great review!

    • Thanks, Lola. I love going into books blind. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did if you get a chance to try it.

  14. It sounds like this was a great start to a series. I love UF so I will definitely check this out.

    • I thought it was a good start. I’ve read a several UF series where book one is 3 or 3.5 star book and had 5 star books later in the series. Worldbuilding and things just fill the book up. I think this series has a lot of promise.

  15. Riley sounds like my kind of girl! And Price doesn’t sound so bad. Great review Melanie!

    • I thought this was a great start to Urban Fantasy series. I would like to try next book by this author.

    • It was okay. I’m hoping that the next book is better. I thought that this had potential.

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