Recently, I had the great fortune of discovering this wonderful series, “Leveling Up” by KF Breene, and plowed through the audio books of all 7 books available in the last two weeks. They are wonderful. As a woman in her forties and and what amounts to a soccer mom, I am always looking for stories in fantasy that have women my age or moms. Women who get older do not dry up into crones, quite the contrary, speaking from my own personal experience, I find that I have a level of calm, wisdom, and IDGAF that I lacked in my twenties. It has been hard fought for and I want to see heroines that have that. Not teachers, or motherly figures that take a back seat to the action but who ARE the action.
I discovered this series while searching LitRPG, a genre I never thought I would become so obsessed with, after binging the first seven books of “Dungeon Crawler Carl” (another series to get on your TBR). Also, as I say that I “discovered” this series as if it isn’t being read all over, It is hugely popular. KF Breene is a New York Times best seller and the first novel has over 30k reviews.
In my opinion, I find that the series is a bit misnamed, and a better name would be Magical Midlife Madness or some sort. Leveling up implies gaming, and there isn’t any of that. This series stars a woman, Jacinta, who is recently divorced and is completely starting over. Instead of trepidation, she is meeting this challenge as an opportunity to get out of the rut she had been in and branch out.
This time, though, I plan to do things differently. Age is just a number, after all, and at forty I’m ready to carve my own path.
Through fate, and possibly some magic, Jacinta becomes the caretaker of a centuries year old mansion in a tiny town in the Sierras. The house comes with some odd “perks” such as an ancient off kilter butler with a love for capes, a neighbor who drinks whiskey like a fish and throws rocks at tourists, and magic.
This isn’t a cutesy series, Jacinta has grit and she faces the constantly changing magical scene and her ever increasing magical life. There is romance, battles, different magical creatures and more. But none of these ideas become overbearing and smother the interesting plot or unique characters. At its base, the cool wise calmness that I hope is a byproduct of making it around the sun 40 times is in her. I can not recommend it highly enough. If you enjoy shifters, vampires, gargoyles and magic with a load of sarcasm from a 40+ main character then this is a great series for you.
Side note, every title is available soon KU. Happy reading!