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Literature / Manifestation

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Manifestation is an Urban Fantasy novel by Jason Cantrell. The story is set in a fictional, modern-day world where everything is normal until the day mysterious powers, known as "arcana," begin to return. The main protagonist, Gabby Palladino, finds herself surrounded by danger, mystery, and intrigue when people all around her begin spontaneously developing magical abilities that were once believed to be nothing more than myth and legend. These powers quickly spread out of control, since no one understands where they came from, how they work, or how to stop them from manifesting.

With nothing to guide her but a book of fairy tales known as the Fables of Arcana, Gabby must try to protect herself and her family from the dangers of these uncontrolled abilities, while also trying to discover why magic is suddenly returning to the world after being gone for centuries. Finding the answers isn't easy, since many people don't believe in magic, and they refuse to accept what is happening right before their eyes. Gabby must overcome her doubts and her fears while she searches for answers. Along the way, she also learns secrets about her own self that will change her life forever.


Manifestation is the first book in the Arcana Revived series, which also includes a short story, "Radiance." The novel was released in September of 2014.

Manifestation contains examples of:

  • Constructed World: The story takes place primarily in the fictional city of San Lorien, in the fictional Northern Union.
  • Cool Bike: An escape scene in one chapter involves a cool bike that gets supercharged with magical energy, massively boosting its speed.
  • Daddy's Girl: Gabby Palladino is definitely attached to her father, even stating at one point that her father "can't say no" to her.
  • Emotional Powers: One of the main characters displays this. Gabby Palladino radiates a field of magical energy, which gets stronger when she is emotional. The effect is noticeable at key points throughout the story, but most noteworthy is when she kills a boy by overloading him with mana in a moment of sheer rage.
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  • First Kiss: The main protagonist's first kiss happens near the beginning of the book.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: One of the main characters, Tock, is an engineering student who manifests the magical ability to create and repair arcane machines.
  • Like Reality Unless Noted: Despite being in a fictional world, the level of technology is similar to that in real life, and Gabby's brother Frankie plays on his college football team.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: The main protagonist, Gabby Palladino, is a teenage lesbian with a very feminine style in her clothing and personal tastes.
  • The Magic Comes Back: The central premise of the plot is the return of magical powers to modern times.
  • Magitek: One of the characters develops a type of Technomancy that allows her to use magic to repair damaged machines, power the machines with mana instead of electricity, and enhance the capabilities of machines.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A character in one key scene has the ability to generate sonic pulses with his voice.
  • Nightmare Sequence: One of the main characters, Tock Zipporah, suffers from a vivid nightmare about a figure from her past.
  • Personality Powers: Multiple characters have this, but the most notable is one of the main characters, Tock Zipporah. She is studying mechanical engineering, and she ends up with a power that can repair mechanical and electric devices.
  • Poor Communication Kills: At one point, Gabby Palladino is unable to explain the supernatural dangers that she's been seeing all around her, and as a result, she fails to warn a group of innocent people of an impending disaster.
  • Recurring Dreams: One of the main characters, Tock Zipporah, has recurring dreams throughout most of the book, each one building off the previous ones.
  • The Shrink: Dr. Patricia Caldwell, the psychiatrist Gabby Palladino visits throughout the book.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Falls into the "Women Are Better Than Men" ranking based on the ratio of female to male characters. All three point-of-view characters are women: Gabby Palladino, Tock Zipporah, and Dr. Patricia Caldwell. There are plenty of male supporting characters, but they tend to stay strictly in supporting roles.
  • Tomboy: Tock Zipporah is a mechanic and engineer, she doesn't like getting all emotional, and she balks at the idea of wearing a dress (a pink one, no less).
  • Urban Fantasy: The story takes place in a modern day world with cars, computers, and cell phones, but also includes magical powers and fairy tale elements.


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