Breach by W. L. Goodwater


W. L. Goodwater

Karen, a young magician, is sent to investigate the breach in the Berlin Wall, which is made of magic. Instead, she discovers that the truth is elusive in this divided city–and that even magic itself has its own agenda.

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The first novel in a new Cold War fantasy series, where the Berlin Wall is made entirely of magic. When a breach unexpectedly appears in the wall, spies from both sides swarm to the city as World War III threatens to spark.


When Soviet magicians conjured an arcane wall to blockade occupied Berlin, the world was outraged but let it stand for the sake of peace. Now, after ten years of fighting with spies instead of spells, the CIA has discovered the unthinkable...


While refugees and soldiers mass along the border, operatives from East and West converge on the most dangerous city in the world to either stop the crisis, or take advantage of it.

Karen, a young magician with the American Office of Magical Research and Deployment, is sent to investigate the breach in the Wall and determine if it can be fixed. Instead, she discovers that the truth is elusive in this divided city--and that even magic itself has its own agenda.


Advance Galley Reviews

It was hard getting into the first few pages. Then I stopped. When I decided to try again, I had trouble opening the file, so I have to uninstall and install again with no luck. Sad that I lost the opportunity to read the book.

When I read the synopsis of Breach I was sold. The Cold War with magic? Yes, please! As a student of the Cold War, I'm always interested to read books on the era. I think it's possible that my expectations, therefore, were a little too high. While I enjoyed Breach, I found the beginning of the book to be a little flat. I know there was world-building to be done and characters to introduce, but I felt that we didn't really get to the "why" of the book until halfway through. I think the magic system itself could have been more developed. I wanted to know more about how things worked and where magic came from, but I have a feeling that's something we'll learn more about in later books. Overall, a decent read. I will definitely give any other books in this series a try, as I feel there's some real potential here.

Due to an error from adobe digital edition I cannot open the book to read which is disappointing as it looked interesting and my kind of story.

This is not the type of novel I typically would choose but the idea of a Berlín Wall created by magic and the part magic might play in creating world order intrigued me. I'm glad I stepped out of my routine choices and chose to read this series debut. Karen is a research magician in a male dominated, post WWII USA. Her former mentor selects her to go to Berlin to investigate a growing breach in the wall created by the Soviets after the war. Karen discovers the dark underbelly of the beast as she undertakes her assignment, getting caught in the maelstrom of lies and half truths revealed by those who might benefit from the fall of the wall and the power of the magic it contains. The characters are fully enough developed to be credible and the plot is believable enough to be thought provoking. The ending leaves the series open to continue but there is sufficient closure for a stand alone story. I received an advance copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

The Berlin Wall during the Cold War and magic is an intriguing combination explored within W.L. Goodwater’s Breach. A decade after World War II, the wall that stands in occupied Berlin has relevance as more than just a barrier between the East and the West – it also serves to contain a dark magic that could bring about the end of the world as we know it. But now the wall is failing, with a breach within it that has been allowing magic to seep out and entice particular magicians to unearth a book with the ability to unlock untold power. On loan to the CIA, young magician Karen, who normally researches ways that magic could be used to heal various ailments, is sent to Berlin to investigate and assist in mending the breach. As Karen gleans more information, she learns that there’s more to the wall than is shared while also gaining knowledge about the true boundaries of her magical abilities, but will her discoveries be enough and made in time to prevent a cataclysmic event from taking place? Well-written and well-paced, this story captivated my attention (though it combines two elements that fascinate me, so perhaps I was always bound to find this tale intriguing) and made for a quick read. Incorporating aspects of tension between the various Allied interests and the Soviets, the interactions between characters and their motivations felt fully-realized. The way that magic fit within the world was developed in a manner that established understandable rules and made sense. In an era where women were undervalued and underappreciated, I enjoyed Karen’s determination to demonstrate her worth as an equal (or better) to the expectations placed upon her. Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Intriguing world where magic plays a role in spycraft post WWII as Berlin faces life with its newly built wall. The players are all known except for the addition of magic; and with that the field changes and tips quite a bit. A good book for lovers of spy tales and fantasy set in that fruitful era of early Cold War Berlin.

Fantastic debut novel. Every part of this book seemed like it was written by a seasoned writer. The storyline, the characters, even the size of the chapters and the number of pages in this book were perfect. The storyline hooks you and allows you to sink into this story till you have forgotten the reality around you. The teaser at the end was a perfect way to end this book. I immediately wanted to remember this author and so wished I had another one to read. An excellent book. If you like fantasy mixed with a little mayhem and a spark of horror you will enjoy this book! I can't wait to see if there is a sequel in the future; I will be first in line to read it. Fantastic book! I really enjoyed this read!

I liked the premise of this book, but just couldn't get into it. I read about 100 pages and couldn't really keep reading. It's not that it was bad, just a bit slow, and I wasn't feeling it.

Cold War novel with an Alternate History/Fantasy twist and it absolutely works. I want more of this series yesterday!

Time was taken at the beginning of the book to show us this world. This foundation may make this book start slow when you are expecting action (and who isn't expecting action) but it really helps with the rest of the book. Some magic is left unexplained but it was things I could except and keep reading. It did not affect my enjoyment of the book. Based on the ending, this could be the beginning of a series. The ending is wrapped up but there is also more to this world than we were given in this book.

The premise of the Berlin wall being created by magic absolutely hooked me. While the book delivered an interesting story, I do think it could have been more developed in terms of character development and world building. My favorite character, Karen, was the most well rounded, but I wasn't a fan of switching POVs to less developed characters that frankly all blended together after awhile. I know with this type of story, one has to utilize a variety of characters to cover what's going on, but I think it could have been executed better. I also wished that the magic system was more thoroughly explained. There are magical items, locuses, incantations, etc., but I never felt like I got a good understanding of the magic available to the magicians and was surprised when one of the characters could do a new trick. Not like "oh, that's cool!", more like "oh, I guess they can do that now because the story calls for it." Maybe it will be more fully fleshed out in the next book of the series. Besides these two things, the story was entertaining and overall enjoyable. The series has the potential to grow from here and it has a decent start.

This is an entertaining alternate history of East Berlin and the Berlin Wall with a female magician protagonist instead of the usual male focused fantasy. Some of the characters could be developed a little more fully and the ending a little rushed, but that didn't detract from the story.

I don't even know where to begin with this book. I really liked the premise of Breach to begin with, but it turned out to be so much more than I expected. This book is action-packed, suspenseful, and a little scary in some places (Auttenberg, this means you), but it was wholly entertaining and I read it in one sitting. A Berlin Wall made of magic is such an interesting concept, and I think the world-building was pretty well done. The rules of magic in this fantasy don't feel fully fleshed out, but that's okay because this is a world where the magic users don't fully understand it themselves. Karen's job as a magic researcher sets the stage for magical rules that evolve and change as the series develops. I'm interested to see where the story goes from here, because though the ending had a crazy twist, it didn't feel like much of a cliffhanger. All in all I think this is a fantastic start to the Cold War Magic series, and I'll definitely be looking out for the next book.


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