Time-Marked Warlock, by Shami Stovall

The Book

Time-Marked Warlock
Pages: 402
Age Group: Adult
Published on 8/1/2024
Publisher: Self-Published
Urban Fantasy
Available on:


Adair Finch is the most powerful warlock in the world, and one of the best private investigators for hire. He has dealt with corporate vampires, murderous werewolves, and even fae royalty. Everything was perfect until he lost one case—the case where he also lost his brother.

So Finch retired. From magic. From PI work. From everything.

Bree Blackstone, a twelve-year-old witch, doesn’t know or care about any of that except Finch’s reputation. In the middle of the night, she bangs on Finch’s door. Her mother has been murdered, and now the assassin is after Bree as well.

My Review

Time-Marked Warlock is a fast-paced urban fantasy novel, written by Shami Stovall, with an interesting narrative that makes a really smart use of the powers of the main character, the retired PI and warlock Adair Finch, the most powerful warlock on the world. Well, until he decided to retire after his brother's death, a moment that is still torturing him; he retired from everything.

But Bree Blackstone doesn't know about that, only that she should find Finch if she ever needs help. After witnessing her mother's assassination, Bree's only option is visiting Finch in the middle of the night; Finch reluctantly agrees to help her, but after being for so long disconnected from the world, he will need to dust off his abilities while taking care of Bree, whose curiosity will lead to new problems.

With this premise, Stovall weaves a fast-paced story that makes the best use of the premise of temporal loops, as Finch has a pact with Chronos, allowing him to rewind time until a previously marked point in time (in this case, 4.34am, the moment he finds Bree); personally I found the execution to be really smart, constantly going back to the same time loop but extending the actions our characters are doing, in a successive addition of complexity, in a style that remembers me to The Sexy Brutale (if you like videogames, try it).

The interactions between Adair and Bree are really fun, especially because they reflect the collision between two different generations and worlds; Finch is definitely not made for society, but he does his best in order to protect Bree. At some point, we have a third character added to this dynamic, making it funnier while still keeping the focus on solving the murder and the conspiracy behind.
There are hints of a bigger world-building outside of the particular case Finch is investigating, but the novel is more focused on our characters. 

The pacing is excellent, keeping the loop structure, but skipping the parts that are deemed as unnecessary after some repetitions; and while Finch is a totally overpowered character, it is balanced with his own problems to deal with the world.

Time-Marked Warlock is an excellent and fun urban fantasy proposal; if you want to read a well-structured time loop story, definitely give this one a try. Hopefully, this won't be the last Adair Finch case we can read!

The Author/s

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall

Shami Stovall is a multi-award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction. Before that, she taught history and criminal law at the college level, and loved every second. When she’s not reading fascinating articles and books about ancient China or the Byzantine Empire, Stovall can be found playing way too many video games, especially RPGs and tactics simulators.