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Hard Magic Audiobook

Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

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Audible Editor Reviews

Larry Correia has already made a name for himself in the sci-fi/fantasy world with his Monster Hunter books, but now he's written the first in new series that takes place in New York in the 1930s, filled with dubious federal agents, hardboiled detectives, and dames with a whole lotta chutzpah. Except this isn't quite the New York you might expect, but an alternate universe where zeppelins moor at the top of the Empire State Building, the Titanic never sank and mad scientist Nikola Tesla has created a devastating weapon called the Geo-Tel. Oh, and people have magical powers. They are known as Actives. It's become commonplace for some people to defy gravity, teleport, manipulate animals, and heal by touch. The hero here is Jake Sullivan, a detective and ex-con who is set free by the FBI to track criminal Actives, which J. Edgar Hoover (yeah, he's still around) would like to eradicate.

Actor Bronson Pinchot has become a regular go-to for audiobooks and the reason is obvious – the guy knows how to bring a story to life. Far from his manic days as Balki on Perfect Strangers, Pinchot is a warm, imminently listenable narrator. He's obviously having a ball with Hard Magic, gruffing up his voice for the hardboiled Jake and the various G-men and employing a countrified voice for Faye, a young farm girl who can teleport across great distances and becomes vital to saving the world from destruction by the Geo-Tel. Pinchot gives each character a different voice, so it's easy to keep up with the big cast. Correia writes long, colorful descriptions of his characters and their situations, but those passages never become boring and never get in the way of the action, thanks to Pinchot.

Steampunk lovers will find much to love about Hard Magic, but listners who love big guns and explosions will be in hog heaven. There are epic, cinematic battles including one over-the-top of a dirigible that is audaciously impossible. Hard Magic almost defies categorization, because Correia has no problem blending science fiction with more fanciful fantasy, even managing to slip in double-headed dragons and imps. The second book in the Grimnoir Chronicles, Spellbound, is coming and let's hope Pinchot has signed on for the audio version. —Collin Kelley

Publisher's Summary

Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someone to go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

Problems arise when Jake discovers the bad girl behind the robberies is an old friend, and he happens to know her magic is just as powerful as his. And the Feds have plunged Jake into a secret battle between powerful cartels of magic-users - a cartel whose ruthless leaders have decided that Jake is far too dangerous to live.

©2011 Larry Correia (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Paranormal, 2012

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (9519 )
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  •  
    William 09-26-11
    William 09-26-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic"

    This breaks new ground by the merging of many different ideas of fact and fiction. This has something for every fiction reader out their. I am so glad that this already has a "Book 1" in the title. I can not wait for the next installment. This writer breaks new ground with a mix of magic, super heroes and monsters. Even his involvement of real historical characters ignites the imagination. Don't hesitate. The first book is worth the leap of faith.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jane staten island, NY, United States 09-24-11
    jane staten island, NY, United States 09-24-11 Member Since 2008

    Avid reader 5 to 10 books a month. I like urban fantasy and Sci-Fi the most. I do enjoy a bio every now and then.

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    "Don't judge a book by it's cover"

    I almost didn't pick this book because the cover looked so campy! Fortunately I saw the star rating and decided to give it a closer look. I am so glad I did! The author created vivid characters that you care about and root for. The plot twists And turns. I loved the way he tweaked history to support his plot. Action, magic and laughs.... What else could you ask for? Read it you will not be disappointed!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JerryBerry 09-17-11
    JerryBerry 09-17-11
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    "X-men novel"

    The story description is very mis-leading. Describing Sullivan (the story focus) as a private detective is like describing Obama as a law professor, it might have been true but it is completely irrelevant. Sullivan is recruited by the x-men. I cannot think of any Hard Magic characters that do not have a direct x-man equivalent. I enjoy superhero stories and enjoyed the author's skill in balancing the x-man powers so that no character's power overwhelms the others.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 09-13-11
    Rebecca 09-13-11 Member Since 2009

    Rebecca

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    "1920s Magically Enhanced Action Heroes"

    Action, intrigue, suspense, good guys vs. bad guys, dirigibles, peace rays -- this comic book style action hero novel really delivers. In an alternate 1920's universe, some people have special powers: Heavies (gravity manipulators), brutes (strength), jumpers (space hopping, one moment here, next moment there), faders (can move through materials), torches (fire starters), cogs (inventors, brainiacs), healers, mind readers, and more. Two groups of magically enhanced humans battle for political control. Great story, lots of action, excellent character development, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Spiegelman Highland PArk, NJ United States 09-06-11
    David Spiegelman Highland PArk, NJ United States 09-06-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Original and Believable"

    If you are like me and love the genre, then you will appreciate a paranormal tale that is not over the top in its portrayal of its protagonists' abilities. Magicians hobbled by their humanity. Well Done Mr. Correia.

    As usual the narration of Bronson Pinchot, is on the mark, as in Blood Oath etc., etc., etc.,

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 08-15-11
    Kim 08-15-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Great narration of a great story"

    I got this audiobook on the recommendation of a co-worker who had read the paper version. I was not disappointed. The story was great - I had a hard time turning it off. To top it off, the narrator did an amazing job of voicing all of the different characters.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    breckoz 03-20-13
    breckoz 03-20-13 Member Since 2016

    Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction

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    "Just Okay"

    Overall this was an alright book but I didn't care for some of the content and narration. I think I liked the premise and story line over all, but I was really up in the air about it until the end. It is hard for me to say Bronson Pinchot (the narrator) did a bad job, because he put a lot of effort into this book. However, some of the characters he performed I just didn't like.

    The story is based in the early 1900's in America, where magical talents suddenly have come about, and the world is trying to deal with it all. A lot of events in our normal time line are altered and the rival power in the world is Imperial Japan. There are some racist attitudes towards that country from characters in this book thusly. This is not a children's book and there was a lot of death and murder. There was a satisfying conclusion. Similar to Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International series, I felt like there was a deeper wonder and intrigue to be found as the story proceeds, with promises of greater battles to come in future tellings in this universe.

    Now, the things I didn't like included some of the characters like the girl Faye, who ends up being one of the main characters. This dislike is due to both narration and writing. The "I reckon" accent, attitude, and voice simply were not appealing to me and the "okie" / gangster like attitude of the characters didn't resonate very well with me either. Some people have remarked she is more real and true to a female character, but it is very hard for me to comment on that fact. I thought she came off fairly foolish and unintelligent; but perhaps this is due to my local and upbringing. I suppose I have some fairly different view points than Mr. Correia and I do see some of his biases show up in his works and his fans. Also, if you have read his other works, like the monster hunter series, then you will see some parallels. One of the main characters, Jake Sullivan, is very similar to the main character in monster hunter series with exception to a few more annoying traits that have received some criticism in the past (from myself and others) having been altered. This improved character is supposed to be a man of few words, intelligent, well read, duty bound, and a brute. Oh, and eats a ton of food. Well, now that I think of it, maybe a lot has not changed there.

    Lately, Larry Correia has seemed to become more publicly pronounced with his right wing political beliefs, especially related to gun rights. I can't say I agree with him, but I like to keep my fantasy reads and reality in the right place. But, if there are ever any zombies or magical creatures roaming the Earth in the future I will change my opinion on such matters. Nonetheless, I feel this is noteworthy because his attitude blends into his writing occasionally and it is something to keep an eye on in his future works. I would suggest if you are new to this writer to try his Monster Hunters International series first because the series becomes very good.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-10-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-10-13 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

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    "HE DID NOT GET HIS HANDS DIRTY, HE HAD PEOPLE FOR"

    THAT.
    Once again I am out in left field on this. If I gave a grade for the first twelve chapters, I would give this a five star. The introduction of characters was great. The world Larry builds is creative and cool. Yet after chapter 12, when the characters are established and the world firmly in your head, the writing flounders.

    CANADA IS LIKE THEY TOOK VERMONT AND MADE A WHOLE COUNTRY OUT OF IT, ONLY MORE BORING.
    From chapter 13 on, it reads like the 1960's Batman. WHAM, POW, BOP. There are lots of chase scenes and fight scenes. The plot meanders. I could not keep my mind from wondering. The main characters seem to be constantly changing what side or sides they are on. I put the second download on fast play but with just two hours left, I could not sit through anymore.

    FOR SOMEONE WHO MADE HIS LIVING WITH WORDS, HE SEEMED TO BE SAVING HIS UP.
    The narrator talks very slow. While the writing was good, this was okay, I was able to savor the characters, but when the writing went down a couple of levels, the extremely slow narration was awful. I put his guy on fast play and it sounded like normal talking and I'm from the Mid-West, were we all talk kind of slow.

    I ONLY WANT TO KILL SOMEONE ONCE, KILLING THEM TWICE SEEMS LIKE WORK.
    This has great ratings, but a third of the people who rated this book, did not buy or rate the sequel.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy GLENDORA, CA, United States 12-26-11
    Tracy GLENDORA, CA, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Good Story But Narration Is Horrible"

    After listening to this book for a little over an hour, I finally had to give up. At first I thought it was the story, but then I realized it was not the story at all, but the narration. I think I am one of very few who thinks that Bronson Pinchot does a horrible job at narrating this book.

    Each character came across and either dim-witted/slow or bored/blase. Also, Mr. Pinchot seemed like he had a extreme amount of saliva or marbles in his mouth the entire time. I swear there were times I felt like Alfred Hitchcock was reading this book rather than Bronson Pinchot.

    This is an interesting story with interesting characters and if the narration had been better this would have been a great audio book. But, for me this was not the case. Instead I purchased the ebook and read it on my own. This was a much better option.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, United States 11-23-11
    Angela COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2014
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    "It took me 4 chapters to ..."

    Get into this book but once I did I loved it. On to the next.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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