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
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.
Great plot line.
Getting the individual perspectives of the characters
Fay fighting the Chairman
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which was different from a lot of the frilly and emotion-tweaking fantasy books out there directed toward female readers. The book was well written, had a great plot, the reader was fabulous, and women didn't need saving. Bravo.
This is a great book. I read all the Mist Born Series. I was looking for something similar. This is written with Sam Spade like characters. The story should tickle Graphic Novel fans with its pace and wild colorful characters. Revisionist history has lots of dirigibles and alt history twists. Sci fic and fantasy fans have magic, elemental physical powers and super-weapons.
The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
by Brandon Sanderson
His reading is lively and with his accents you a mental picture of the characters.
This was a fun book. I spent a lot of time laughing.. Even though the book has a lot of fighting, it is more about the characters finding out who they are than just violence.
I was looking for something different from the usually detective and this fit the bill. I loved the 1930's era and the similarities between that reality and our own. I will look forward to more of this story in the future.
Bronson Pinchot was also awesome as narrator and was able to keep all the characters separate and recognizable. I would not hesitate to listen to him in the future.
I was not a fan of Larry Correia's Monster Hunter books. Hard Magic was much better in my opinion. After listening to it, I purshased Spell Bound which I also enjoyed very much. If you liked the Monster Hunter books, you'll probably like both of these. If you didn't, you might still like them.
I think Bronson Pinchot has improved very much as a narrator. His characters were a bit over the top, but that somehow made sense in the context of the story.
I can't say enough about how much I liked listening to this book. I'm not sure what I expected, but the great characters and excellent narration kept me engaged the whole time. At the final battle scene I found myself clenching my hands as I was so absorbed in it. I agree that Bronson Pinchot did a fantastic job of narrating, it will likely make me look for other books he has done.
I do find the cover art to be a strange match to the feel of the book.
I mean what else is there? This is an awesome book and the narrator rocked it out. Im ashamed to say this is one of those books that I tried and couldn't get into initially, must have been a mood. But because it had such rave reviews I tried again. Thank goodness! It's great fun, I always try books again when I can't get into them. Some never take and some do... Obviously this did. The next book is even better. Lots of guns, fighting and kicking ass. But not overdone gore or bloody guts. Actually quite philosophical at times with the theories on magic and the connections to the source. Original and entertaining. Buy it now.
I would absolutely listen to Hard Magic again. In fact, I'm getting the next book - just got online to see if there was one, and so happy that that's the case!!! The storyline is a fantastic alternate history, colorfully woven and (to me) utterley believable. And Bronson Pinchot vocally creates such depth, with amazing voice characterizations and inflection. Best audiobook performance I've ever heard.
I can't say - too many, and I'd give plot points away!!!
This story wouldn't be the same without him. He is amazing with his craft - each and every character has their own voice, own manner of speaking, so much so that it's hard to believe it's only one actor reading. It's flawless. I just love Faye and Sullivan... and when I looked closely at the cover art (which I rarely give a second thought), I realized that the charaters were imaged exactly as I had imagined them based on Pinchot's voice characterization. Wow.
I cried a couple times. And laughed. And wondered, and sighed, and cheered..
I would probably not listen to it again anytime soon, just because I have books I want to listen to that I have not gone through once.
His voice acting brought the story to life.
Good story but the narrator tried valiantly to put me to sleep. He should confine himself to reading bedtime stories. It speaks for the quality of the story that I did stay awake after all.
Great characters all of them. Intriguing chairman too.
This story deserves a better narrator. He does the various characters well. I just wish he would not sound so sleepy most of the time.
I bought Part II as well....
Not quite as good as the Monster Hunter series but I'm seriously thinking about buying the paperback so I can really enjoy the story.
Gritty and fun.
Hard Magic had the Maltese Falcon feel to it. The tone and the attitude of the characters are perfect for the gum shoe,detective thriller of the radio drama days. The bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. The girls are beautiful.
Sam Spade would have been proud.
My favorite scene was in the conference room just before Hoover walks out and Jake confronts him about Delia to everyone's astonishment.
This is a fast paced action book that at times made me laugh out loud. The wry wit and great cast of charters made it a great read!
I loved the reader! He differentiated the genders so well and the different accents that the flow between dialog was beautiful. This is another aspect of his career to admire. Great job!
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