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.
I enjoyed this book. Wasn't sure about the book or story line at the start. In places the plot felt transparent. That said I kept listening and often in big chunks of time - so clearly something was being done right. Looking forward to listen to the next installment. :-)
Even history buffs would appreciate this story, and maybe get hooked on fantasy too!
An almost wry sense of humor that is essential to the tone and personality of the characters.
I laughed many times.
Had to disagree with a few of the portrayals for some characters, but overall the characters were distinctively clear, and the setting of WWII America with tommy guns and mad scientist inventions was captivating.
This is the first book by this author that I have read/listened to. I found it very entertaining.
I found this story very unique. I would say this was like a cross between Laurell K Hamilton and John Ringo. It is dark and brutal but hilarious at the same time.
Bronson Pinchot does an excellent job. His interpretation of the characters really brings the characters to life. He captures the annoying slow speach of one while expressing the childish evil behavior of a young girl.
I don't think this story is about extreme reactions. It is just a wild ride from start to finish. I really couldn't figure out what was going to happen next or how it would end.
This was a very enjoyable experience. I would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to escape reality for a while... for a long while.
No, I have not read the print version.
The Chairman - because he is evil and bored.
Pinochet performs many characters distinctly and extremely well!
I listen to the monster hunter series and liked it alot but put this series off due to the 40s setting. But it was recommended by audible enough i thought ill try it. This was an awesome book. I have a new series to follow. If i was surprised by the book though the reader blew me away. Bronson pinchot has to be one of the best readers i have ever listened too. He has so many voices to use and all of them are amazingly believable. Very happy with.my purchase.
Um ouvinte do Brasil. Que curte livros de fantasia e ficção. One listener from Brazil. Who enjoys fantasy and sci fi books.
I walk into this audiobook based on Monster Hunter Internacional addiction.
But I was marveled to discover a very good plot with a new magic system that hooked me.
I am always looking for something new as I am a voracious reader and I am currently running out writers that I know..... But this one was just dumb. Sorry! I'll read almost anything but I just gave up about half way thru. The story line just wouldn't hold my interest.
Plenty of inventive fights
Each characters "magic" and the techniques they employ it in fight scenarios.
If you tried Monster Hunters International and found the action good but the storey a bit weak you might find this much more entertaining as well as more interesting characters.
Yes. Bronson is a STAR reader. He makes an already good story spring to life. You feel like you are there. Bravo!
I almost didn't get this one because of the cheesy title and cover art. I'm glad I listened to the many great reviews because it knocked my socks off. I think fans of Dresden or the Iron Druid Chronicles will enjoy this. There is a lot of great imagination on display with an interesting take on revisionist history with supernatural powers and magic combined with a fast paced suspenseful story.
I really don't care about whether a book is perceived as high literature or not. For me it is all about entertainment value and I determine that by how much I look forward to listening to the book. I could have easily gone through this book in one sitting. That means 5 stars all the way!
I missed much of the monotonic narration especially when spoken softly. However, the story seemed nicely inventive.
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