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.
A nice fusion of magic, steampunk, and crime noir. Good characters and a fairly smooth story narration.
I listen too a lot of audio books. This isn't the best to the worst. I can recommend it, though. I ended up listening to it as I cleaned house and it worked well for that. In the car, I was able to tune it out too much.
I have to say that this is a great book. It posits an alternative history in which magic begins to slowly appear in the mid 19th century, though the people who are born with magical abilities seem more like superheroes with there being different classes of magical ability based on what those abilities do.
It really does make for a fascinating read (or listen), the book takes place in the 1930's during the depths of the Great Depression and feels extensively researched. The dialogue has that distinct flair to it which is only furthered by Bronson Pinchot wonderful reading. Having only been exposed to Mr. Pinchot's work on Perfect Strangers when I was a kid, I was hesitant initially but he blew be away with not only the various accents that he affected but also the different speaking styles that he gave the characters.
I really can not say enough good things about this book and this production of it.
Yes, I had to the kids wanted to listen to it
The fight between the two brothers
No, I haven't
Well thought through
Alternate history and 1930's film noir are super collided with a magic and incredible action in a tale that keeps you wanting more. Original Characters in a fiercely original world, and guess what? Book 2 is even better! Get in on the ground floor and enjoy the ride. Oh and big ups to Broson Pinchot, the narration is perfect.
The Characters! You will come to love them like friends. Book 2 is great fun, and you will look forward to seeing the characters evolve and grow.
The end is an epic finally!
Where does lively writing end and great narration begin? I don't know, but the true voices of a deep-throated ex-con and an Oaklahoman school girl come shining through in this light and fun piece of fiction. Pacing is great and it left me wanting more.
Sci-fi, mystery and action-adventure fan
I was introduced to Larry Correia's blend of fantasy and modern weaponry in the Monster Hunter series and picked up the Grimnoir Chronicles because I enjoyed the Monster Hunter series so much and had exhausted all current books in the series.
Anyway, the Grimnoir Chronicles sets up an alternate universe story where the world and history of the 1930s has been changed due to people suddenly gaining magical powers sometime in the past.
Part hard-boiled detective story and part fantasy novel, the book follows Jake Sullivan, a "Heavy" in the sense that he can control the strength and direction of the gravitational pull exerted on people and objects in his vicinity. The story is classic Correia, with lots of action that pulls you in, some genuinely interesting concepts and a story arc that is slowly revealed with each book. Great read and highly recommended
I've listened to the other stories by Mr. Correla (monster hunter series) and I felt that this was a better story due to the original perspective and character study of the pulp superhero.
The performance by Mr. Pinchot is terrific. The range of voices ranging from the manly hero 'Sullivan' to the country hick female 'Fay' is believable and easy on the ears.
I'm glad I have this in my library.
Bravo! I'll be looking for the second story.
Story was probably even better than I realized, but the narrator made it hard to concentrate. His characters often sounded the same and he read the main character in Forrest Gump's voice. Not to mention he would read lines deadpan and monotone that began with, "he shouted" or "she screamed out". First time I've ever been truly distracted by a narrator. I'll be reading the second book in print form.
Speaker, Leader, innovation consultant, kilt-wearer, South African.
I couldn't remember anything about this story when I started listening to it. It's set in an alternative past where the Hindenburg didn't explode so blimps and dirigibles are the dominant form of air travel.
Each chapter starts with a quote from the "historical" record -- Darwin, Einstein, Freud all make an appearance.
This alternative place has magic in it and it's the Knights of the Grimnoir versus the Imperium.
The narrator has a fantastic knack for accents. His characters are beautifully played.
I suppose it's a bit like a steampunk version of Lian Hearn set in the US instead of Japan.
I'm two thirds through the first part of the first book and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. And if I find Bronson Pinchot reading another story, I'm going to get it. This guy is amazing.
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