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 fun new take on the classic fantasy concept with the advantage of being set in a world relatively similar to ours. This gives the reader a rich possibility to recognize and relate to different situations without demanding vast knowledge in different mythical creatures and races. Throws you straight into a story filled with humor and action. Great fun.
He brings life and voice to all characters even the female ones without it ever getting strange.
It's in the upper half.
Fay. At first I didn't like her but she really grows on you.
He was great as the main character
Bronson did great job bringing the story to life.
The story flowed well and the author keeps the action going
I have to admit that when I read the premise of this story, I was a little sceptical that it would be my cup of tea. Boy was I wrong! Larry Correia really comes through with this story of a an anlternative depression era America, where magic is real and Tesla's death ray actually works! The story takes on a noirish style as the protagonists attempt to figure out how to overcome and defeat the nefarious "Chairman", the magic imbued leader of an alternate post world war Japan. This is an action laced story from beginning to end, but Mr. Correia takes the time to create a thoroughly interesting story with characters that engage the listener right from the start.
In additon to a great story, this audio book is presented by Bronson Pinchot who delivers an outstanding performance. Pinchot brings the characters to life in such a way that the listener might actually believe it is the characters themselves that are speaking instead of the narrator. This is the first audio book I have listened to performed by Bronson Pinchot and I was very impressed by his narration talents. I can't wait to listen to more books performed by Mr. Pinchot.
The reader was amazing - the story even better. I bought this during the 4.99 sale. So glad I did. I now have a new author in my collection. You need to listen to this book (and second in the series)!
It's up there with the best. I'm not sure whether or not I would have enjoyed it as much if I had not had it so masterfully read to me.
The characters are very sympathetic, and the action is non-stop. The re-writing of history around the advent of magic makes perfect sense, and the fiction feels authentic in the context. Correia has a light hand, ensuring the story has all the appeal of classic pulp fiction, but a natural feel for our not-so-distant past, rendering a new reality with all the assurance of an impressionist.
His British accent was a little over the top, but my ear is not fine enough to have picked up any issues with the rest, and both Sullivan and Fay were impeccably drawn, with distinct voices, and warmly reassuring accents. Pinchot brings each character to life, and makes one fall in love with them in the most natural way.
History rewritten by magic
I recommend this to any Pratchett fan, any 20th century history buff with fantastic leanings, and anyone who just wants an action-packed romp. Escapist fiction at its best!
Fanatical Endurance Athlete, who listens to a lot of books while training.
The way in which magic is used made this book made the plot exciting and very enjoyable.
One of the characters, a farm girl had a unique and refreshing outlook on the world. Her injection into the story was by far the most enjoyable aspect.
While Fey was a refreshing character, the hard, determined and value driven Jake Sullivan was the best character in the book. He carried the plot on his back and left you with the lasting thought that this is the guy you wanted on your side.
The plot is fast moving and enough to keep you guessing. While some parts were predictable, there were other parts of the story that kept you guessing till the end.
I selected this book because it sounded interesting, and I also really do enjoy Bronson Pinchot as a narrator. The story has a great pace and pulls you in.
Yes and no. I Didn't want it to end, so I spread it out over several days. But it was very hard to put down.
If you are at all intrigued by the description, you should listen to this book.
A week or so ago I purchased “Hard Magic” by Larry Correia as part of an Audible clearance special. It was the best investment in a long time. The book was pure pleasure. There was a good story, plenty of film noir ambiance, magic galore, and action from beginning to end. It was pure testosterone driven escape! As soon as I finished “Hard Magic” I immediately downloaded “Spellbound”, the second installment in the series and found it to be a big second helping of the wonderful confection. Indeed, there were even a few more nuts (literally) in this helping. The second book developed the story began in the first installment with new twists and turns, introduced some great new characters, and allowed all of the original crew to shine.
My complements to Bronson Pinchot, he did a great job as the narrator. The voices he created were spot on for each of the characters. They may have been a bit exaggerated if these books were more serious literary novels but for the fantasy/detective/magic/syfy genre they were perfect!
I will wait with great anticipation for the third installment in the series.
For me. seeing how everything was wrapped up was great.
took me a little bit to like the narration. Didn't like Jake's voice at all. Made him sound dumb. Narratorr did Southern accents poorly.
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