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.
This story was a throw back in history within a time in a parallel universe where magic exists and nations are at war. I loved the 2 main characters and I really enjoyed the narrative. This was great and I highly recommend it.
I saw this book and thought it was going to be pure, simplistic action with magic. Don't get me wrong; there was plenty of that! There was also deep, fascinating, and non-trivial character development, a plot full of unexpected twists and turns, and a narrator who did a great job of giving each character a unique voice. It was fun, but also really interesting. Fantastic!
Strong characters, authors style of no nonsense action packed story line keeps the story moving fast. Characters posses strong independent personalities working for a team goal. This book is for recreational entertainment. I've listened to this entire series and the story line stays true to this first book. I recommend this series. I also highly recommend the authors other series starting with "Monster Hunter International" similar style, different story line, and maybe a slightly better narrator.
Its a good listen for sure and I love the author. But the narrator does tend to make some of the main characters sound too country and simple. And at times got lost towards the end of what was happening so there was some rewinds. But a great genre that should be explored more. It reminded me of the old movie "Cast a Deadly Spell". Definitely going to finish the trilogy.
I have never been disappointed with a Larry Correia story. I've love the MHI series and this story meets this high standard. Great heroes battling seemingly unbeatable villains. I look forward to the next book in the series.
The main character is the chauvinistic conservative version of a Mary Sue. The period setting seems to be a cover for the author's own prejudices. Past that, decent writing and a cool magic system.
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