Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user---maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying, and they Offload the cost onto innocents. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster---and Allison Beckstrom is the best there is. Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune---and the strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magic Offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown into the high-stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic. Now Allie's out for the truth---and she must call upon forces that will challenge everything she knows, change her in ways she could never imagine, and make her capable of things that powerful people will do anything to control.
©2008 Devon Monk (P)2011 Tantor
I'm currently re-reading this series (again) and decided to try the audio book this time.
I enjoyed it so much that I now own the entire series in both ebook format and audio format. I was impressed by the narrator, Emily Durante, who does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life & giving each character his/her own voice.
AS TO THE STORY:
Devon Monk's Magic/Allie Beckstrom series is one of a handful of series that I HIGHLY recommend to friends & fans of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. In it, the author introduces us to an interesting and well-crafted world in which magic is a reality, but comes with a price. Not only do I find Monk's take on Magic and the world she has created to be both unique and interesting; but I also greatly appreciate the fact that our introduction into this world is fairly seemless. I was never confused &/or overwhelmed by too much techno-speak or conceptualization, as can sometimes be the case in fantasy books with respect to world-building.
This book/series might be a bit more UF than PR, but there is a quickly formed romance (w/ complications) for you paranormal romance fans, plenty of magic (most of it out of the bedroom... though some quite literally in it, a fair amount of mystery/ detective work, and some interesting, multi-faceted characters. *(Some of my favorite characters aren't introduced for a few more books.)
MAGIC TO THE BONE ---- some romance, a lot of urban fantasy and some crime & intrigue --- It's a good start to a great series. If you enjoy the first book even a little, keep reading... the rest of the books are even more compelling.
I enjoyed this story although the ending was drawn out. Thought the magic concept was good, The heroine wasn't much for thinking outside of the box. Looking forward to future books.
Say something about yourself!
I would have appreciated if the author / editor had taken a little more time to catch some plot errors. That is the reason I gave this a low score. A crime has been committed at Mama's house to one of her boys’. Mommy is a neighborhood woman who runs a restaurant and cares for kids. Upon examination of the boy Allie immediately knows who has offloaded magic to boy. In her righteousness she goes to confront her estranged dad. They perform a full proof truth detection test. Her dad was telling the truth that he did not have anything to do with the crime. Allie does not believe him and she plans to go to the police and report the crime. But first she needs rest so she end up at mama's.
The next morning she has a magic scare. She knows this is the work of her father and right after coffee she is going to the police. On her way to coffee she discovers her father has been killed. She now is willing to skip the coffee and go directly to the police. On route to the police she has to fight her way out of a hijack. A bounty has been put on her for killing her father. The hijacker was to take her to the evil entity but Allie wants to go to the police. Now she is going back to mama’s to use a phone to call the police. This is the point that I was so finished with the book. Like how long will it take you to get the police?
She has no money, physically drained because she did not ground herself properly, she discovered her dad was having her followed, she is walking in inclement weather, without a coat. We are in the 8th chapter and she has not made it to the police. When she had as opportunity to call the police she was going to call a CAB!
What detective does not look at all aspects of a situation? She disregards the probability of her father being truthful. Even when she is framed with the killing of her father, she does not once consider that her father was telling the truth and he was framed in the same way.
Would I listen to the next in the series? No. There is nothing so original or outstanding for me to invest in book 2.
Say something about yourself!
I think this was the author's first series and it shows. I've heard that some of her other series are better and I'm going to give them a try (since I already bought the paperbacks) but I can't get through this sloppy mess.
The premise was interesting, I've always been a firm believer in "magic having a price" but the author didn't build her world very well. The price doesn't seem to be equal, not everyone has to pay a price, there's different types of magic, some of which don't require a price, etc. What about the magic lights or the magic stored beneath the city, who paid the price for that? Ms. Monk doesn't seem to understand cause and effect or semi-constant consequences. It's like instead of building her world like a pyramid from the ground up, she started at the top and just jumped straight down! She contradicts her own world rules, and changes things as she goes along, which is a big no-no when building a world in a first book.
Allie, the main character was okay, kind of blah. She seemed a little stupid to me. She went to Harvard for magic but seems to know nothing about it. And, even though she has a special ability, she's incredulous and can't seem to grasp the concept when other characters show their own special talents. Like she's the only one who can be different? Then she decides to have sex in a car, which is fine. But this is after she's been covered in garbage/sewer crap and there's another character dying in the back of the car while her and this guy go at it. I was kind of icked out. I read romance and even erotica but no author has had his/her characters have sex covered in gunk next to a dying person. And this went on for multiple pages. And it wasn't even good sex scene writing! That's when I quit.
I decided to check out the reviews on Amazon and Good Reads to see if I was missing something. I read all the reviews and although there were a good number of people who liked this book, there were a lot of people who seemed to have the same complaints I did. Inconstant world building, dis-likable main characters, and a lot of bad sex.
So, if you you're reading this and wondering if our tastes may align, here's some recommendations for excellent world building that continues to grow with each book and consequences that resonate 3 books down the line, wonderful strong main characters and great supporting characters, that may or may not have sex but if it does it will be good! Read these instead and give this one a pass:
1. Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher
2. The Hollows by Kim Harrison
3. Kate Daniels by Illona Andrews (husband/wife team)
4. Iron Druid by Kevin Hearne
5. Karen Gillian by Diana Rowland
6. Riyria by Michael J Sullivan
7. October Daye by Seanan McGuire
8. Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter
9. Kitty Norville by Carrie Vaughn
10. Night Huntress by Jeannie Frost (technically romance but amazing plot throughout)
A Hound is person that is able to identify magical signatures and Allie Beckstrom is the best there is. When a little boy is almost killed because someone offloads their magic to him, Allie traces it back to her father. She confronts him and finds out that there is more to it than she ever imagined. Now someone is trying to kill her and she is being set up for murder. She just has to stay alive long enough to find out what's really going on and who is actually behind it all.
This series doesn't have the usual suspects in UF. There are no supernatural creatures, at least not yet, instead it's all about Magic. Magic is like a commodity and her father holds a lot of power in the corporate world of Magic. Different- I liked that. However, there was still something missing for me to really love it. I think I needed more character development and world building. It was almost like listening to an abridged version vs. the unabridged. I'm not completely sold on the series yet but I'm willing to read the next book at least. There is still a lot left unanswered. Hopefully, I'll find that missing something and have a new series to finish.
I loved the magic and the romantic interest in the story. The main character and the narration, not so much. The story did hold my interest to continue on--I'm currently on #3, but if the main character's flaws aren't corrected soon, I may stop.
She seems to be stubbornly oblivious to anything else but what she wants. This makes her very unlikable. And for someone who is supposed to be an investigator, she sure leave a lot of facts just hanging in the air. It feels too much to me like a bit of a lame plot device--left open for a big reveal later.
Despite my problems with the book, I loved the magic and this world. I see enough potential in this series for me to give it 3 books. I hope it lives up to it and I can finish it.
Say something about yourself!
The story is a good one, the narrator does a good job with narrating...but this one did not seem to translate well to audio for me, I got bored with listening and went back to reading the book.
I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to audio books! It's a good thing they don't weigh much and don't take up much shelf space.
A waste of a credit. This book is trying to be a romance novel, and a fantasy novel. It doesn't achieve either of its goals.
This goes for the entire Magic Series by Devon Monk: Allie Beckstrom is willful, stubborn, ignorant, distrustful to the point of paranoia, annoying and fairly inept. She refuses to learn and will not admit to mistakes. She manages to get people killed and injured on a regular basis and then wonders what went wrong. She is one of those leading ladies who, when told by the hero, "No matter what happens, do NOT get out of the car," promptly gets out of the car. The main problem is that she survives while most of the good folks around her don't.
Devon Monk is a redundant writer. He says the same things over and over again either because he doesn't think that the reader is smart enough to get it the first time around or that the reader is too stupid to remember what he just said. He also spends way too much time describing the surroundings while leaving nothing what so ever to the imagination of the readers. During action sequences, he spends so much time describing the scene that the reader forgets what the main characters are supposed to be doing. His leading lady just stands there doing nothing while the chaos goes on around her. Of course, most of the time she doesn't have a clue about what she needs to do because she has refused to listen or learn from those who have tried to teach her.
This is an annoying series which could have been great if Devon Monk was a better writer. As written, it demonstrates fuzzy logic worshiped to the point of religious insanity.
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