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Editorial Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Paranormal, 2012

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I loved it!

If you could sum up Hard Magic in three words, what would they be?

For me. seeing how everything was wrapped up was great.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 09-25-12

Fun story, but the voice acting...

The story was solid, filled with action, fun characters with enough depth that they didn't fall flat. I would definitely read the book, and I might even listen to it again, though I doubt it. The voice acting was usually really good, different voices for each character and it was easy to discern whom was speaking, despite the ensemble cast. However, every time a character was exclaiming or really emoting, it seems like the voice actor pulled back too much, and the moment came across funny or ironic, rather than powerful.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

More than Pleasantly Surprised

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. Really enjoyed the story and the narration.

What other book might you compare Hard Magic to and why?

Laurell K Hamilton before it turned into porn so the Anita Blake series 1-8 and the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

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  • Story
  • Keith T.
  • Dothan, AL, United States
  • 09-22-12

Harry Potter Meet Guy Noir

This is an interesting book that is performed great by Bronson Pinchot to perfection. It is easy to forget that one person is doing all the voices and he keeps in character throughout. This book gives us a look at the world if magic were a reality, the confusion it causes and how things might have been different for us all.

The Author does a good job of pulling the reader in and quickly educating him or her in the nuances of a world in which people have magic powers. Not everyone has the same power so it is a little like the TV show "Heroes" where normal people discover their particular gift and strive to master it while fighting to survive.

It is a great adventure that fires the imagination.

If you like adventure/war stories with a classic (Sam Spade) feel where a secret society takes on Magic filled Imperial Japan, you will love this book.

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Couldn't Put It Down

I read an Audible review of this book and it piqued my interest. When it went on sale I snapped it up to give it a try - sure am glad I did! It starts out fragmented as the author builds the foundation and from there it blasts off. There were many characters, but interesting and easy to get caught up in. Bronson Pinchot did an OUTSTANDING job narrating this tale. I look forward to hearing more of this! Highly recommended!

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  • Story

One of the best narrators, I loved this book.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

As an ardent and enthusiastic audiobook listener since 2007 I have learnt that whilst a great story is important of course, more than anything else, it is the skill and talent of the narrator to transport you and bring to life all the characters in the story that has the most effect on how much pleasure comes from the book. Bronson Pinchot brings to life the people so authentically that sometimes I listen to a chapter again, just for the sheer pleasure of listening to the story unfold through the different voices. His ability to adopt a different 'voice' and accent means that at times i genuinely forget that I am listening to just one man. I will be listening to everything I can find that is narrated by this man.

What did you like best about this story?

Subtle humour and the narrator's ability to bring every character to life.

Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

The main man, Jack, is a character who unfolds and catches you as the story unfolds, thanks to the narration of Bronson Pinchot.

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  • SEAN
  • Winfield, BC, Canada
  • 09-17-12

Looking forward to the next.

What made the experience of listening to Hard Magic the most enjoyable?

I like sci-fi books and this one had enough to be believable but keep you looking for more.

What other book might you compare Hard Magic to and why?

I would compare this book to Larry C's other series Monster Hunter International. It has the same sci-fi feel and story line.

Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first time listening to Bronson Pinchot. I felt he was easy to listen to but there were a couple of times the words were not as clear and I had to listen to a couple of parts a couple of times.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have definitely listened to this story from beginning to end in one sitting.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Awesome story!

What made the experience of listening to Hard Magic the most enjoyable?

The narrator does a great job of giving each character personality. The each sound different and fit the character.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hard Magic?

I don't want to give anything away.

Which scene was your favorite?

The fight on the dirigible.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I love the way the author brings out real people (Hoover, General Pershing) in an alternate world. I could actually imagine myself back in the 1930's.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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just excellent

Would you consider the audio edition of Hard Magic to be better than the print version?

fallen in love w/ the author and narrator- could not stop listening to this book. If you like mystery, fantasy, suspense and fun- this series will delight.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book, great performance!

Take a double dose of alternative history and a strong helping of Raymond Chandler throw it into a blender. Throw in a dash of awesome and blend well.

Viola! Hard Magic.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful