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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

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Story

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Liked this so much I read Spellbound too!

I was looking for something different from the usually detective and this fit the bill. I loved the 1930's era and the similarities between that reality and our own. I will look forward to more of this story in the future.

Bronson Pinchot was also awesome as narrator and was able to keep all the characters separate and recognizable. I would not hesitate to listen to him in the future.

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  • John
  • Saco, ME, United States
  • 07-25-12

the Plot was enjoyable and not so "Hard"

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

The author is witty and able to interject his own human responses into the book. It allows everyone to relate, as much as they can to situations in the story. Big action and nice twists. Not so deep but a really fun listen. If you enjoy the Monster Hunter books then this will not let you down.

What did you like best about this story?

the humor.

What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

the Narrator was fun to listen to. Stayed true to the characters and maintained them well.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Clermont, FL, United States
  • 07-22-12

Surprised

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

I was not a fan of Larry Correia's Monster Hunter books. Hard Magic was much better in my opinion. After listening to it, I purshased Spell Bound which I also enjoyed very much. If you liked the Monster Hunter books, you'll probably like both of these. If you didn't, you might still like them.

What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

I think Bronson Pinchot has improved very much as a narrator. His characters were a bit over the top, but that somehow made sense in the context of the story.

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Totally Entertaining!

What did you like best about this story?

I can't say enough about how much I liked listening to this book. I'm not sure what I expected, but the great characters and excellent narration kept me engaged the whole time. At the final battle scene I found myself clenching my hands as I was so absorbed in it. I agree that Bronson Pinchot did a fantastic job of narrating, it will likely make me look for other books he has done.
I do find the cover art to be a strange match to the feel of the book.

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Love love love this book

I mean what else is there? This is an awesome book and the narrator rocked it out. Im ashamed to say this is one of those books that I tried and couldn't get into initially, must have been a mood. But because it had such rave reviews I tried again. Thank goodness! It's great fun, I always try books again when I can't get into them. Some never take and some do... Obviously this did. The next book is even better. Lots of guns, fighting and kicking ass. But not overdone gore or bloody guts. Actually quite philosophical at times with the theories on magic and the connections to the source. Original and entertaining. Buy it now.

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The Reality String Where Magic is Real

What did you love best about Hard Magic?

I loved the world where dirigibles were the dominant technology rather than airplanes.

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

Without spoiling, I love the sacrifice some of the Grimnoir make for each other and the world. That's what heroism is all about--selflessness.

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

I really loved how he characterized Faye. She was smart, yet self-effacing. The accent/drawl never wavered--he was always right on.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What if magic were genetic?

Any additional comments?

My nephew turned me on to Correia as an author--and I'm very pleased with this first book. A reasonable system of magic, interesting twists on how history might have been, and heroes that could be in my family. I look forward to the next installation!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wow

I was a little iffy by the cover art but this series is great! A bit like Heroes the TV show. Characters are engaging and have show great personality especially though this narrator. I'll definitely be getting the next book in the series.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Not bad

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love it

Would you listen to Hard Magic again? Why?

Yes, I had to the kids wanted to listen to it

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

The fight between the two brothers

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

No, I haven't

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Delila

Any additional comments?

Well thought through

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fun Pre WW2 Superhero Story

Hard Magic is probably an 8 out of 10 in comparison of other audiobooks I have listened to: very entertaining, but doesn't quite make you laugh out loud, and it *is* possible to stop listening when it is 3 am and you have to get up for work in the morning...but only barely. The scenes are very suspensful, and it is, overall, a fun ride. Some of the characters are endearing, and the world itself is intriguing. I will certainly be buying the follow-on books in the series.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful