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Hard Magic Audiobook

Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

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Audible Editor 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.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Winner, Paranormal, 2012

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (10415 )
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4.6 (9535 )
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  •  
    Rob Lynchburg, VA, United States 01-06-12
    Rob Lynchburg, VA, United States 01-06-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome"

    This guys is my new favorite author. I love the monster hunter series and this is almost as good. It is sort of like X-men/League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/Crazy Alternative History. (I can't spell) Great fiction. I wish audible had the sequel.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Missoula, MT, United States 11-27-11
    Donna Missoula, MT, United States 11-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun story!"

    Bronson Pinchot is one of the best narrators I have ever heard and I have over 700 books in my library! A narrator can make or break a book and Mr. Pinchot has added his magic to an already good story.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OldRetiredGuy 11-20-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "True theater for the mind"

    Bronson Pinchot brings Mr. Corriea's slightly alternate depression area world to life, with a vibrancy seldom experienced in a story of this type. If you have enjoyed MHN but hesitated to try this genre, it is your lost. The action is engaging, the characters not only entertain, but are developed to the point that you can care about them and understand their motives. This is obviously the beginning of a great series, I have already read the second installment Spellbound, and hope that it finds it way to audible soon.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Spring Hill, TN, United States 11-12-11
    Dennis Spring Hill, TN, United States 11-12-11

    Vol Vetter

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    "Ugh - most characters sound like Forrest Gump"

    If you were to tell me that Forrest Gump and all his cousins read the character parts, I would believe you. I have loved the Monster Hunters series from Audible, but I could not continue listening more than two hours worth. Wasted money and time on the performance, but the story might have been good if I had liked the hero played by Forrest.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alice 11-01-11
    alice 11-01-11 Member Since 2016
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    "I love Secret Societies"

    I could have given this 4 stars based on writing, story, character developement...but I rate for overall tingle so it got 3. That's still good and for sure I'll read the next in series. One thing tho is that the cover says it's a P.I. novel. Jake is an ex-con that does bounty work for the FBI to stay out of jail. He does take on some P.I. work on the side but none of that was part of this story. This is alternative history, and the main characters are magically enhanced. Exciting world. My favorite part was the famous personality quote at the beginning of each chapter..they kept me in that moment of alternate time. Bronson Pinchot was amazing at the # of vioces he managed, and although at first they were not so great, by the middle of the book they became more refined.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anthony Danville, KY, United States 10-09-11
    anthony Danville, KY, United States 10-09-11 Member Since 2010

    Stride

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    "Excellent writer"

    Good book. They dropped the ball when they had pinchot narrate though. the story is great and i liked the characters,but i started laughing at some parts because of how awful pinchot was.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 09-26-11
    William 09-26-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Epic"

    This breaks new ground by the merging of many different ideas of fact and fiction. This has something for every fiction reader out their. I am so glad that this already has a "Book 1" in the title. I can not wait for the next installment. This writer breaks new ground with a mix of magic, super heroes and monsters. Even his involvement of real historical characters ignites the imagination. Don't hesitate. The first book is worth the leap of faith.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jmm521 New York City 09-24-11
    jmm521 New York City 09-24-11 Member Since 2008

    jmm521

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    "Don't judge a book by it's cover"

    I almost didn't pick this book because the cover looked so campy! Fortunately I saw the star rating and decided to give it a closer look. I am so glad I did! The author created vivid characters that you care about and root for. The plot twists And turns. I loved the way he tweaked history to support his plot. Action, magic and laughs.... What else could you ask for? Read it you will not be disappointed!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JerryBerry 09-17-11
    JerryBerry 09-17-11
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    "X-men novel"

    The story description is very mis-leading. Describing Sullivan (the story focus) as a private detective is like describing Obama as a law professor, it might have been true but it is completely irrelevant. Sullivan is recruited by the x-men. I cannot think of any Hard Magic characters that do not have a direct x-man equivalent. I enjoy superhero stories and enjoyed the author's skill in balancing the x-man powers so that no character's power overwhelms the others.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 09-13-11
    Rebecca 09-13-11 Member Since 2009

    Rebecca

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    "1920s Magically Enhanced Action Heroes"

    Action, intrigue, suspense, good guys vs. bad guys, dirigibles, peace rays -- this comic book style action hero novel really delivers. In an alternate 1920's universe, some people have special powers: Heavies (gravity manipulators), brutes (strength), jumpers (space hopping, one moment here, next moment there), faders (can move through materials), torches (fire starters), cogs (inventors, brainiacs), healers, mind readers, and more. Two groups of magically enhanced humans battle for political control. Great story, lots of action, excellent character development, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • HelgaCabbage
    UK
    8/14/11
    Overall
    "Brilliant."

    Another reviewer mentioned that they found the narrator's accent difficult to understand in places, but I thought all his accents and voices were spot on and superb. I didn't have any trouble understanding him.

    The story is excellent and unlike anything I've read before: a comic detective novel with plenty of action-packed magic, and more than a few moving scenes.

    The Grim Noir are a magical organisation sworn to protect the innocent - usually humans with magical abilities persecuted by both non-magical people and the sinister Chairman, who experiments on children and performs other atrocities in the name of strength and race purity.
    Jake Sullivan, former prison inmate and P.I., reluctantly joins forces with one of the few remaining units of the Grim Noir to protect the magical world from the Chairman and his most evil and feared Iron Guard - who also happens to be Jake's older brother...

    The whole story is told in exciting and action-filled chapters from the perspectives of several different characters - each with varying degrees of both magical ability and morality - that help draw in the reader and explain the rules of this reality, its history, and its current political situation, without any flagging of pace or feeling that you're having to get through a lot of boring exposition (which is often a common failing in the sci-fi / fantasy genre).

    The villains were realistic, their motives were understandable (if deeply flawed), and every single character was so brilliantly crafted, with such unique voices and perspectives, that it was truly a pleasure to listen to and I was sad to reach the end.

    I really hope there is a sequel, I would love to know more about the Knights of the Grim Noir (especially Fay, Sullivan, and Heimrich) and to know how they will tackle the continuing threat to the source of all magic.

    Lastly, I agree with the other reviewer; the 'historical' quotes at the beginning of each chapter added a sense of realism, and I loved them.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Teresa
    Winchester, United Kingdom
    6/16/11
    Overall
    "Truly recommended listen"

    My only gripe with this book is that, on very rare occasions, about twice in the entire fifteen hours, the otherwise superb reader becomes difficult to understand due to his accent. This was nothing that couldn't be remedied however by a quick rewind and a little bit of effort put into a second listen.
    On the other hand this is an excellent piece of fiction superbly mixing a world of magic and power with 1930's America. The main characters are to a one engaging and more than enough to carry you through this pleasingly long tale on their own. The author has obviously put a lot of effort into altering earth's history to accommodate the power of sorcerers and this is emphasized by short sections at the beginning of every chapter, my favourite being a speech aboard the Titanic on its fifth anniversary voyage.
    If you enjoy this audible book then be sure to check out the Skulduggery Pleasant series while you wait for the no doubt excellent sequel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Liam
    6/16/11
    Overall
    "Really Great Pulp Book"

    I just wanted to say i totally love this book. Interesting story and interesting setting to have it in. Really looking forward to the follow up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elinor
    Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
    9/4/12
    Overall
    "Hard work"

    This book just didn't gel for me. There are a lot of fight sequences and I found these difficult to follow. I got the end of Part One and didn't bother with Part Two. I wasn't engaged by any of the characters. Entirely my fault as I wanted to try something I wouldn't usually read but sadly this genre isn't for me. As always though with Audible the quality of the reading is terrific.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • K
    1/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fast paced, thoroughly enjoyable"

    I went through this book in no time, listening at every opportunity. it was great fun, almost like a comic book. performed brilliantly. I've already bought book II

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • richie69uk
    Nottingham, UK
    6/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    Great story, creative narrator who voiced each characters differently and made the characters come a live and each their own personality. Loved it. Already got next book in series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William
    COLWYN BAY, United Kingdom
    9/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lary does it again"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes i would. I love worlds that dont do info dumps and let you pick it up from the rich world. laary creates a rich world that you fall into like no ones business.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    browning as he made it possible to have 50 cals ina siege . it was awesome people.


    What about Bronson Pinchot’s performance did you like?

    he really brought a politicians skill to the story of changing everything round. was a dizzying ride.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    yes there was joy and fun and definite kick ass moments.


    Any additional comments?

    there are some many reasons to listen to this books. strong characters. strong powers . kick ass moments all over the place. i mean he fell out of a zeplin. you just need this book in your library all over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • GWK
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic fantasy"
    What did you like most about Hard Magic?

    The Characters of Faye and Sullivan are great action hero protagonists. The rich story blended with real history make for a great listen


    What did you like best about this story?

    At first I wasn't sure about how fantastical the story was (I expected a more subtle noir story). Once I readjusted my expectations of a more bombastic action fantasy I loved so much about the story. Great characters, interesting historical anchoring and the richness of the world and peoples magical abilities makes for a fun ride. Prep two more credits for the sequels!


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

    Honestly, I got used to Faye and Sullivan's voices as performed by Pinchot, but something was a little off for me. However his performance overall is worthy of five stars as he keeps the rest of the characters charming and interesting. I particularly liked Lance and Heinrich, but all of the supporting characters are great.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Smile more than laugh. Frown more than cry.


    Any additional comments?

    A great listen which begs the question: how could a sequel top this, but they some how do. Give it a try if your up for something different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • L
    7/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Alternative timeline detective novel, with magic!"

    A great story, well narrated!

    Some really strong characters (literally), a solid plot and a great concept.

    This book was on offer from audible and it seemed a little extreme for my scifi/fantasy tastes and so I picked it up with scepticism, I was really pleased with my choice and after listening to the first chapter I was hooked.

    The book kept me gripped all they way through and left me feeling a little disappointed when I had to put it down, a good mix of magic fantasy and noir.

    For a sceptic I went on to progress through the next three books pretty much back to back, I would certainly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
    5/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love a bit of Magic!"

    Very enjoyable - although not at all my usual sort of thing! I got quite caught up with the characterisation too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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