We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Hard Magic Audiobook

Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (10416 )
5 star
 (6373)
4 star
 (2844)
3 star
 (751)
2 star
 (243)
1 star
 (205)
Overall
4.4 (9538 )
5 star
 (5837)
4 star
 (2561)
3 star
 (751)
2 star
 (215)
1 star
 (174)
Story
4.6 (9536 )
5 star
 (6629)
4 star
 (2006)
3 star
 (606)
2 star
 (144)
1 star
 (151)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    guymarb 12-14-13
    guymarb 12-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hesitant, but tried anyway"
    Any additional comments?

    I usually shy away from a book with "magic" in the title or description... just not my thing. However... after taking a risk, I'm happy to report that this is a well-written, well-read story full of fun and plot twists. If you ever got into an alternate reality book and enjoyed it, you're missing out if you don't check out the Grimnoire world.

    The bottom line... good writing is good writing, regardless the genre. I'll get the second book in the series after writing this review.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Mullin Idaho 10-09-13
    Sarah Mullin Idaho 10-09-13 Member Since 2013

    Mom who reads

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    128
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun and quirky"

    A great read! I listen to a lot of fantasy/scifi/fiction and this was a fun listen.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 10-08-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    153
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book and Series worth their Time"

    The author had taken what is familiar in the magical world and put his spin on it so well it does not get old. He does this by creating fantastic characters that you pull for and also want dead. The late 1800's is a great setting for magic. This series is worth the listen and a read.
    On a personal note I could have did without the "f - word". He handles the sex and violence with a deft hand. Less is more. If there was not so much profanity (there is not a ton but enough) I could have my 12 year old read this series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beau Marietta, GA, United States 09-22-13
    Beau Marietta, GA, United States 09-22-13

    I like a book that mixes horror and comedy - it's an awkward blend of suspense and release.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Larry Correia wins me back with this one."

    Though I enjoyed the first Monster Hunters book, I felt it was a little too cliche, too much attention on gun details. I still enjoyed it, but it was just too close to a Captain America graphic novel maybe? I don't know.

    When I heard about this series though, I was thrilled. I love Film Noir, so I took another chance. I'm so glad I did.

    Bronson Pinchot KILLS IT on this book. Such amazing narration, it really should be called "re-enactment" when he narrates a book. It's not just a nice voice reading a book for you. He adds subtle inflections that really sell each character's personality, motives, etc. I don't know how he did it unless Correia was sitting right next to him saying, "okay, he SAYS this but really isn't sure he means it, so there's room for doubt when the other guy hears him."

    Anyway. This is probably my second favorite book I've bought from Audible, (Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" narrated by Fisher Stephens is my favorite, for all the same reasons).

    Great story, fantastic characters, innovative concept, world-building without 200 pages of prologue, and fantastic narration. Judging from the ratings and reviews of the other two Grimnoir books, I can't wait to read those too!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Los Angeles, CA, United States 09-06-13
    Pamela Los Angeles, CA, United States 09-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    195
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    360
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark and Imaginative, Correia's best"

    I loved this book. I listened to it again in anticipation of the third sequel (Warbound), and I raved about it so often that my husband agreed to start listening to it. He rarely goes for science fiction but he is hooked on this one.

    The story is a truly creative alternative history of the early thirties, and I liked the chapter prefaces that featured quotes from real historical figures, tweaked to mirror the storyline. The characters are well-developed, and it was impossible not to care about them. My favorite is the teenaged Faye, who turns out to be tougher than all the others combined. There are plenty of weapons and fights, building to a spectacular finale. The ending is very satisfying, and this story stands nicely on its own. But wait, there's more! The adventures continue with Spellbound...

    This would have been a great read, but the audiobook is catapulted into the realm of fantastic by the narrator. Mr. Pinchot creates a unique and perfect voice for every character, from Jake's slow deep-gravel drawl to Dan's measured enunciations, to Faye's 'Oakie' accent, to the skin-crawling misplaced syllables of the Pale Horse.

    I got Monster Hunter International after I finished this book, but for me it doesn't compare.
    Hard Magic made it onto my desert island list.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Selzler San Jose, Ca 07-14-13
    Bruce Selzler San Jose, Ca 07-14-13 Member Since 2012

    SezWho

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Find"
    What did you love best about Hard Magic?

    I happened to notice this book while browsing for something new. I had never heard of the title, but I had heard of the author via the Monster Hunter series. However I had never read any of his books before.


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

    I enjoyed the character development. The principal players are diverse, interesting, and are good people to spend time with. Even the villains.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to top the climax of the story. But Jakes battles with Maddy really added a level of sophistication and conflict that was very satisfying.


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

    The female leads and the relationships to the others were great story lines. Jakes relationship with Delilah was particularly poignant. And Faye's character was both a treat and a key plot point as she strove to avenge her grandfather.


    Any additional comments?

    Bronson Pinchon did an outstanding job reading this story. Great dialects, pacing, and tone. I hope he chooses to do more of this work as his involvement will be a huge selling point for me. I highly recommend this story and I've already purchased and started the second installment of the series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 05-08-13
    Sean 05-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like X-men but in book form"

    Excellent book. I am a very picky person when it comes to books, but I do really enjoy this one. I am reminded of X-men by the plot and concept of magic, but it is original in enough ways that it is interesting. The characters are very likeable, but it is hard to keep some of them straight. Definitely worth the credit, I would bet you will not return this one.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    136
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    63
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great balancing act"

    Narrated wonderfully by Bronson Pinchot, yes Balki Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers, narrates this book bringing the characters to life, it is a wonderful performance.

    I am not usually into books about magic, when I was a kid there were a couple that I really enjoyed because of their humor, but as a rule I did not get into many magic or fantasy books. But this book is very different from anything I had read before with the exception of Mike Resnick’s "Stalking the Unicorn."

    The publisher’s summary confuses me, I think it is written by someone who did not read the book, Jake is not a private eye, in fact he is a convict that is blackmailed by J. Edgar Hoover to hunt down people who are using magic in ways that the FBI does not like. Anyway…

    What makes this book great for me is that even though magic is the main focus of the book it is written more in the fashion of a science fiction book than a fantasy one. It also includes many elements of a pulp-fiction mystery from the 50’s. Doesn’t that sound great?

    Adding to that there is a delicate balance struck between explaining how the magic works, day-to-day living, and personal relationships that give the reader deep insight into the characters that many stories completely miss. Even though Jake Sullivan may be the "hero" of the story the other character all get moments to shine, I believe some reader will pick characters other than Jake to be their "hero."

    Fighting is a regular feature of this book, there are long sections of the story that are detailing the battles between the characters. He does a good job with these but every now and then they do get a little tedious, but overall I do not think they hurt the story more than they add a feeling of action.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryanne DEXTER, OR, United States 10-08-12
    Maryanne DEXTER, OR, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2003

    mpeaslee

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    128
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Starts slow, but gets much better quickly"

    This book has magic in a completely new an unexpected way and the characters are very realistic and you find yourself routing for them as the book progresses, so much so we have sat in th car with the radio on just to see how things work out for them.

    Took me a while to get used to the narrator, but once I did the book was great.

    I think Larry Correia is my new favorite author. His books are nothing like te books I normally read, but I have them all and I know when they are read and I have to wait for the next one will be hard.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard D. Shewman Erie, PA United States 09-27-12
    Richard D. Shewman Erie, PA United States 09-27-12 Member Since 2009

    rshewman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    250
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An utterly enjoyable listening experience!"

    A week or so ago I purchased “Hard Magic” by Larry Correia as part of an Audible clearance special. It was the best investment in a long time. The book was pure pleasure. There was a good story, plenty of film noir ambiance, magic galore, and action from beginning to end. It was pure testosterone driven escape! As soon as I finished “Hard Magic” I immediately downloaded “Spellbound”, the second installment in the series and found it to be a big second helping of the wonderful confection. Indeed, there were even a few more nuts (literally) in this helping. The second book developed the story began in the first installment with new twists and turns, introduced some great new characters, and allowed all of the original crew to shine.

    My complements to Bronson Pinchot, he did a great job as the narrator. The voices he created were spot on for each of the characters. They may have been a bit exaggerated if these books were more serious literary novels but for the fantasy/detective/magic/syfy genre they were perfect!

    I will wait with great anticipation for the third installment in the series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.