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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 (10480 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Bruce Selzler San Jose, Ca 07-14-13
    Bruce Selzler San Jose, Ca 07-14-13 Member Since 2012

    SezWho

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
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    "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
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    "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

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    "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

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    "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
  •  
    John Kenmore, WA, United States 09-14-12
    John Kenmore, WA, United States 09-14-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Gradual Appreciation"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Would recommend to someone if they are really into fiction and the what if's that are possible in Science Fiction. A history or purely non-fiction reader would probably not enjoy.


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

    Woken Furies. Completely alternate world but similar to earth.


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

    Main character. But Delilah has a certain longing which makes her special.


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

    Tendrils of Power


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 09-10-12
    Bill Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 09-10-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Hard Magic....Not"

    Although this was an enjoyable listen for the most part, the character development seems to lag well behind the plot. For a book that is titled Hard Magic, most of the action seems to center around guns and physical violence, and the magic seems to be just an adjunct. When the magic system is explained, the author goes into great details, which are then reiterated later by another character.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell 09-09-12
    Farrell 09-09-12

    Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.

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    "Very similar to Monster Hunters Intl"

    A good book but I kinda felt I was re-reading Monster Hunter Intl. Big strong guy who loves guns and gets power from a big octopus thing in another dimension. The steam punk aspects were good, using real history and modifying in to fit the story.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen East Hampton, NY, United States 09-08-12
    Ellen East Hampton, NY, United States 09-08-12 Member Since 2015

    moving musician

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    "Hard to get into but then I couldn't stop listenin"
    What did you love best about Hard Magic?

    The character voices.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Young girl.


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

    Jake Sullivan


    Any additional comments?

    At first I didn't like the characters, too many, too flippant, BUT suddenly it all made sense. Lots of twists that are fun. Great for the beach.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 09-06-12
    Mark 09-06-12
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    "Fun listen"

    A really fun book to listen to, a little "comic-booky" if compared to something like Mistborn or Wheel of Time. It made me think of The Fantastic Four or Raiders of the Lost Ark (with magic). I wish it had been longer and had delved a little deeper into the characters lives and the magic system. There is a lot of action, almost non-stop, which I enjoy. Bronson Pinchot does a great job (as usual) and is very funny at times. Worth your time and your credit!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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