Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Magic On The Storm - Devon Monk


Magic On The Storm
An Allie Beckstrom Novel
Devon Monk
Roc
 
Urban Fantasy

If you’ve missed the first three novels in this series (MAGIC TO THE BONE, MAGIC IN THE BLOOD, and MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS) then you’ve missed the start of what is shaping up to be a truly epic urban fantasy.  I’d honestly advise you to read the first three before continuing this review; otherwise, you’re going to be spoiled on some fairly major issues.
 
Usually after using large amounts of magic, Allie Beckstrom loses her memory.  It’s her price for using magic.  Lately, though, she’s been in training, and things have changed.  She still carries her notebook around to record events of her life, just in case, but things have been good for the past few months.  Even her relationship with Zayvion Jones has been going well.  Of course, that means that something big is coming.  That thing is a wild magic storm. 
 
Allie’s world is a world very much like ours, except that magic is ever-present.  So much so that its use is regulated like any other resource or utility.  Allie’s late father (mostly late – he’s still hanging around in her head, sometimes, which is awkward, to say the least) was at the forefront of melding magic and technology.  He invented a sort of magic-lightning rod to collect and direct the flow of magic.  It made him incredibly wealthy.  At the time of his death, he was working on something infinitely more powerful and potentially dangerous: portable disks that hold magic.  These disks could be used by anyone, anywhere, without the usual consequences magic exacts. 
 
Her dad was also part of a secret community of magic users called the Authority.  They’re a kind of shadow group.  Unless you’re a member, you’d have no idea who the other members are or what they do or how much influence and power they have over magic and its use.  For the uninitiated – which, until quite recently, included Allie – magic is limited.  Which brings us to the current problem.  It seems that, while the wild storm comes closer, magic is draining from the world.  No one knows exactly what will happen when the wild storm arrives and re-ignites it all, all at once.  The Authority is on it, but Allie is beginning to realize that even such a powerful and focused group has internal politics and conflicts.  It couldn’t happen at a worse time.
 
Up to this point, each of the novels has been part of an overall story arc, but each one still read as a complete story.  This time is so very different.  It ends on a cliffhanger that is a stunner.  Everything that leads up to the storm feels, fittingly, like a race against time.  Allie’s world is expanding, and she’s juggling a lot more responsibilities at this point.  She’s not on her own anymore, and that’s both a blessing and a curse, when so many people need her and the hits just keep on coming.  This is one of those series that I’d love to re-read, back-to-back, just to watch the story unfold.  Someday, I might get to do that.  But, for now, I’ve got a cliff that’s hanging, and I’ve never been more grateful to have the next volume at hand.  I see very little sleep in my immediate future.
 
Rating: 8 ½
May 2010
ISBN# 978-0-451-46327-2 (paperback)

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