Friday, March 09, 2012

Magic On The Hunt - Devon Monk


Magic On The Hunt
An Allie Beckstrom Novel
Devon Monk
Roc
 
Urban Fantasy
 
There’s no way to write this review without spoilers, so read at your own risk.  And don’t miss the previous novels:  MAGIC TO THE BONE, MAGIC IN THE BLOOD, MAGIC IN THE SHADOWS, MAGIC ON THE STORM, and MAGIC AT THEGATE.
 
As this novel opens, it’s a very rare period of downtime for Allie and Zay.  It’s been nearly three days since the last huge magical emergency, and they’re using the time to recharge and reconnect.  Of course, it’s not going to last.  And it comes to an abrupt end when Dane Lassiter breaks the wards on the apartment door and enters, armed with a gun and several other magic users.  Dane was essentially the right hand of Sedra, head of the magical Authority in Portland.  Allie’s memory is sometimes spotty due to the price she pays for using her magic, so it takes her a while to remember that, at one time, Dane did his level best to kill her.
 
According to Dane, he’s looking for Sedra, who was kidnapped in the last installment by persons unknown.  Uncharacteristically, he’s chosen to use a gun to extract the information from Allie.  It all goes south fairly quickly, when Allie’s dad (whose spirit is possessing part of her… it’s a long and very interesting story) recalls that Dane did, in fact, kill him, and takes action.  The Authority, still fractured from the events of the recent wild magic storm, realizes that Sedra is being held prisoner for some reason, and determine to find her.  The trail leads them to some dark and terrible places, but giving up is not an option.

The fact that the Authority has a boss, and that boss is arriving in Portland to do a sort of magical performance review, just underscores how real and embedded magic is in this universe.  It’s pretty much regarded as a utility, with non-users being able to purchase spells for everything from energy to looking younger/better.   The author has done a wonderful job of laying out the groundwork and rules of this magic, while making it clear that there are still people who want nothing more than to use magic for their own personal power.
 
This is one of those series that I plan to re-read someday, back-to-back, just to see how all the different storylines twine together.  It’s quite rewarding to recognize the outcome of events set in motion back at the start of things.  The author does a great job at balancing character development with great action sequences.  The magical battles are fantastical and yet somehow realistic.  Maybe because magic isn’t free; everyone pays a price for using it.  Don’t start these books late at night: you won’t be able to sleep until the last page turns.
 
Rating: 8
April 2011
ISBN# 978-0-451-46391-3 (paperback) 

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