by Devon Monk
Released: October 16th 2008
Series: Allie Beckstrom #1
Published by Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy
“I was a little disappointed in it”
~ Under the Covers
Allie Beckstrom lives in a world where using magic has a price. Migraines, stomach cramps, memory loss and Allie is familiar with them all, especially memory loss. However, not everyone chooses to bare the cost of their magic, some illegally offload it on to other and depending on the strength of the spell, it could kill. As a Hound, Allie can see and track the magical signature of those who cast magic, including those who illegally offload the consequences. She just never expected that the magical signature on a half dead boy would lead her directly to her estranged and powerful father who swears he had nothing to do with it.
I have been wanting to read this series for a while now, I love books with magic in them, especially when an author thinks up a new and interesting twist on its use. I found Devon Monk’s idea that magic has a physical cost intriguing which is what got it on my TBR mountain, as well as the fact that I love a good UF with a strong female protagonist. Now that I have finished Magic to the Bone I still Monk’s idea is interesting, but I can’t decide if it worked for me.
I think the reason I feel ambivalent about this book is because I wasn’t sure about the world. Normally the first book in an UF book is full of world building and the story can take a back seat, after all you want the ground your characters are standing on to make sense. And although Monk did this, I wasn’t buying it. She shows us a lot of the seedier side of the magic business, which would have been interesting, but by the end of the book I was wondering why people even bothered with magic as it seemed to take a horrible toll. Monk never showed us the benefits, the good side of magic. Whatever made it worth it for heroine Allie to stroll round this book half dead from using magic for the majority of the book.
Allie was built from the ‘sarcastic kick ass heroine ‘ mould, a mould that is used quite extensively in UF, so she doesn’t really stand out in this genre. However, that didn’t stop me liking her, I can appreciate a brave and brash heroine. There is also an element of romance in this book as well. The romance was another element that I didn’t quite buy into, there was no real chemistry or attraction and I found Zayvion to be a strange character, I didn’t trust him and I don’t understand why Allie did.
Although this was solidly written and I did enjoy the fast paced action within the book, I was a little disappointed in it. However, I probably will read the next book in the series just to see if it improves and the parts that niggled me get explained further.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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