Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Release date: November 4, 2008
Series: Allie Beckstrom #1
Source: Personal shelf
Using magic meant it used you back. Forget the fairy-tale, hocus-pocus, wave a wand and bling-o, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gave as good as it got.
Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user – maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying, and they Offload the cost onto innocents. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell’s caster – and Allison Beckstrom’s the best there is.
Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune – and the strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magic Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown into the high-stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic.
Now Allie’s out for the truth – and must call upon forces that will challenge everything she knows, change her in ways she could never imagine … and make her capable of things that powerful people will do anything to control.
Magic has been the biggest recent discovery and with new venues, comes new ways of making money. Allie’s father is at the head of the biggest company controlling the power grid allowing the Portland citizens to use magic. Using magic comes with a price though, may it be headache, stomachache or fever, every use of magic comes with an offload, thus should be used with cared. Some people found a way around it though, unloading the offload on proxies, or worst, innocent people. Allie’s use of magic comes at a bigger price though. Anytime she uses magic there is a chance she might suffer from memory loss. When will be the day when she’ll wake up not knowing her own name?
I truly enjoyed this first installment in the Allie Beckstrom series because Devon Monk created such an original and compelling world. Magic has been a recurrent subject through literature for centuries, but I had never seen it pictured quite that way. I like that there are areas where magic is accessible as opposed to magic-free remote areas, that every use of magic has its consequences and the mysterious and tractable signatures magic users leaves behind. I think Devon’s magic is raw and dirty compared to what we’re used to in Fantasy and it makes this world that much more interesting.
The characters are of course up to par with their grittiness and rough edges. Allie is strong and determined yet is vulnerable because of her memory losses. Zay, her hired stalker, is very secretive yet he’s obviously attracted to Allie, and failing at hiding it if you ask me lol. There is a lot about him we don’t know and I can’t wait to open the pandora box and find more.
The plot moved fast and steadily, keeping the readers on their toes the whole time. The emotions were running extremely high by the end and I can’t wait to see where this will all lead us for the second encounter. I would definitely recommend it the Urban / Dark fantasy lover. I’m sure it’s original set up will please you =)