Customer Reviews for

Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Magical start to a new series!

Devon Monk has built a pungent, gritty-world, where magic is available to most but it's use, usually comes at a steep price. Today is Allie Beckstrom's 25th birthday. She is a hounder (someone who traces magic back to its user/caster) and is about to take one of the mos...
Devon Monk has built a pungent, gritty-world, where magic is available to most but it's use, usually comes at a steep price. Today is Allie Beckstrom's 25th birthday. She is a hounder (someone who traces magic back to its user/caster) and is about to take one of the most costly hound jobs, that will change the course of her life for good. Not only does her job not pay enough for her to make her rent on her crappy apartment but her price for using magic to trace magic, is usually a chunk of her memory. On this night, she receives a call for a hound job in one of the worst parts of town. It concerns a case of wrongfully offloaded magic on a child and now the child's on deaths door. Her investigation into this case sets her up to be accused of murder. Now she's the one being hounded and is on the run for her life, w/ no where to go and everything to lose. And to top it all off, her love interest (Zayvion) and only ally was her former stalker, hired by her dad. This just may turn out to be one of the worst birthdays ever; if she survives. I really loved this book. It was exciting and interesting. Sometimes it was a little predictable but entertaining enough that the predictability didn't matter. If you're looking for a romance novel with a little mystery, this book may not be for you. If you're looking for a strong urban fantasy w/ a bit of hot sex, then you'll enjoy this book. I'm looking forward to Magic in the Blood due out May 2009.

posted by kitkat3ny on December 22, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Angieville: MAGIC TO THE BONE

MAGIC TO THE BONE is set in an alternate America in which magic "came out" to the world rather like vampires did in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. Soon after people become users and consumers of magic, much like they use and consume alcohol. And just like a...
MAGIC TO THE BONE is set in an alternate America in which magic "came out" to the world rather like vampires did in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. Soon after people become users and consumers of magic, much like they use and consume alcohol. And just like a night of hard drinking, any use of magic leaves the user with a monster hangover. This "hangover" manifests itself in a variety of unsavory ways from intense bruising all over the body to a flu that will lay you low for a week. Allie Beckstrom is a Hound--a person with the ability to follow a cast spell back to the caster. Unlike other Hounds, though, Allie is able to house a small amount of magic within her own body. But this increased ability exacts a higher price. After working a particularly potent bit of magic, Allie frequently loses random portions of her memory. Estranged from her power-hungry father, she lives in a hole, barely scraping enough money together to feed herself with anything resembling regularity. When a small boy is almost killed by a spell that leads back to dear old Dad, Allie immediately goes on the offensive to bring her father to justice. She runs into trouble in the form of Zayvion Jones--a stalker/bodyguard who used to work for her father and seems intent on shadowing Allie's every move.

The whole layout of this story held a lot of promise and I willingly immersed myself in Allie's seamy world, eager to see how she handled her manipulative, possibly murderous father as well as the darkly enigmatic Zay. Allie herself is world-weary in a way that mirrors her world, a place ironically sapped of wonder and goodness by the largely unregulated abuse of "magic." I loved the little book she carries around, recording memories against the day they're stripped from her after overstepping herself magically. In fact, each and every character piqued my interest, from Allie's unusual stepmother to her salt of the earth best friend. However, I found that interest flagging fairly soon as the execution did not quite match up to the idea. Zay's and Allie's relationship seemed rather quickly formed. He felt too good to be true while she seemed to fall into a sort of stereotypical urban fantasy composite heroine. I started to lose my sense for what made her unique and felt that they were both smarter than their actions painted them. The tension between them resolved too abruptly for my taste. Throughout the story, a well-conceived idea here or a particularly cool plot development there managed to revive my flagging attention, but the follow-through lacked the level of tightness and cohesion that is a defining characteristic of my favorite urban fantasy series's.

posted by Angieville on November 19, 2008

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Angieville: MAGIC TO THE BONE

    MAGIC TO THE BONE is set in an alternate America in which magic "came out" to the world rather like vampires did in Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books. Soon after people become users and consumers of magic, much like they use and consume alcohol. And just like a night of hard drinking, any use of magic leaves the user with a monster hangover. This "hangover" manifests itself in a variety of unsavory ways from intense bruising all over the body to a flu that will lay you low for a week. Allie Beckstrom is a Hound--a person with the ability to follow a cast spell back to the caster. Unlike other Hounds, though, Allie is able to house a small amount of magic within her own body. But this increased ability exacts a higher price. After working a particularly potent bit of magic, Allie frequently loses random portions of her memory. Estranged from her power-hungry father, she lives in a hole, barely scraping enough money together to feed herself with anything resembling regularity. When a small boy is almost killed by a spell that leads back to dear old Dad, Allie immediately goes on the offensive to bring her father to justice. She runs into trouble in the form of Zayvion Jones--a stalker/bodyguard who used to work for her father and seems intent on shadowing Allie's every move. <BR/><BR/>The whole layout of this story held a lot of promise and I willingly immersed myself in Allie's seamy world, eager to see how she handled her manipulative, possibly murderous father as well as the darkly enigmatic Zay. Allie herself is world-weary in a way that mirrors her world, a place ironically sapped of wonder and goodness by the largely unregulated abuse of "magic." I loved the little book she carries around, recording memories against the day they're stripped from her after overstepping herself magically. In fact, each and every character piqued my interest, from Allie's unusual stepmother to her salt of the earth best friend. However, I found that interest flagging fairly soon as the execution did not quite match up to the idea. Zay's and Allie's relationship seemed rather quickly formed. He felt too good to be true while she seemed to fall into a sort of stereotypical urban fantasy composite heroine. I started to lose my sense for what made her unique and felt that they were both smarter than their actions painted them. The tension between them resolved too abruptly for my taste. Throughout the story, a well-conceived idea here or a particularly cool plot development there managed to revive my flagging attention, but the follow-through lacked the level of tightness and cohesion that is a defining characteristic of my favorite urban fantasy series's.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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