Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom Series #1)

Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom Series #1)

by Devon Monk

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451462404
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/04/2008
Series: Allie Beckstrom Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 512,632
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Devon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by colorful and numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. She has sold over fifty short stories to fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, and young adult magazines and anthologies. Her stories have been published in five countries and included in a Year's Best Fantasy collection. When not writing, Devon is either knitting, remodeling the house-that-was-once-a-barn, or hosting a family celebration.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Allie's internal and external struggles are brilliantly and tightly written, creating a multifaceted character who will surprise, amuse, amaze and absorb [listeners]." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review

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Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 152 reviews.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
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.
Justine_H More than 1 year ago
The synopsis should have told me to take my time reading this, but wham, bam, etc, I finished it before I turned the lights out for the night. Easy read, but a lot of ¿new¿ ideas on the use of magic that a first read almost requires a second read-through before you feel like you¿ve squeezed all that you can get out of it. Magic is like having a cell phone in this story, and everyone can have one, either bought, borrowed or stolen.

If you like strong, confused, fearless yet vulnerable women, Allie fits the bill. I personally wanted more about Zayvion, but Nola and Allie¿s father were informative enough to give me a good character picture. It seemed to me that every character was distrustful or bordering on paranoid. Even the relationship between Allie and her friend Nola was overshadowed with Nola¿s mistrust of Zayvion¿s intentions; having said that, I was left wondering about his intentions as well.

Although the premise is that magic is newly discovered, it¿s obvious there could be a sequel in the works because Mama, Zayvion and Cody each seem to be a part of a deeper, older magic that seems to be something closer to the generic idea of what magic is, but if anyone can put a twist on that, it would be Devon Monk.

I would recommend this if you¿re a SciFi/Magic reader looking for a new twist or are looking for a great read-and-pass-it-on book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a question for all you hacks out there. Do you never tire of the standard schlock character like in this book, the spoiled, self-righteous rich brat, pointlessly and eternally rebelling against her famiky? Because I am really tired of characters like that and feel no sympathy whatsoever for them. Allie would be particularly objectionable if she weren't such an overwhelmimgly stereotypical stock character. And since she is such a tired trope, the story folliws very predictable paths. If you are young and new to this genre, you may enjoy this book. If you have read literally thousands of fantasies like me, do't waste your time. There is literally nothing new or interesting here.
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
I found this book highly original, and enjoyed the unique take on magic and how it affects life in this world. The storyline was gritty and evoking, and I also thought the author did a good job at bringing the characters to life. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series. Although I really enjoyed this novel, there are a few others in the same genre that I liked even more. "Succubus Blues" by Richelle Meade, "Dead Witch Walking" by Kim Harrison, "Moon Called" by Patricia Briggs, "Blood Engines" by T.A. Pratt, and "Full Moon Rising" by Keri Arthur.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Allie is the only heir to rich businessman with lots of magic abilities. She is a hound, she has the ability to hunt magic back to its user. But in this story, magic is not all wonderful and easy. A person has to work at it and whatever they do comes back to the user. Because of this Allie has a notebook because besides the physical pain, she also looses parts of her memory. Allie is called in to hunt down an Offload. Some people don't want to pay for the magic they use. So, they set up a spell that puts that feedback on another person. Allie finds out that the signature on the offload is her fathers. So, she confronts him after seven years of not seeing. She also learns that her dad was having her followed by Zayvion Jones. The next day she learns that her father had been killed and she is being hunted down by a crazy hound. While trying to run, she find a young man that should be dead from stab wounds. Zayvion grabs her and takes her into hiding. She is determined to get to the police and tell them the truth until Zayvion reminds her that she was the last one seen with her father and now has become the suspect. But there is more going on than just an illegal offload. This is a good story. I like how magic is not just a special power that is there to make the world better. I felt the story was lacking. There was too much on the injuries and not enough that went into the story. I also had a hard time getting into and wanting to keep reading.
Angieville More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Interesting+and+intriguing+characters.+Great+story+and+dialogue.+Rich+settings.
littlechoo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first 6 chapters didn¿t light my fire, although it was nowhere as near as frustrating as Nightwalker. I¿d read a review somewhere which described it as dark but to be honest I found it a bit fluffy (I¿m still talking about the first few chapters). I prefer my stories/series a little dark and gritty but I didn¿t dislike this enough to stop reading, but then again I¿m renowned for disliking the first half of the first book in every series I read -I almost stopped reading Halfway to the Grave because Bones¿ accent was getting on my nerves and now that¿s my favourite series EVER.Chapter 7 is where things take a turn for the better. Then that was it, I couldn¿t put it down. Everything just got better. I enjoyed the relationship between Allie and Zay. I have to admit though that Allie frustrates me a little, but I¿m hoping that she¿s grow over the next few books. I have now read the first 3 books and it is now on my favourite series list
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk. This series currently has five books with the sixth book, Magic on the Hunt, due out in April of 2011. This was an easy read and a solid start to a new urban fantasy series.Allie works as a Hound, she tracks magic back to it's source, a dangerous job in a world where using magic always has a price. When a young boy is gravely injured Allie Hounds back the source of the magic to her father. Her father denies involvement. At her father's office she finds out that a man, Zayvion, has been hired by her father to protect her. When Allie's father is killed things begin to spiral out of control. Allie is blamed for the murder and is blundering into magic that she never even dreamed existed. Now Allie is hunted with only the sexy Zayvion to help her out, can she trust him? What was really going on with her father before his death?This was a quick and fun read. Allie is a tough girl, who is seriously stubborn, but has a great sense of sarcasm. There is dark humor sprinkled throughout the book. The book moves at a fast pace and the magic system development is a bit ambiguous but interesting all the same. The characters in this book are well thought out and engaging; all of them have mysterious pasts and are intriguing. Zayvion is a wonderful male lead; he obviously has a lot of secrets but his soft spot for Allie brings out his humanity. There are some steamy scenes between him and Allie throughout the book; they are decently done and are sensual without being really explicit.I love the world that Monk's created. I especially love the idea that magic extracts an immediate price from the user. Allie's sporadic amnesia as a price for using magic is another interesting bit that is thrown into this story.This story is well-wrapped up with some threads left dangling for the next book. As with many first books in urban fantasy series, this book mainly sets things up and introduces us to Allie's world.I had a couple complaints; the main one is that Allie spends an awful lot of her time being saved by other people. It seems like whenever there was trouble Zayvion was there to catch Allie as she fell. That was kind of sweet, but at the same time it made Allie seem weaker than she should have been. My other complaint is that the magic system is a bit vauge.Overall a solid urban fantasy, definitely more of an introduction to Allie's world than anything else. I really loved the easy to read writing style, the intricate characters, and the world building. The fact that magic extracts a steep cost whenever used made things really interesting. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Magic in the Blood. I hope the second book fills out the magic system better and that we see Allie really step up and learn to control her magic.
ShelleyJax on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a new author to me. Allie Beckstrom is a Hound; a person who tracks back magic to the person who abuses it. When it leads back to her father, a person she hasn't seen in 7 years, her life gets changed forever. In steps the mysterious Zavyion Jones, who has a few secrets of his own; some we don't learn about in this novel. Too much magic has a negative impact on Allie; she loses memories and has to carry a little black book with her name and other important contact information. **This was an interesting book for me. I've read other Magical users (IE the Ilona Andrews series), but this one had way too much Allie acting like a love struck teenager. I guess others will like this Urban Fantasy novel; I can only hope that #2 is alot better. Personally, I could have done without almost 100 pages of pensive sexual feelings between Allie and Zay. But, again, that's just me.
joyfiction on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fun foray into the paranormal. Thoroughly enjoyable. A definite fun read.
alesi1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I came across this Series in the library and picked it up. I was not disappointed. I got so interested in this book that I've been reading it at super speed since it is really easy to read and really effortless to follow all of her characters. This is a story about magic casting, where you need glyphs and natural magic. The heroin of the book is named Allison (Allie) and right from the start she is projected as rebellious, strong and independent. She is the daughter of a very powerful and rich man that as per Allie¿s standards is not 100% good. She has been independent and has not talked to her father in over 7 years. She is a Hound which is jus like a hound dog where she tracks spell casters in crime scenes and helps investigators identify what kind of magic was used and even the user. Allie¿s world gives a 360° turn on the day of her birthday when she receives a call from a regular client asking her to hound magic for her. Devon Monk does a great job in introducing this new world to us and through out her series gives us more background information. The reader¿s learn more about this world in the same pace Allie does. FYI: I started writing this review for first book only on 9/8/10 and am now on book four of this series on 9/13/10 trying to write the review with out any spoilers. Hard work! I¿ve just added Devon Monk as one of my favorite authors cause¿ I L-O-V-E this series.
Squeex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Holey schmokes!!! I mowed through this book rather quickly for many reasons: to make one more book for my book journal this month, to get one more review in for the mini-challenge over at Literary Escapism/League of Reluctant Adults...but, most of all, I couldn't seem to stop reading this superb book! I obviously had to stop to sleep or go to work, dagnabbit (how else does one support a bookholic habit?), but I wished I could have stayed home to continue reading. Some points, I had to sleep from the feeling of exhaustion in response of all that Allie went through on hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis. This is why I love reading the urban fantasy genre, it's dark, action packed, putting the main character into situations they'd rather not be in, but take care of anyway because it's how they are wired. They keep going in the positive aiding direction even after the point of exhaustion, after getting injured...they just keep going. Makes me wish I could be that heroic/stoic, but I'm not so I read about the character who are that way.That's Allie through the book, aiding those weaker than she and in need of help. She gets assistance from the mysterious Zayvion, the Savant Cody, and her best friend Nola who lives in the magic-free countryside. Mostly, though, Allie stands on her own two feet and gets what needs doing accomplished. She learns along the way, even with losing some of her memories of her past through the use of magic. Using magic has its consequences. And Allie knows it only too well.The atmosphere of the genre seems best set in the Pacific Northwest, rain seems the prevailing weather adding to the dark mystery. Cold, drizzly, always there rain.... I cannot wait to get and read the rest of this series. This one is going on the keeper shelf, it's a fab book that I will revisit and my good book buddy, Jenna, got it for me and had Devon Monk sign it. I don't keep many books, but this one is definitely one of the few that stays in Casa IYamVixen. Five rain adds to the magic diamonds.....
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great book -- the story developed quickly and never slowed. Devon Monk uses an interesting concept -- the price of magic -- as the premise of her book, but also manages to fill the story with a host of other issues: a daughter's struggle with a distant father; society's lust for instant, cost-free gratification; learning to love and trust when it seems unwise. I found this book both entertaining an intelligent. The characters are great fun, as well. Allie Beckstrom is a wonderful protagonist; she's strong and likable, but she isn't perfect. There's just enough room there for her to grow into a more intriguing character as the series progresses. And Zayvion Jones is the perfect complement -- a successful Tall, Dark, and Mysterious. If you're tired of authors striving for cryptic and enigmatic, only to end up with vague and irritating, Zayvion will be a refreshing change.I will definitely continue reading the rest of this series.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this urban fantasy/Romance novel, we find Allie, a Hound, living alone in the bad part of Portland. She lives in a world where magic was just recently discovered, and can be channeled like electricity or water. Magic can be easily used, but at a price - it causes pain unless a person "Offloads" it to someone else, willing or unwilling. A hound is someone who tracks magic use back to the originator and Allie is a good at her job, but her pain is that sometimes takes away Memory.Its well written, solid characters. Where I felt this book was lacking was the world - it is complex enough, but it felt a bit off kilter, like something was missing. I think it is the way the rules of magic changed so quickly. The novel also didn't feel complete - there was a resolution, but a bit more explanation of how the secret society, would have a gone a long from making this from a good book, to a great book.
EowynA on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Picked this up yesterday at the used book store. Our heroine is a Hound, who sniffs out magic, back to the one who did it. She lives in a modern, urban world where magic exists, and is distributed through the cities much like electricity is in our modern, urban world. But in her world, using magic means paying a price - pain commensurate with the usage, and sometime holes in the memory, too. But it is possible to redirect, or offload, that priceShe is called to the "bad part of town" to use her Hound senses to search out who offloaded a sh*tload of magic onto a 5-year-old boy, nearly killing him. The signature of that offloading leads her to her father, who was instrumental in making magic commercially viable. On the way, she discovers she's being followed by an intriguing, somewhat mysterious man named Zayvion Jones. They join forces to figure out what is really going on.This was a page-turner. I found myself pulled along, even though I was sleepy. There are a few bedroom scenes, but they felt a bit "added on," as if they had been included because the modern paranormal first-person urban fantasy genre seems to demand it. The action seemed somehow a bit muddled, like the heroine, but it does tie up the loose ends by the end of the book. And then unravels some, to provide a leadin to the next book. I enjoyed this one, but not sure I will pick up the next one in the series (and I am sure there will be a next one).
mmillet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With the recent discovery that magic actually does exist technology has advanced so that it¿s available to everyone for whatever ¿ green lawn, less wrinkles - presto it¿s done. But magic isn¿t all pixie dust and faeries, oh no, it¿s available to everyone but it comes with a price: each time inflicting bruises, sore throats or even headaches depending on how much magic you used. Consequently, there are lots of folks taking advantage of the system (and others around them) by offloading their magical kickback onto unsuspecting victims. Allison Beckstrom is a Hound, someone who uses magic to track down magical offenders and turns them over to the law to make sure they pay for their crimes. Only Allie gets an additional bonus every time she uses magic ¿ she not only gets the nasty side effects but she also looses portions of her memory. When Allie discovers her estranged father has offloaded his magic onto a little boy (illegally of course) who is now on the brink of death she gets fightin¿ mad and wants to see justice done. But her father swears he didn¿t do it and Allie doesn¿t exactly believe him. So naturally when her father winds up murdered everyone is pointing the finger at her and Allie can¿t seem to remember if she did or didn¿t do it. Her only option is to trust the shady Zayvion Jones who has some very interesting talents himself to help her discover who is the real murderer and get her off the hook. Good, solid read with an interesting twist on the general conception of magic as a whole. I¿m looking forward to see where Allie goes next (and can I just say I hope it¿s with Zay?).I¿d like to give a special thank you to the cover artist on this one. Usually, UF covers sort of turn me off and tend to not look anything at all like the characters. To tell you the truth I was not terribly excited about this one either ¿ tattooed girl shown from behind ¿ can we get any more unoriginal? But after reading it, this cover gets it right, I mean, *gasp* the artist might have actually read the book or at least listened to someone who knew the characters. I mean she¿s Allie: funky tattoos (sort of), black tank top and short hair. So thank you, thank you for giving me a cover that doesn¿t make me want to tear the cover off every time I look at it.
MarFisk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Devon Monk has been recommended to me by friends, and even by Amazon based on some purchases I made, but I have an extensive to-be-read pile. Though I picked up a copy some time ago, I hadn¿t gotten to it yet. Then, a friend was visiting and looked at the pile. She picked out Magic to the Bone as the ¿must read next.¿Now I know why.This novel plays with all the traditions of strong narrative. The main character is beaten about left and right, never really understanding what¿s going on but just struggling to stay on her feet long enough to figure it out. If I had to characterize the action, I¿d say it¿s mostly ¿done to¿ rather than ¿done by¿ her. That said, the way Allie responds to things, her own personal code mixed with a heavy dose of distrust that, despite everything, is stirred with loyalty even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary makes for a strong novel that pulled me in and kept me reading through to the end.I started this novel just as a nasty cold was claiming the space I call my own. My focus on everything else went flying out the window, but I found whenever I started reading this book, I didn¿t want to stop. I didn¿t want to put it down to struggle for an inch of progress on all the other things that I needed to do. I think that says more for the novel than most reactions just because it created focus out of thin air when I had none.The story begins with a loner who has abandoned her father, with good cause, and sets herself apart from almost everything. At the same time, she¿s at the beck and call of people who she considers downtrodden but good at heart, often providing her services for free when she can¿t even make her rent. As the story develops, we learn not only can she manipulate magic, though that always comes with a price in both pain and lost memories, but that she has a somewhat unique ability everyone has assured her is impossible¿she carries her own supply of magic.This book is an eye-opener for Allie, knowledge which, like magic, comes with its own price, but at the same time she¿s not left hanging out in darkness as she gains much in her quest to uncover the truth.Devon Monk slips sideways on the first person narrative tradition for urban fantasy by bringing in a second, 3rd person, narrator so that the reader knows a smidge more than Allie, but that smidge isn¿t enough to spoil the unfolding mystery. Rather, it adds to the picture.Her other odd choice is the main character¿s memory loss as a penalty. It certainly creates trouble for Allie, but I have to wonder if it won¿t have even more significance in the books to come.Anyway, I¿m trying to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you it¿s much like Mr. Toad¿s Wild Ride in that the story careens along its path, dragging you with it at a terrifying rate with glimpses here and there to build a tale. I never felt left behind. I never sat back and wondered if there was a greater story. I was right in the muck with Allie trying to figure things out, and it was a happy place to be.My list of ¿always buy¿ authors has increased by one, and I predict that my to-be-read pile is going to swell up a bit the next time I¿m at the book store.
Mardel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk is set in Oregon in an alternate world, where magic has recently been discovered. The general populace actually believes that magic has in fact only recently developed or appeared. In this setting, using magic costs the user a price in body pain or memory loss. Miss Monk has developed a world where corporations are making money with magic and all the byproducts of magic use. "Offloading" where users don't have to pay a personal price , storage of magic, rights to magic, blackmarket magic uses, etc. Devon Monk has brought up a lot of interesting concepts. The book has suspense, murder, romance (nothing too sappy though - tired of sappy romance, probably a symptom of my encroaching aging), twists and turns. The heroine (Allie Beckstrom) doesn't have it easy, suffers from memory loss when she's not careful with her magic offloads, and doesn't have a special happily ever after. I really enjoyed this book a lot. I was interested from the first page to the last.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
New (to me) author Devon Monk has imagined a world where magic exists--but extracts a serious price from its users. The more magic you use, the bigger the price in pain, blood, or loss...unless you're rich enough, or ruthless enough, to transfer that price to someone else. Allie knows all about magic's price. At least she would, if she could only remember. After all, her father and his wealthy corporation have their fingers in all the magic 'pies' in the world. And she was all set to follow in those footsteps and join the family business--until she worked herself free of her father's 'Influence magic'. Since then she's made her own life, and spends a lot of it tracking down those who misuse magic and turning them in to the authorities. So when her latest job reveals her father's magic 'signature', she tries not to be surprised. But all of a sudden, weird things start to happen, her father's dead, she's the number one suspect, and there's an incredibly handsome yet strange man who always seems to be around when things go badly. And did I forget to mention the almost dead man and his kitten? A mysterious hunky man, lost memories, magical sex (although maybe not quite enough of it!), murder, a cute kitten, industrial espionage...this story has it all. The action is fast paced, the plot is well spun, and the romance vs. suspense quotient was just right for me. Monk has written a strong, yet emotionally vulnerable heroine with a drive for justice that often works against her best instincts. If I didn't know there was a second book coming, I would have found the author's website and hounded her for one! There's a lot of potential in her world and her characters and I'm hungry for more.I loved the idea of a physical cost to magic and how that could play out in today's world. Devon Monk had me hooked from page three and I just couldn't stop reading 'til the end of this book. Now I'm tapping my toes waiting for "Magic in the Blood" to be released in May 2009 and hoping the story picks up right where this one left off!
Cauterize on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Urban Fantasy. The premise is good and it was nice to read about the male love interest being very zen, very calm and very contained, rather than uber-macho Alpha males which happens a lot in romances.The worldbuilding was interesting... in the future, everybody can use a little bit of magic. However, it always comes with a price - physical pain for the user, depending on how much magic was used. This leads to sub-industries such as proxies, who take the pain for the magic-users for money. The morality for using magic was refreshing, which is why I gave it this rating at all.In the end, I started skipping paragraphs to get to the end just to see how it ended because I wasn't invested in the main character - who is supposed to be a badass Hound - a person who tracks down illegal magic users - but she never seems to make any rational decisions, and she whines a lot. The book has so many plot holes and dis-joining scenes I could name 10 things right now off the top of my head which didn't make sense or should have been explained. Hopefully the author can clean up her plotting and characterizations in the next book in this series.
BookWhisperer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first introduction to Devon Monk's writing. I am very impressed. Allie Beckstrom is a very unique character. Monk has quite an imagination, and I throughly enjoyed this story. I admit I was struggling with some of the first half of this story, but once Monk had grown her momentum in the first half; the second was action packed and quite a good read. I look forward to reading 'Magic in the Blood'. If Monk continues with the same momentum, I look forward to an great story.
RuralReader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In a magical Portland, Oregon, Allie Beckstrom's 25th birthday gets off to a rough start. She lives in a world where every magic use exacts a price from its user--migraines, cramps, or memory loss. Before she can even head out to breakfast, one of her frequent clients, Mama, calls her and asks her to identify who cast a magic spell because every magic user has his or her own distinctive signature. Allie's just the person for the job because she works as a Hound--even though, or more likely because--her father is a wealthy businessman who would just as soon she work for him in the Beckstrom family biz. Allie heads into North Portland where there are no lines laid for accessing magic. But, somehow, someone has found a way to Offload the price of casting a magic spell onto a little boy. When Allie Hounds the spell, she sees the unmistakable flavor of her father's magic in that attack. When Allie confronts her father in his skyscraper office, he denies he did anything to the boy, but, as driven as he is, he's had a shaky track record as far as Allie is concerned. Allie then discovers the hot guy who's been following her works for her father. The next morning, things go from bad to worse when Allie learns she's being blamed for murder. Soon, Allie's on the run and trying to protect a boy and his cat. Magic to the Bone is a very enjoyable and original urban fantasy with strong mystery and romance appeal. What's next in Magic Portland? Magic to the Bone is part of a trilogy. At the end of the novel, you get hints that magic is changing, but, rest assured, there's closure at the end of this book. Magic in the Blood is up next in the series.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It¿s a unique setting: 21st century Earth, after the scientific discovery of magic. Magic can be collected like oil or electricity, and stored; when they use magic people don¿t pull it from within, but from their surroundings, and every city now has cisterns of magic gathered from storms. And every use of magic has an effect on the user, which you can if you try mitigate by setting up a Disbursement. The effects on Allie, the first-person protagonist of the book, range from headaches to severe head-to-toe bruising to a sore throat, etc¿ And, sometimes, when she¿s really lucky, gaps in her memory, to the extent that she¿s begun recording everything in a book she carries with her. The effects can also, illegally, be transferred to someone who had nothing to do with the spell, who doesn¿t even have to be present.Allie is called in by a ¿ friend? called Mama to help the victim of just such an illegal move, Mama¿s young son ¿Boy¿. Why all her sons are called ¿Boy¿ I don¿t know, but ¿ whatever. They don¿t seem to have other names. Allie¿s what is called a Hound, which means she can ¿ literally ¿ sniff out details of a spell, like who cast it. And what she finds when she Hounds Boy is ¿ her father. Who is a very rich, very powerful, very manipulative (ordinarily and magically) SOB, from whom she has been estranged for years.Now, however, she goes to his office to confront him about the spell ¿ about which he claims to know nothing ¿ and the reader knows this is true because in brief third-person chapters it is revealed that someone very evil is using a very gifted, very damaged young man (Cody) to forge the spell ¿signatures¿ of others, including Allie¿s father on this spell.Then, the same day Allie goes to see her father for the first time in several years, he is murdered. And she is implicated. (Guess how.)What follows is a high-energy action-packed story about how Allie investigates her father¿s murder, the young man with the strange gifts (who somehow transforms her gifts, which results in some interesting physical markings), and whether or not she can trust Zayvion Jones, the handsome and sexy and seductive man her father had hired to keep tabs on her (my initial instinct was NO ¿ but I could be wrong), dodging assassins and magical rebounds.I never really warmed to Allie, or anyone else except Nora, Allie¿s best friend; I never let myself trust Zayvion, right up to the end, since it seemed to me that Allie threw herself at him a little too quickly, thoroughly, and heedlessly. The writing wasn¿t bad at all; it was very much like being in Allie¿s head, listening to her ordinary speech patterns. Setting was well painted; I like the concepts the book was based on; while I didn¿t enjoy the ending I appreciated the method of it. Not bad at all, and certainly very different from Kay without being a too-drastic comedown; I won¿t rush out and buy the other books in the series, but I won¿t pass them up if I come across them second-hand. I do still love the cover, and if I were slim and twenty-something might seriously consider a sleeve tattoo like that ¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this series as a fluke years ago, and have re-read it several times. From the very beginning, you get fully engrossed in the characters and storyline. The world created in these books is a mix between real world and science fiction and makes for a wonderful experience. So many emotions, a true joy to read. I highly recommend this series to anyone willing to take a journey