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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Magic in the Shadows (Allie Beckstrom Book 3) by Devon Monk


If you've been reading this week then you'll know I didn't care much for the first Allie Beckstrom book, but the second book in the series was a lot better.

Book Three, Magic in the Shadows, kicked ass. And I mean that in a good way. It seriously kicked ass.

The pacing was much better, the plot... well, come to think of it, I'm not sure there was an actual plot that got resolved in this book. Hmmm. Something sort of got resolved, but as far as plots go? I don't think anything got neatly tied up. Wow, I hadn't even realized that until I tried to talk about the book. Nicely done, indeed. A book so well written that I didn't even notice the lack of a plot that got nicely tied up with ribbons and bows.

I suppose that means I should just say Magic in the Shadows lets us learn a whole lot more of the history, magical theory, and politics of this world, and that it sets things up for Magic on the Storm.

I liked that Magic in the Shadows picks right up from Magic in the Blood. Same scene, same conversation. Nice continuity.

Of the things that were resolved in Magic in the Shadows, I'm happy with those resolutions. I should point out there is still much to be resolved.  And, lucky me, only two weeks until the next book comes out.

I enjoy finding a new series that has a lot of books in it already.

Here's the blurb:

"Using magic wasn’t as easy as the actors made it look in the movies. Every time you used magic, it used you back. Sure you could magic yourself a photographic memory for that big test, for that big interview, for that big stock market job. And all it cost you was a nice case of liver failure. Or the memory of your lover’s name." [pg. 7]

Magic is Allison Beckstrom's blessing and curse. As a Hound, she uses her gifts to track down practitioners who abuse their power and stop them from inflicting harm on unsuspecting innocents. Unfortunately, her spells have taken their toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories—including those of the man she supposedly loves.

But lost memories aren't the only things preying on Allie’s thoughts. Her late father, the prominent businessman—and sorcerer—Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities—and find a way to deal with her father…

We are introduced to a new character in this book, Shamus, who I think I'm going to adore. A lot. And the whole idea of a good guy who uses death magic, and the idea he may like pain? What an intriguing character. I can't wait to see more of him.

I'm going to give Magic in the Shadows a 9 of 10, and I'm going to raise the series up to an 8 of 10. So far, the Allie Beckstrom series gets better, a lot better, with each book. I can't wait for Magic on the Storm.

Book Rating: Magic in the Blood: 9 of 10
Series Rating: Allie Beckstrom: 8 of 10

1. Magic to the Bone
2. Magic in the Blood
3. Magic in the Shadows
4. Magic on the Storm (May 4, 2010)
5. Magic at the Gate (Nov 2, 2010)

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