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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.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Magic on the Storm (Allie Beckstrom Book 4) by Devon Monk

I didn't care too much for the first book in this series, Magic to the Bone , but was intrigued enough, and hopeful enough based on what other reviewers said, to try out the second book.

And I'm glad I've stuck with the series, because I loved Magic on the Storm. Right up until the cliff hanger ending, anyway.

The ending isn't as bad of a cliffhanger as Chaos Bites (click for my review), because some of the plot points were resolved. However, there is a whole lot of unresolved stuff floating around. The fact that a lengthy excerpt for the next book was included, and the fact that we're only five months from the release of the next book... that helps the annoyance factor a great deal. But, still, I maintain that authors should not use the excuse of a series to leave their readers hanging like that.

Okay, I'll stop ranting about the cliffhanger. Aside from the ending, the book was really well done. Pacing was good, not great, but not really a problem, either. Allie's character remains three dimensional, and I love the way the other characters are brought to life, as well.  We're learning some more backstory, and that just makes me want to learn even more of the backstory. There is also enough humor woven into the story to help make it an enjoyable read.

Here is the blurb:
"Magic stirred in me....I closed my eyes, wanting to lose myself to it. Wanting to use magic in every way I could. But that would be bad. I had enough magic inside me; I could burn down a city. And I didn't want to do that...."

Allie Beckstrom knows better than most that when magic's involved, you always pay. Whether the price is migraines, amnesia, or muscle aches, she is committed to her work as a Hound, tracing illegal spells back to their casters. But her job is about to get much more dangerous.

There's a storm of apocalyptic force bearing down on Portland, and when it hits, all the magic in the area will turn unstable and destructive. To stop it from taking out the entire city, Allie and her lover, the mysterious Zayvion Jones, must work with the Authority--the enigmatic arbiters of all things magic--and make a stand against a magical wild storm that will obliterate all in its path."

I like that Allie has the funds to live without being practically destitute now, but that she hasn't really changed they way she lives all that much. It sounds like her only personal splurges are food (which should never be a splurge), and some massage and spa treatments to help her deal with the body aches from training and from using body aches as magic cost instead of headaches. I love the way her relationship is moving forward, and I'm happy that she's taking on the roll of leader/protector of the hounds.

I find it interesting that there are no longer any hounds in the Authority, and I'm betting there is a good reason for that. Something tells me Allie is going to be busy, once she's properly trained.

I'm having a hard time saying much more without dropping important spoilers, so I'll stop now. I loved the book, enough to give it a 9 of 10, right up until the cliffhanger ending. Since the next book will come out soon(ish), and since we were given a good look at the next book, the final rating for Magic on the Storm is an 8 of 10. The series rating has been an 8 of 10 in the past, I'll keep it there.

Book Rating: Magic on the Storm: 8 of 10
Series Rating: Allie Bckstrom: 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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