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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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Magic on the Line (Allie Beckstrom Book 7) by Devon Monk


Magic on the Line was a disappointment for me. I almost didn't finish it, and considering this series has been a 9 of 10 for me, that's not what I expected when I picked up the book.

Here's the blurb:

Allison Beckstrom has willingly paid the price of pain to use magic, and has obeyed the rules of the Authority, the clandestine organization that makes-and enforces-all magic policy. But when the Authority's new boss, Bartholomew Wray, refuses to believe that the sudden rash of deaths in Portland might be caused by magic, Allie must choose to follow the Authority's rules, or turn against the very people for whom she's risked her life.

To stop the plague of dark magic spreading through the city, all that she values will be on the line: her magic, her memories, her life. Now, as dead magic users rise to feed upon the innocent and the people closest to her begin to fall, Allie is about to run out of options.

What does an author do when she finishes a plot arc and has to figure out where to go next with her series? Apparently, Devon Monk decided to change the landscape completely. Tear the world apart and let the characters survive as best they can. And to bring back plot arcs that I thought were tied up and done with.

And the first three fourths of the book is just set up. Conversations. Philosophizing. Things don't really gel, with action towards some sort of resolution, until somewhere after the 75% mark.

As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was actually a bit too convenient for me. And predictable.
  • Pacing was horrible. Terrible. I kept putting the book down and doing something else. It was a chore to finish the book, and the only reason I did was because I am invested in these characters and kept hoping it would get better. But it didn't, it kept getting worse.
  • Prose and dialogue were fine.
  • Character development was mostly stagnant. There is still much about Allie's past we don't know, and I keep hoping we (and Allie) will get the answers, but Magic on the Line only gave us more questions.
  • World-building was mostly consistent with previous books.
Magic on the Line gets a 5 of 10 from me. The series rating drops to a 7 of 10.
    • Book Rating: Magic on the Line: 5 of 10
    • Series Rating: 7 of 10
    There is one good thing at this point -- there are only two more books in the series, which means we should get answers next year, as both books are scheduled for release in 2012.

      Magic on the Hunt by Devon Monk

      1. Magic to the Bone
      2. Magic in the Blood
      3. Magic in the Shadows
      4. Magic on the Storm 
      5. Magic at the Gate (Nov 2, 2010)
      6. Magic on the Hunt (April, 2011)
      7. Magic on the Line (November 2011)
      8 Magic Without Mercy (April 2012)
      9. Unnamed, final book of series (November 2012)


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