Monday, November 26, 2012

Devon Monk: Magic to the Bone

In the first of a series revolving around magic Devon Monk shows that using magic is not all it is cracked up to be: 

Using magic has its price and every spell will exact its price from the user, but with the discovery and commercialization of magic, people have discovered a way to offload this price onto unsuspecting and innocent individuals. This is how Allie Beckstorm makes her living. She is a Hound and has the ability to track the magic back to the person who has offloaded it. Allie is summoned to the St. Johns part of town where an offload has taken hold of a young boy and Allie is determined to find the perpetrator. When the Hound leads back to Allie's father she is not surprised and has vowed that he will pay. What Allie does not know if that this was not a one time thing and this Hound back to her father will throw her back into the world of Black Magic that she has tried to hard to get away from and this time being around black magic will exact a fatal price.

I enjoyed Monk's take on magic, it was interesting, and slightly different from other magic based novels I have read. I especially liked that there were magic free areas around the world, where if people wanted to they could live a life free from magic. I also liked Monk's forethought on how the use of magic could be commercialized, utilized and sold as a product, very capitalist of her and to me very interesting as well as beyond the more typical idea of just paying people to perform magic (which does still happen in the book). Now there were magic companies where they made expensive clothing or homes or anything commercial I am sure one could think of. It was also interesting that when you use magic there is always a consequence for the magic that the person has used. Everything from a head ach to bruises to death, magic will always exact it's price.

Allie is portrayed a street smart woman, even though she came from a well off family, but seven years away from that life has really shaped her. I found it interesting that magic's side affect for Allie is different from other people and that she looses pieces of her memory. Therefore, she is forced to write down her notes in a book that she always keeps with her (think of the movie Memento, but not as extreme, great movie by the way). I wonder what would happen if her note book was to go missing, how much of her life would she forget or has forgotten. However, I did not like that Monk decided to have one of those instant romances in the book. As soon as Allie met Zayvion, she needed him and wanted him in a span of a few minutes. Allie, who had been independent for most part of her life now, needed someone else there, to help her through everything. I just felt that this contradicted the character that Monk had created at the beginning of the book.

Zayvion himself is an interesting character and I wonder of his power and his love for the Pine smell. This it the only book I have read in this series so immediately I think he has some sort of werewolf roots, but there is nothing to completely support this theory in the book. I’m not 100% sure yet that I like Zayvion as a character, his handling of certain events did not make him my favorite character, but he is an interesting character nonetheless

This book was okay for me, as I found it sided more with the paranormal romance genre than just paranormal. I do think that Monk was able to create some interesting twists in the use of magic and I did like the interaction between magic, technology and commercialization, however, I do not know if that is enough to bring me back to this series. I found that this novel was lacking action sequences that I personally enjoy in novels as well as a lack of mystery. I believe you are able to figure things out fairly early in the book and are waiting for the main character to catch up to you. I think if you are a fan of paranormal romance you will enjoy this book and probably this series, but if you are like me and like things on the darker side and less romance, you will probably want to skip this one. So we’ll see, I may pick up the next book, just not too sure yet as I have so many other books to read. I’ll have to check out some reviews of the second book to help me make up my mind


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1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of the Devon Monk series before reading this review. It seems really interesting, I am going today to see if there is a copy at my library.