Apr 5, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Magic Without Mercy by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #8)

Urban Fantasy
April 3 2012
Mass Market Paperback
368 pages
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – Allie Beckstrom

From author’s website –
Allison Beckstrom’s talent for tracking spells has put her up against some of the darkest elements in the world of magic, but she’s never faced anything like this.

Magic itself has been poisoned, and Allie’s undead father may have left the only cure in the hands of a madman. Hunted by the Authority–the secret council that enforces magic’s laws–wanted by the police, and unable to use magic, she’s got to find the cure before the sickness spreads beyond any power to stop it.

But when a Death magic user seeks to destroy the only antidote, Allie and her fellow renegades must stand and fight to defend the innocent and save all magic…


Magic Without Mercy is the eight installment in Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series.  It really does a phenomenal job setting up the ninth and final book due out in November of this year.  *takes a moment to try not to panic about the series coming to an end in just a few short months…deep breath…deep breath…*

This time around Allie and her loyal friends from the Authority are being hunted by…well pretty much by everyone.  You see, there was a big misunderstanding in the last book *wink wink*.  Okay, maybe it was more of a ‘misinformation leading to murder’.  But it was a necessary murder.  Really it was.  But now Allie and friends are on the run while trying to find the proof they need to clear their names and accuse the right person/people.  Oh, and they are also trying not to get killed by crazed ghosts who have escaped the other side and who are dead set (*giggle* “dead set” It’s funny because they are ghosts *giggle*) on taking over the world.

Phew.  It sounds like it was an action-packed and busy book because it really was a busy and action-packed book.

I love how Allie is coming even more into her own in this book and has become the leader she is capable of being.  She knows she is right and is willing to do whatever she needs to do to prove it in order to save lives and protect the innocent, as is their motto in the Authority.  She really is a superb character and I am still enjoying her after eight books.

Zay is getting easier to read too.  His faith in Allie and his love for her is shining through more and more and it’s nice to see.  He’s usually so closed off!  So when he says really sweet things to Allie, I melt and not surprisingly, so does she.

The villains in this series are great villains – I mean you easily hate them and want to smack them yourself – and the supporting characters are really well written.  It’s hard not to like any member of the Authority.  Even the few, such as Victor, who isn’t talked about to the extent of some of the other side characters, are well developed enough that you find yourself caring whether or not something bad happens to them.  I think Devon wrote a wonderful group of people in this series and they shine extra bright in this book.

Since I’m on the topic of shining characters, let me say that I will be adding a new character to my favorite characters list and his name is Shame.  In fact, he is mentioned in the very first line in this book.

I had a headache.  That’s headache’s name was Shamus Flynn.

I Love This Character.  We meet him very early on in this series and I have always loved him.  He’s a brooding hero who doesn’t give a sh*t…but he does at the same time.  He has such incredible heart and he is so smart.  But my favorite part about him has to be his dialogue as he is incredibly funny and witty.  I have not once thought of him as a romantic match for Allie but as a friend, there is no one better.  Devon has mentioned that she would like to write a new spin-off series or at least something with Shame in the starring lead and to that I say “OMG Do It!”  That would be an amazing book!

In this installment we see more and more of Shame’s friendship with Terric, another character I am very fond of.  There is something about these two, when they are in a scene together just hanging out or when they use magic together, it’s hard not to be impressed by what you read.

There is a LOT of magic in this book.  I know, this is a series that circles around magic but it’s not usually describes as much as it was in this book.  I find it so insanely original how Devon uses magic in her Allie books.  And when she writes it being cast, it’s so visual and stunning!  You can really see what it would look like and it helps draw you even deeper into the book.

I did find some of the action a little repetitive at times, meaning the group would meet a close call, Zay would get hurt, they all escape, they get found, they have to escape, Zay would get hurt, and so on…  And there is a big magic fight near the end (which is pretty much what happens near the end of every book) but the action was constant and the overall outcome was quite unexpected so it ended up being alright with me.  I mean, very important characters die in this book!  My jaw hit the floor when the first one went down!  Like ZOMG!  But it’s hard to focus on that when Jingo Jingo arrives and Paul is there and Cody and just…whoa.  Magic Without Mercy was one of those books that sat with me for a bit after I closed it because I needed to process it all.  And now I can’t wait for Magic for a Price to come out!  Can’t.  Wait.

Overall, even with that little bit of ‘been there, done that’ feeling that crept into the story every once in a while, I loved this book.  As I said in the beginning of my review, it sets up the final book beautifully, shows how Allie is continuing to grow and is non-stop in its action.  Devon does it once again, showing us that Allie and friends are a powerful force and that this series is truly kick ass.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’You’ – I zipped up my coat and pushed my glasses back on my face – ‘are going to try to get a sample from the Death well.  If, for any reason, it looks dangerous, I want you to back out.  Repeat what I just said.’

‘Allie doesn’t think you can handle yourself, Shamus,’ he mimicked in a high voice.  ‘Not only that, she thinks you’d walk stupidly to your death.’

‘Would you?’  I asked.

‘Not stupidly.’  He gave me a grin.  ‘I’m not one of your puppies.  You don’t have to worry about me.  And by the way, when I walk to my death?  You will fall on your knees in awe.’”


“’In case this all goes to hell…I love you.’

‘Even if things don’t go to hell, I love you too.”

Books in the Allie Beckstrom series –
Magic to the Bone
Magic in the Blood
Magic in the Shadows
Magic on the Storm
Magic at the Gate
Magic on the Hunt
Magic on the Line
Magic Without Mercy
Magic for a Price (November 6th 2012)

  1. I once tried the first book, and really could not get into it. And now there are 8 books already! Wow. But as you love them so much, I really need to give this one a second try.

  2. AAAAh I didn’t know the sequel would be the last one. lol now I’m really sad… I love Shame too, I can’t wait to read more now about the story, it’s an amazing review.

  3. aurian – The first book is completely different from the rest of the series. I feel it introduces us to the world and how magic works in this series but the set up is nothing like the other books. If it’s the way the story was told that didn’t click with you, give book two a try. If it’s the characters, then you’re pretty much screwed and you should just know that this one just isn’t for you. 😉

    Melliane – At least Devon is talking spin-offs. That is keeping me from being too sad about the next one being the end. lol

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