Nov 30, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #2)

Urban Fantasy
May 5 2009
Mass Market Paperback
368 pages
Roc Publishing

Kick Ass Chick – Allie Beckstrom

From Goodreads
“Working as a Hound-tracing illegal spells back to their casters-has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.”

I am loving Allie Beckstrom.  She has such a wit about her and a sharp sense of humor.  She’s all sarcasm.  And in “Magic in the Blood”, the second installment in Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series, you really get to witness these qualities that I personally love in a kick ass lead heroine.

That’s the perfect description for Allie.  Even though she isn’t a gun wielding, knife throwing, kick boxing chick, she is totally kick ass.  She’s got magic after all!  She’s a Hound.  Someone whose job is to track magical signatures back to the spell’s caster.  And she uses magic to do so.  But in Devon’s world, Magic users pay a price when they use it – they pay in pain.  Allie tends to lean towards a migraine or flu.  But sometimes when she overdoes it, she suffers from memory loss.

“Magic in the Blood” begins with Allie trying to piece her life back after losing quite a chunk of time in the last book.  She starts seeing things and feeling things that she can’t explain.  Part of her thinks it’s due to the fact that she was in a coma for a while and part of her thinks it’s because she’s nuts.  While trying to figure that out, she finds that her father, a big wig she’s tried very hard to separate herself from, is still trying to control her life even after his death.  In addition to that, she’s being threatened by an ex-con evil guy whom she helped convict.  And she’s been asked to Hound a job for a member of the police force who seems to be having a run of bad luck.  You see, quite a few who Hound for this Detective Stotts wind up dead.  Yup, our Allie has a lot going on, which means we get a full and stirring story.  But that’s not all that Allie is dealing with.  The most important thing is that she is trying to figure out her relationship (or lack of one) with Zayvion.

By the end book one, you have no real idea who, what or why Zayvion Jones is.  And really, by the end of book two you are no further along.  Wait, that’s not completely true.  You find out what he is…but then Allie passes out before she can ask questions.  So once again, we are left wondering.  Wondering about the dark, mysterious, talented magician that is Zayvion.  Speculating about the man with the killer watt smile Zayvion.  Thinking about sexy Zayvion.  Oh who am I kidding?  I’m trying to make it sound like a hardship but really, it’s not.  If this book is any indication, we find out little bits and pieces here and there from book to book.  But it’s not frustrating.  It makes me want to read on.  It makes me want to read more…while thinking of Zayvion.  We know he cares for Allie and that he always happens to be around when she needs him.  But when it comes to Zayvion, I think Allie says it best when she says:  “Zayvion Jones just gets stranger and stranger.”

There are other supporting characters in this book that I quite enjoyed and I’m hoping they will keep popping up throughout the series.  Violet, Allie’s father’s widow (I could say Allie’s step-mother but she is pretty much Allie’s age and that would just be odd).  Her gentle and kind nature is just what Allie needs to help balance her.  Kevin, Violet’s bodyguard.  We know he’s a powerful magician and a good ally to have.  I love how he is with Violet.  Pike.  Oh Pike.  And finally Davey.  He’s a fellow Hound who was asked to watch over Allie during one job and has taken his new responsibility a little farther than Allie would like.  He’s just a kid but he’s full of spunk and fire.  And he’s got the perfect attitude to help deal with our sarcastic heroine who is convinced that she needs no one.

The beginning of the book trudges along a little slowly due, of course, to the retelling of the events from book one, but you still get a taste as to where the story is headed.  Once you get past that it’s go go go.  And let me tell you, after reading book one and thinking I had a grasp on how this series is going to go, it went a whole other direction.  One that completely took me by surprise but thrilled me just the same.  I can see how there are endless possibilities as to where this series can go from here and I love it!  And the ending of “Magic in the Blood” is a little more intense but still similar to the last one.  Surprising but not dire.  It makes you go “Whoa” and make you want to pick up the next book but not jump out of the window and hurt yourself to get to it.  Those are the best cliffhanger endings.

As you can tell, I am seriously loving these books.  I really don’t know why most of my friends have yet to read them.  So I have decided to become a Allie Beckstrom series Cheerleader!  And what better way to make people notice something than to create wonderful buttons?!  That is exactly what I did, but I had a little trouble keeping my emotions in check.  Here is my first attempt:

But I found it to be a little too harsh.  Then I came up with this one:

But then decided against it.  I did learn, however, that it’s not necessarily the best idea to consume alcohol while coming up with catchy Button ideas.

Finally, I settled on this one.  It conveys my message perfectly without being offensive or proof of my late night sparkling wine binge:

Pretty eh?  So if you haven’t read this series by Devon Monk and if you are a fan of Urban Fantasy tales, give it a try.  You won’t regret it.  Really.

4 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Let’s just go over the facts:  I’d seen a ghost.  My dad’s ghost.
And he had seen me.  Touched me.  Spoken to me.
Okay, that was so far down Creepy Lane that it had intersected with Scaring the Hell Out of Me Avenue.  I hated that avenue.”
“I wondered why he hadn’t told her he had feelings for her.
Maybe it was the recently murdered husband and unplanned pregnancy thing?  Did they even make a greeting card to profess your love under such circumstances?
Yeah, they probably did.  It was probably on the shelf next to the ‘sorry to hear you got groped by your dad’s ghost, but running him down in the street isn’t the way to pay him back, and by the way, dead people don’t like you’ card.”

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 (April 2011)

  1. Hey Julie, great review! I really enjoyed that and have yet another series that I now need to check out. LOL. I’m going to have to get to work on all my reading! At least I’ll have about a month to read to my hearts content before next semester! BTW…I personally enjoyed your second button idea but I guess the last one will do. 😉

  2. Well, I dont want to be dumbass! I will have to check this series out ASAP! Haha

  3. Lol, keep on cheering and I might pick up book 2 faster 😉

  4. I looooove the buttons!!!!!!!!!!!

    Allie cracks me up – I love it when she is all “OK let’s just be honest. I have no idea what the fuck is going on.” and varieties of that statement. The narration I just love.

    This book was really good but I just am chomping at the bit for you and Jess to get to the third one because some of THE BEST secondary characters are intro’d in to the series in the next book! OK I’ll shut up now. But hurry!!! LOL

  5. Deanna – That is the trouble when you start blog hopping…you read about all of these books you need to get your hands on! lol

    Shannon – It’s really good. I thought I’d clear that up in case there was some confusion. 🙂

    blodeuedd – Ra ra ra! 😉

    Pamela – I’ll be picking up book three to read soon. But you make me want to read it sooner! lol

  6. I’m getting our cheerleader outfits made this week 😛
    Amazing review! I just cant wait for the next installment.

  7. LOL! Ugh, I don’t know what’s wrong with me?! It’s probably because I’m a dumbass…

    Any series that gets customed made cheerleader outfits in it’s honor needs to be moved to the top of the TBR pile. STAT!

  8. Jess – Cheerleader outfits…Jason will like that! 😉

    Jen – You’re not a dumbass…but if you wait much longer to read these books I may take it back. 😉

  9. Carolyn Crane says:

    LOL> I love this! Guess I better get on this series. It sounds fabulous.

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