Dec 17, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk (Allie Beckstrom #3)

Urban Fantasy
November 3 2009
Mass Market Paperback
358 pages
Roc Publishing

Kick Ass Chick – Allie Beckstrom

From Goodreads
“Allison Beckstrom’s magic has taken its toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories-including those of the man she supposedly loves. But lost memories aren’t the only things preying on Allie’s thoughts.

Her late father, the prominent businessman-and sorcerer-Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities-and find a way to deal with her father…”

And we are back with book three in Devon Monk’s awesome ‘Allie Beckstrom’ series, Magic in the Shadows.  I know *bows head*not ‘we’…just me.  But I am going to make as much noise as I can about this book.  Let me just say Magic Fight people!  A Magic. Fight!!!  But I’ll get to that a little later.

Before I continue, a little warning.  I won’t be able to write this review without slipping a couple little spoilers about the first two books in the series.  Nothing that will take away from your reading enjoyment, but I still thought I should give you a heads up.

In this installment, Allie is struggling.  You see, Allie is no longer alone.  Her father’s spirit/soul seems to have taken up residence inside her head.  Yup, talk about a mood killer.  She has been invited to test to join the Authority (sort of like a secret Magic police force) so you’d think that having her father in her head would be a good thing since he knows pretty much everything when it comes to spells and magic.  But Allie is determined to take care of things on her own, without her father’s interference.  They didn’t get along when he was alive.  In fact she did everything in her power to disassociate herself from him as soon as she was old enough to.  But her father isn’t quite ready to die and go away, and he’s about ready to do what it takes to make sure he doesn’t.

Allie really is a great character.  She is flawed.  She is untrusting to a dangerous degree, and sometimes I wanted to smack her to help her see that not everything has to be a fight.  But she is true to her word and tries her best.  And her wit!  I love her sarcasm and her wit.  She causes me to break out in short bursts of out loud laughter every once on a while.  Examples of her snarkiness would include:

“Go me.”

“I was demure enough not to flip him off with both fingers.”

“Not so much creepy as sort of barf-inspiring.”

In the previous books, Allie wanted so much to be secluded from her father and his empire that she flat out ignored everything that had to do with him.  Then he died, and all of his responsibilities went to her (thanks to that little thing her dad left behind called a last will and testament).  Allie wasn’t having it.  If her father was involved, she wanted nothing of it.  But she wasn’t thinking about all of the other people involved in the big picture.  But in this book, she is finally coming around – and I liked it.  It was very good to see her become a little more responsible.  A little more mature and ready to take on some responsibility.  And not just the responsibility for her father’s company, but also for her fellow Hounds (those who track magic spells back to their casters for a living).

We meet a couple of new characters in this book.  One of which I want to squeeze but can’t because he’s too hard and the other I want to squeeze but can’t because Pamela has already claimed him.  (*mumble grumble* Pamela *mumble grumble*)  The first is Stone.  He’s a stone gargoyle and he’s cuter than a puppy.  The next is Shamus.  He’s looking like he going to take on the roll of ‘smart mouth’ in this series.  He is Zayvion’s best friend.  Clever and sharp with a wicked sense of humor.  I am really going to enjoy reading him in future books.

Speaking of Zayvion, we finally find out who and what he is!  *cracks open the champagne* He is a lot more open in this book and I was very glad for it.  He’s not only open with information about himself, but also about his feelings for Allie.  And you get to see his vulnerabilities.  Let’s just say that Zayvion has become more human…and that makes him that much more relatable.

One character that I wanted to smack and smack hard was Allie’s dad.  Aug!  Talk about an egotistical maniac.  I just want Allie to figure out how to get rid of him!  There is potential there for a great partnership, but dad is just going about it all wrong.  And I don’t blame Allie for being suspicious of him.  He’s a controlling man who needs to be smacked down a couple of notches.

I like how Devon writes.  One of the things I enjoy is how the story’s climax isn’t at the very very end of the book.  It takes place a few chapters before ‘the end’ so there is a chance for a bit of a wind down before you reach the end of the book.  She leaves you wanting more without feeling like you are experiencing a heart attack.  I really appreciate that about these books.

I’ll leave you with this.  There is a huge magic fight in this book.  It’s epic.  It’s “sitting on the edge of your seat, biting off all of your finder nails and maybe even moving on to your toenails” epic.  Just…epic.

The fourth book in this series, Magic on the Storm is sitting in my book closet just waiting for me to pick it up.  I won’t be able to do that until the New Year but for sure it won’t be sitting there too too much longer.  As for Magic in the Shadows, it picks up right where book two left off and carries you with it until the very last page.

Oh, and the magic fight…epic.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’I’m not listening,’ I said.  ‘I have a rule to never take advice from dead people.’
‘Since when?’
‘Since three seconds ago.’”
—–
“’So it all ended happily ever after.’
He frowned.  ‘When magic is involved, there is never a happily ever after.  You know that.’
And the way he said it, chills washed down my skin.  He was right.  I knew that.  Magic could lick the happy out of a lollipop.”
—–
“Zayvion Jones, the guardian of the gates, the go-to boy of the Authority, didn’t look like he was going to go easy on me or do me any favors.  Those cool brown eyes sized me up as an opponent, not a lover.
Crap.  Could my dating life get any weirder?”

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

  1. Just skimming, still have book 2 to read,I am getting far behind again 🙁

  2. blodeuedd – You are not far behind. You read lots all the time! You just need to re-arrange your piles and sneak book 2 in somewhere! 🙂

  3. Nice review Julie, looks like I might have to be adding another series to my list. I am a sucker for series! A single book here and there is fine but I love how series really develop the characters and you feeling like you are moving on in their “lives” it’s not just a short snippet and then you’re done.

    Thanks for answering my question about how you buy your books (paper back vs electronic)…my next question is, when you write a book review do you write it as soon as you’re done reading it and then just save it before you post it or do you wait until one of your book review posts and then write and post it? I hope that makes sense. Along with that, do you think writing the review shortly after you read it is better for you than giving yourself some time before writing it?

  4. YAY!!! Hahaha, omg, Stone and Shame will totally grow on you even MORE in books 4 and 5! Jessica {Spinecracker} was all Shame? Really? And I’m all, YES! He grows on you I swear!!!
    Are you starting book 4 soon? this one and 4 of the best of the series 😀

  5. Deanna – You’re so right about the characters in a series!
    I’ll email you concerning your question soon. 🙂

    Pamela – I can’t wait to read 4…and I’ll get to it soon. I have to make a list of what I ‘have’ to read and what I want to read and figure out where I can fit everything! LOL

  6. “Speaking of Zayvion, we finally find out who and what he is! *cracks open the champagne*” HUZZAH!!!!

    I have no idea how I missed this on Friday? 🙁 Great review. It brought things “back” for me. LOVE

  7. Jess – Can’t wait to read your take on it when you post your review. 🙂

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