Friday, June 11, 2010

Review: Magic to the Bone- Devon Monk

A few months ago, I won an ARC of Devon Monk's 'Magic on the Storm' from this Readers on Deadline contest at The Deadline Dames. (Click 'this' to see my piece!) I just received it last week, as I'd had it sent to my grandparents in the states. So, on Wednesday evening, I went and picked up the first book in the series, 'Magic to the Bone'.

I was impressed.

Most of the urban fantasy I read is YA, with the exception only of books by Richelle Mead and Rachel Vincent, whose work I love. I'm happy to add Devon Monk to my list. She's written a very novel take on the genre which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control...

The plot is satisfying and kept me hooked- there was a lot at stake for the protagonist! I especially loved Allie- she was hard without being especially whiny, which is all too common these days. I also like Zayvion and Nola, Nola because she was just too sweet and Zay because he had a mysterious side that hasn't yet been resolved- a welcome change. (Plus, his name is pretty awesome, and the fact that I didn't have to deal with a love triangle in this made me giddy.) I enjoyed Violet and I hope she pops up in future installments.

I've always been a sucker for good world building, for which Ms. Monk deserves a hearty round of applause. In most books, people use magic to little or no consequence, but in this world there's a serious price to pay; bruising, flu, cramps, you name it. The element of magic coming at a cost was one of the things I liked most about the book, and one thing that's making me very keen to read on. I also loved Allie's job as a Hound, not to mention to other ways that magic's been integrated into the real world- plus the implications that come with that convenience.

I've never been so annoyed that I'm back home in Turkey for a few days- Turkish bookstores aren't great at stocking much else than the super popular titles, which I don't tend to like. (If I see another bookshelf full of House of Night books, I might cry.) Book #2 will have to wait until next week!


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