Friday, 14 August 2009

Review: Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Magic to the Bone by Devon MonkMagic to the Bone by Devon Monk - Allie Beckstrom lives in a world where magic has been discovered; pools of magic deep are found in the earth and it can be harvested from storms. She is the daughter of a famous business man who created the devices for humans to gather magic. But, like everything, magic has a price, and it exerts that price from the user in the form of pain on the body. There are those who would rather have the magic without paying the price, and Offload the cost to innocent people. Allie is a Hound who investigates these illegal Offloads. But when one Offload, that almost causes death, seems to have come from her father, things get a little personal for Allie, a little too close to home, putting her life at risk.

I don’t think I’m a big fan of this book, and I would have trouble explaining why without spoiling the novel. The story seems to just go round in circles, and so some things get a little predictable, and you know what’s coming. Sometimes predicting what happens in a book can be fun, but not when you know what’s coming in almost every stage of the book.

One of the things that bugged me about this book is that it just didn’t feel like an urban fantasy to me. There is magic in this novel, and a lot of it, and it is set in Portland, so it is an urban fantasy, but it just feels like there’s something missing to me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but perhaps it’s the absence of anything paranormal. I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy lately that include paranormal creatures, so that may be it – in which case, I guess it’s just a preference I have when it comes to these types of novels.

Some of the characters annoyed me a bit, too. Zayvion, Allie’s love interest, is just a bit too nice to be believable for me, and lacks what I can only describe as maleness. I don’t mean masculinity, there’s a lot of that, but he just doesn’t seem like a guy – and I don’t mean that guys can’t be nice, they are in a lot of books, but they are also obviously male, whether it be a sense of humour, or the way they talk about things. Zayvion just doesn’t seem complete to me. And with Allie... ok, she has a lot on her plate but still needs to get on with things to survive, but she tells herself to “suck it up” far too often, and I just wanted to slap her. She also seemed to miss the obvious on too many occasions.

Magic to the Bone is the first in a series, but the story is resolved to a certain extent. However, it seems to me that the resolution is just an excuse given, rather than the actual story. There is more going on beneath the surface, and not everyone is being completely honest with Allie. There are too many questions about the events of this book, in my opinion, for this story to be resolved. I would be amazed if Allie doesn’t find out more about the main events of this story in the sequel.

Saying that, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next in the series. I didn’t really enjoy this novel, so I think I’ll move on to something else. Although the premise of this book was pretty awesome, it just isn’t for me.



Published: 2008
Publisher: Roc
Buy on Amazon US
Devon Monk’s Website

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