Pros: Delightful world-building and characters; fascinating plot
Cons: Magic gets a little less well-defined as the book goes on
Rating: 4 out of 5
When Allie Beckstrom uses the formidable forces of magic that she controls, she pays a price—a migraine, a fever for a few days, or some of her most treasured memories. She could no more stop casting than stop breathing, however, as magic is more a part of her than it is for most practitioners. She works as a Hound tracing illegal spells back to their casters, but she hasn’t gotten much work recently, so when the police offer her a particularly dangerous job she jumps at it.
Unfortunately, that’s hardly the biggest problem she has. She’s started seeing traces of magic that no one else can, as well as creatures that want to feed on the magic that resides within her. She can’t remember the man that she supposedly loves, and her best friend among the Hounds wants her to join some sort of weird society of Hounds, even though he knows she works alone. Worst of all, her father—her dead father—seems to be haunting her, and a criminal is using blood magic to take revenge on her and her friend.
Some days it seems like Allie never catches a break.
Devon Monk’s Magic in the Blood (book two of her Allie Beckstrom series) follows on the heels of her amazing Magic to the Bone. Somehow in the rush of reviewing lots of books I missed the fact that this series had continued on with another slew of books (how am I supposed to keep up with so many great authors?!), so I had to go out and pick up some of the ones I was missing.
While Magic in the Blood didn’t blow me away to the extent that Magic to the Bone did, it’s still a great read. The premise and world-building are wonderful, although if you really want to get the true, full feel of it, you’ll definitely want to start with book one. This is not your average urban fantasy, and it has a feel all its own. The characters are fun and enjoyable, although some of the side characters could have used more depth. The plot is twisted and riveting. The magic is fascinating, although it lost a bit of its cohesion as the book progressed and delved into stranger things; hopefully that’ll clear up as Allie learns more in later books.
Whether you’re looking for great plot, unusual world-building, or just a rollicking fun urban fantasy, Magic in the Blood is a fun read.