Thursday, September 11, 2008

Magic to the Bone-Devon Monk

Magic to the Bone
Devon Monk
Roc, Nov 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451462404

It has been thirty years since magic was first discovered and now it is channeled through pipes made of iron, lead, and glass; this makes it accessible to the public. The pipe technology and the Storm Rods that contain the magic found in the world are housed below the city of Portland and patented by Mr. Beckstrom. Magic users know that when they tap into it there is a price to pay in terms of illness and memory loss. People who do not want to pay the personal penalty offload it onto an innocent.

Allie Beckstrom is called to a part of Portland where there is no magic by a client who wants her to Hound the person who offloaded magic into his five years old son. The magical energy signature is that of her father; for the first time in seven years she is going to see him to demand he take care of the child he abused. The next day she learns her father was killed by magic and her enemy Bonnie the Hound informs the authorities that it is Allie’s signature on his corpse. Beset on all sides by people wanting her dead, Allie is under magical assault as she tries to learn who killed her dad and why.

Devon Monk is the latest writer to join the ever expanding urban fantasy pantheon with an intelligent entertaining mystery. The kick butt heroine is strong and independent (must traits in this sub-genre) as she stays on the right side of the law, but is not afraid to go head to head with those who cross the line. MAGIC TO THE BONE turns the element into an energy technology with supply and demand economics to include pipes, storage facilities, and a cost wonder what would happen if a Katrina hit as oil spills did occur). Exciting fun, readers will look forward to more adventures of Allie in Portland.

Harriet Klausner

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