Find me online!

twittergoogle plusemail

December 12, 2012

Book Review - Allie Beckstrom Series by Devon Monk

I've been a big fan of Devon Monk's "Allie Beckstrom" series since book #3. It's an urban fantasy series set in Portland, Oregon, where magic is real and is governed by a group called The Authority, which has branches all over the country (and world, I believe). Things have been going from bad to worse for Beckstrom, her lover Zayvion Jones, and the rest of her friends, as there are those in the magic-wielding community who will stop at nothing to use magic to lord their power over the rest of the world.

It doesn't help that Allie's father was trying to merge technology and magic to make its use even more efficient and powerful, and he died for what he did. But his psyche lives on in Allie's mind, interacting with her (much to her chagrin).

I've posted previous reviews on this blog before, both for Magic at the Gate and then a double-post for Magic in the Shadows and Magic on the Storm. For this week's book entry, I realize that I've done three reviews since I last posted anything here, so you get a triple shot!

Magic on the Hunt is the sixth book in the series, with Magic on the Line being seventh and Magic Without Mercy being the latest book I've read (I think the conclusion is finally out, but we'll see if it's really the conclusion).

From the review of Magic on the Hunt:
"In the aftermath of the battle that may have ripped the Authority apart, Allie and her lover, Zayvion Jones, are looking for a little rest. Zayvion is still recovering from his time in Death's realm, saved only by Allie's jumping through the gate to save him and giving up a part of her natural magic. Unfortunately, rest is not what they’re going to get. The leader of the Portland chapter of the Authority is being held hostage, and the search for her leads Allie, Zayvion, and their friends to a prison where only the worst and most powerful wizards are held. There, they find one of the prisoners possessed by a powerful undead wizard who wants to unleash all manner of chaos on the world. In trying to prevent that, Allie and the rest discover some unpleasant truths about the state of magic use and those who control it. The Authority may be coming apart at the seams."
There are only a couple of minor issues with this one. Otherwise, it's a book that I couldn't put down.

Then there's the Magic on the Line review:
"Things are getting hairy in Portland, Oregon. The Authority (the organization that regulates the use of magic in a city) is in disarray. Some members have gone over to the other side, others have been killed or wounded. The head office in the Northwest is not happy with the way this particular chapter has been run and has sent Bartholomew Wray down to put things right. His method of doing things rubs Allie, her lover, Zayvion Jones, and many other members the wrong way. It doesn't help that dark magic is spreading and leaking all over the city, dead magic users are rising from their graves, and Allie's powers are making her sick every time she uses them. Something's got to give; in this novel, something finally does."
This one has a huge red flag at the beginning that telegraphed the major revelation at the end, which I found kind of sad. But otherwise it's another great entry.

And finally, the review for Magic Without Mercy:
"Things look bleak for Allie Beckstrom and her friends, who are on the run from the Authority (the organization that governs all magic use in the world). Allie is wanted for criminal embezzlement and murder, so the police are after her, as well. Meanwhile, the wells of magic scattered around Portland, Oregon, have been poisoned. Any time Allie tries to use magic, she gets violently ill. The only person who may be able to figure out what's going on is Allie's dead father, whose psyche resides inside Allie's head (much to her annoyance). Will they be able to fix things before a user of death magic is able to destroy the antidote?"
This book actually wraps up one of the two major storylines, which tells me that the next book is going to be the final one. Considering that Monk has a new series out, it wouldn't surprise me. Almost ten books is a long series, but Monk's been able to string it along with a sequence of great books and character development that hasn't felt like she was standing still and revving her engine. This is one that I couldn't put down.

That's the beauty of these books: great characters. There's plenty of magical action, but it's the interplay between the characters that Monk excels at. It really makes the series easy to read and enjoy. Even as you want to know what's happening next.

That's the sign of a great writer.


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.