Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk is the first in her Allie Beckstorm series.
I had this book recommended to me by a friend, and can’t exactly say whethe...moreMagic to the Bone by Devon Monk is the first in her Allie Beckstorm series.
I had this book recommended to me by a friend, and can’t exactly say whether I’m glad or disappointed that I picked it up.
The story has definitely left me with mixed emotions, most of them leaning towards the negative side.
Allie Beckstorm is a magic user, and a Hound - someone for hire who goes around tracing people’s magic signatures back to the owner, usually in cases where the owner has done some magic offloading onto another person (something very much illegal). Over the curse of the story we find out that Allie is one of the best in the business at Hounding - something she lets the reader in on at various points throughout her journey. This was something that bothered me immensely, because by the end of the book I was far from convinced at her prowess and stellar Hounding skills. Sometimes she seemed quite incompetent and too dependant on others. I actually started to wonder how she coped with her job on a day to day basis. The decisions she made throughout the book were appalling and led me to believe she was a complete novice at her job instead of the best as she claimed herself to be. She made stupid decision after stupid decision and never learnt from her mistakes. Hell, she seemed more than eager to thrust herself headlong back into the danger, only thinking about what a bad idea it was after all was said and done.
Add in Zayvion Jones, an enigmatic, suspicious, and secretive character who just happened to be around each and every time Ali got herself into another shit-storm so he could be her knight in shining armour and it sealed the deal of turning Allie from an independent, self sufficient woman into an incompetent, needy, almost clingy woman whose only saving grace was her magical talents - which she used neglectfully anyway.
The first time she used her magic in the story was to Hound a small boy to figure out who had hurt him magically. Drawing upon her own magic, she found the offender’s magical signature on the boy, but oopsie-daisy, she forgot to set a Disbursement spell so that her use of magic wouldn’t harm her as badly as it could have. For an experienced Hound, I found it hard to believe that she would forget something so crucial and so basic. And this was just the starting point in a long list of events where she excelled in showing readers her stupidity. I read to the end of the book in an almost desperate manner to try and find out where her intelligence and self preservation kicked in, but was left unsatisfied.
Basically, very disappointed, it was just mess up after mess up and ultimately the book fell into a boringly predictable pattern. The conclusion was anticlimactic to say the least, and I thought her ending up losing her memories of the entire adventure was a sad cop out.
The only saving grace to the entire thing was Nola, Allie’s best friend who lived out in the country where there was no magic. I loved Nola’s character. Unlike Allie, you could definitely see Nola clearly as an independent, self sufficient woman, strong and brave and comfortable with who she is and how her life is playing out. For the scenes where Allie and Nola were together, they actually just highlighted Nola’s resilience and made me realise how annoying and whiny and really stupid Allie was.
I am still contemplating on whether to read the rest of the series. So far, it’s not likely. (less)