I never thought I would ever have to say this about an installment in this series: I am disappointed. I waited and waited through delays and revisionsI never thought I would ever have to say this about an installment in this series: I am disappointed. I waited and waited through delays and revisions about what this book would be at its core. But on some level, I believed that Karen Marie Moning would make me eat my complaints and I would once again worship at the altar of Mac, Barrons, and the exceptional Fever world. And then… it didn’t happen. The book isn’t bad. In fact, the second half is quite engaging. It simply doesn’t measure up to the standards Moning has set with the earlier books in this series.
The first half is very slow. I kept waiting to feel the magic. But it jumps from POV to POV too quickly for me to connect. It’s not that I got lost. The chapters were very clearly marked as to who was talking and it wasn’t hard to follow at all. I just didn’t care.
There’s Mac, wanting to make up with Dani, but still feeling hurt by the knowledge Dani killed her sister. There’s Dani, running from Mac, refusing to believe that her former friend isn’t trying to kill her. There are the Nine, still super powerful and uber-sexual. Oh yeah, and the Sinsar Dubh talking in Mac’s head. Eh.
The book takes an unexpected twist in the second half, which woke me up a bit and got me more interested. But it wasn’t until the last third that it felt like a Fever book. And then, it was over. Abruptly.
There is some good stuff happening. Like Lore. He won this book for me, along with his unexpected storyline. Another bit of awesome, all the things Mac learned while observing the Nine. I feel like we learned more about this group here than in all of the other books combined. I am still fascinated by them, and the more I learn, the more I want of them. The side-plot that enabled these revelations and what we hear from Barrons when he didn’t know Mac was listening… pure gold.
The Mac and Barrons dynamic overall, though, not so much. I felt like the tension between them was manufactured. After all they’ve been through, this trifling stuff isn’t going to break them. Come on. No one is buying that. And as for a Dani romance, there’s nothing there either. Though one could argue that Moning opened the door to a romance, there wasn’t much stepping through it.
The next book is supposed to be out later this year. I don’t believe that. This ending didn’t exactly leave me, er, burning for more. But I am not ready to give up on this series yet… if for no other reason that to get more deets about those Nine and spend more time inside Lore’s head.
OK. I’m in. This second book in the Allie Beckstrom series has solidified my investment in these stories, and I know I am definitely going to keep reaOK. I’m in. This second book in the Allie Beckstrom series has solidified my investment in these stories, and I know I am definitely going to keep reading. If you haven’t read book one, you need to start there, and be warned, there are spoilers for that book ahead.
We begin with the premise from that surprising revelation at the end of Magic To the Bone: Allie remembers nothing from the events of that book. I suppose that could be annoying to some readers, but for me, I feel like that device gives us some real insight. This is primarily in how the characters react to information we know that Allie doesn’t. And it shows us a lot about Allie’s instincts and how she reacts when she has a blank slate to people and events we have seen before.
My big draw continues to be the series love interest, Zayvion. I think his carefulness with Allie speaks volumes about how he feels for her, even though he is clearly a man of secrets. He cares about her. He wants her. And even if she doesn’t remember why, her physical and emotional responses to him are real. I wanted more of them in this book. I want more of them now.
As I mentioned in the last review, this world is dark. It actually gets even darker this go around. As Allie works to help police solve a case of some missing girls, an old enemy has resurfaced, threatening her life. And if that wasn’t bad enough, her father’s ghost is reaching out from the grave. I kept thinking that her dad couldn’t possibly be as bad as Allie thought, but wow, I was very wrong there. Add to that, attacks from spirits, the misery from the price of magic, a creepy neighbor, and cold rain that seems to keep Allie soaked and miserable, and you scratch the surface of what our heroine has to endure over the course of the book. Plus, of course, those pesky bouts of amnesia. She has no idea who she can trust, including herself. And as readers, who don’t know much more than she does; only the truths we learned in book 1.
There are times I feel like the book lingers on Allie’s physical discomforts, but I guess it would be easy to forget that she is in constant pain otherwise. I also kind of wish we could see her catch just a little bit of a break. I am a little weary just reading about the unceasing barrage of misery. (Plus, I don’t trust that stepmother.) Once again, though, I ended this book raring to pick up the next one. Devon Monk leaves us with a doozy of a gamechanger for Allie once again. And I, for one, am not ready to get off this ride.
This book got off to a slow start for me. I had some issues with the heroine. The sex was vague and unsatisfying. But somehow, I am really interestedThis book got off to a slow start for me. I had some issues with the heroine. The sex was vague and unsatisfying. But somehow, I am really interested in this series –and am actually kind of excited about book two. I think that’s thanks in large part to a unique and engaging ending.
As with many first installments in an urban fantasy series, there’s a new world to establish. Here, magic is part of everyday life. But there are consequences for using it. The bigger the magic, the bigger the repercussions. Only, the powerful often dump those consequences on the unsuspecting. Our heroine, Allie Beckstrom, has made a career of tracking magic users who do just that. She is a “hound,” able to sniff out magical signatures and trace them to their source.
Life as a hound isn’t fun or lucrative. It kind of makes me wonder why Allie does it. She lives in squalor; she can barely feed herself; and the magic eats parts of her memory. Allie is estranged from her super-powerful and very successful dad, who used his gifts to force her to study magic. She quit magic school and fell off the map, so why not get a job at McDonalds? As a receptionist? A waitress? Nope. But it’s something you just have to accept and go with it, I guess.
Anyway, she is called in to find out who illegally dumped magic on a poor kid, and it leads her to her father’s doorstep. I get why she doesn’t believe him when he says he didn’t do it. But as the book progresses and a bogus magic charge is leveled on her, you would think she would start giving her father’s claims more credence. She doesn’t. That’s the thing about Allie. She doesn’t make very smart choices. I hate calling her TSTL, because I like her enough not to wish her dead. But Lord knows, she doesn’t survive by her own common sense.
Instead, you can thank her love interest, Zayvion, for saving her bacon, over and over again. I liked Zay. He is a sexy mystery, wrapped up in an enigma. I don’t know that I buy how quickly and easily he and Allie fell together, but I liked the dynamic between them a lot (thanks largely to him.) Sadly, I found the love scenes lacking, embracing all that is vague and euphemistic. But the tension between them is great and there is so much growth just waiting to happen.
This world is a very dark one. It’s gritty and people seem to be mostly either corrupt or victims of the corrupt. Very Gotham. I like the setting and I am intrigued by the magic system and where our main characters fall in the system. Plus, like I said at the beginning, I thought the ending was pretty cool. I’ll definitely check out book two. Hopefully, some of the uneven pacing I found here will be less of an issue –and maybe Allie will have some character growth. Perhaps most importantly, Zayvion will be back to give up some of his secrets. I’ll keep you posted.
Another winner from Elizabeth Hoyt! She is now officially my favorite historical romance author. This book rocked my socks off. It’s part two in her PAnother winner from Elizabeth Hoyt! She is now officially my favorite historical romance author. This book rocked my socks off. It’s part two in her Princes series, and though I most definitely enjoyed The Raven Prince, you can easily read this as a standalone. It’s one of my favorite tropes: the lady falling in love with a servant, and it is done deliciously right.
Lady George is independently wealthy, so even at 28, she really has no need of a husband. But that doesn’t make her immune to the attraction that a woman can feel for a strapping man. Harry isn’t trying to attract attention. He is simply trying to do a good job as her land steward. But when circumstances force the two of them to spend the night alone together, things start to slowly change in how they see each other.
George isn’t at all the ninny aristocrat that Harry thought she would be. She is actually quite intelligent and cares for her tenants. But she is so far above his station, he could never even consider acting on his attraction toward her. Besides, he has bigger issues to deal with, like the fact that someone is killing the sheep of an old rival and the blame is falling right at his feet. It’s obviously a frame job, but the threat to his reputation and freedom is very real, especial since his enemy is much wealthier and powerful.
This book hit all the right notes for me. Both main characters were well drawn and I adored them both. The progression of the romance was paced perfectly. I loved watching their feelings unfold. And the sexual element was very satisfying. It was hot without being overly dirty… just right for my taste. I think it was Harry who really won this book for me. He clearly admires and respects George –and wants her– but truly believes anything real with her out of reach. And the way he calls her “my lady” the whole time was totally swoon worthy.
It wasn’t 100% perfect. George pulls a dummy move at the end. But it didn’t detract from my love of the romance, or the book as a whole. Would definitely recommend.