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Allie Beckstrom #2

Magic in the Blood

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In the second book in Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series, when the police’s magical enforcement division asks Allie to consult on a missing persons case, she finds herself drawn into an underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

Working as a Hound—tracing illegal spells back to their casters—has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

368 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 5, 2009

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About the author

Devon Monk

71 books2,001 followers
Devon Monk is a national best selling writer of urban fantasy. Her series include Ordinary Magic, House Immortal, Allie Beckstrom, Broken Magic and Shame and Terric. She also writes the Age of Steam steampunk series, and the occasional short story which can be found in her collection: A Cup of Normal, and in various anthologies. She has one husband, two sons, and lives in Oregon. When not writing, Devon is either drinking too much coffee or knitting silly things.

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 356 reviews
Profile Image for Emma.
2,511 reviews856 followers
March 23, 2018
Really good! Even better than the first one. I'm enjoying Allie. Bekstrom as a character- she is feisty but also vulnerable. She doesn't know everything and she gets things wrong. This book set up a lot of partial information that I am dying to find out more about. After the Insta lust of the first book, I liked the slow burn on Zayvion and Allie's re-do on the relationship front. A lot of questions still about dark and blood magic and about what exactly is going on with her dad. The magic of this world is complicated and intriguing. Definitely going on with the series. Recommended.
Profile Image for The Flooze.
762 reviews249 followers
December 22, 2010
A freaky ending, an interesting magic system, and mysterious societies lurking on the fringe have convinced me to read the third book. But, I have my reservations.

It's hard to pin down how I feel about Ms. Beckstrom. I don't dislike her, but I'm not particularly attached to her either. Combine that with paragraph after paragraph of tedious detail and this isn't a series I'm excited about. I can't tell you how tired I am of reading the same phrasing to describe Allie's magic - I got it the first time. Though I very much appreciate magic's taxation on the user, I feel there must be some way to make the repercussions clear without wading through a frequent laundry list of symptoms.

Also, how many times did I have to read about the girl showering? I don't need to to soap up with her every darn time.

The suspense aspect was good, but it's damaged by Allie's stubborn attitude and her tendency to jump thoughtlessly into danger. For such a suspicious person, she isn't very cautious.

Changes take place in this installment - the nature of which make me hopeful for answers and character progression. There are a lot of unique areas to explore in Allie's world, if only the author would tighten her pacing and reign in the details. I think the third will be the deciding factor in whether or not I become a real fan.
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books705 followers
January 14, 2015
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 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.

Now, if Allie will only get herself a raincoat…

Rating: B
Profile Image for Zaza.
1,619 reviews33 followers
April 22, 2023
Le 1er tome était un peu ardu, tant l'univers décrit par l'autrice était original et unique en son genre, du coup, là, l'entrée en matière est beaucoup plus aisée.
C'est encore un roman passionnant, intense et surprenant que Devon Monk offre à ses lecteurs, avec une Allie qui en prend encore une fois vraiment plein la tête, au point qu'à la fin, j'avais vraiment le coeur serré pour elle. D'autant que les évènements décrits dans le livre couvre seulement ... deux jours de temps !

Deux jours durant lesquels elle accepte de travailler pour une division spéciale de la police, afin de les aider à avancer sur une enquête concernant des disparitions de jeunes filles ; deux jours durant lesquels elle va être assaillie par des spectres "pastels" avides de magie, voir des choses magiques et étranges lorsqu'elle utilise sa magie ; mais aussi deux jours de combats, de blessures, de pertes de mémoire et de jeu du chat et de la souris avec divers personnages, qu'ils soient alliés ou ennemis.

Dans cet univers, Allie n'a aucun répit (mais vraiment !), ne peut se fier qu'à elle-même (et encore ...), et comme pour le 1er tome, je trouve ça assez vertigineux les moments où nous, lecteurs, on sait ce qui lui est arrivé, mais qu'elle a tout oublié du fait du double effet kiss cool de la magie. Dans ce tome, pas mal de choses sont éclaircies, et on découvre de nouveaux personnages que j'espère vraiment retrouver par la suite (j'aurais bien imaginé un petit spin-off ou même une nouvelle avec Kevin & Violette par exemple). On retrouve bien sûr Zay, qui est décidément loin de révéler tous ses secrets ...

Un tome encore une fois très intense donc, bien plus facile à lire que le premier, avec une Allie toujours aussi combattive et vulnérable à la fois, des rebondissements parfois assez fous, et un cliffhanger spectaculaire !
Profile Image for Jessica Reads It.
551 reviews32 followers
April 27, 2021
There are some books, from the first page you know if it’s for you, and this was one such book for me.

Magic in the Blood focuses on a police case of missing girls, some freaky visitors from beyond the veil of death who keep attacking her at the first sight of her magic, and a neighbor bordering on the line of a stalker. Allie is back at it again, this time with more questions than answers but that doesn't stop everyone's favorite sassy amnesiac from giving zero effs and taking charge.

I sometimes wonder how much more this poor woman can endure, she has constant bouts of amnesia from paying the price of magic, is constantly attacked, is suspicious of everyone, never has an umbrella when rain falls, and cannot keep a cellphone for the life of her.

I like seeing Allie's social circle widen to encompass fellow hounds and her estranged family. Allie's relationship with her father was downright frigid in the first and now that he's back from the beyond, things just got a hell of a lot more awkward!

I lusted over Allie and Zayvion in the first book and gained a new appreciation for their relationship based on the agonizingly slow build in this book. Zayvion is the epitome of a gentleman with the delicate way he handles both Allie's memory loss and her trust issues.

The thing I enjoy most about this series is that I can see the progression of Allie, not only in her magical journey but also as an individual. She has faced so much darkness and negativity that to see her pushing through gives me hope. As a reader, I was amazed at the detail paid to the progression and gradual exposure of certain aspects of magic.

I appreciate Devon Monk's style of writing and love how novel and refreshingly unique the Allie Beckstrom series. The world-building is intricate and reading how the author conceptualized magic and incorporated it so organically into real-life is amazing.

I would highly recommend this for persons interested in Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance with intriguing world-building and amazing characters.
Profile Image for Kelly.
616 reviews150 followers
May 6, 2009
I complain sometimes about urban fantasy heroines who keep racking up more and more improbable powers over the course of a series, eventually becoming such spectacular demigoddesses that it would take a small army to give them so much as a black eye.

That's one problem Allie Beckstrom doesn't have. I'm beginning to think Allie needs more powers to deal with everything Devon Monk is throwing at her. Monk is great — maybe a little too great — at describing the agony of trekking all over Portland in the rain with a blinding migraine, and by the time I'd followed Allie through this ordeal a couple of times, I found myself wishing she'd start trusting Zayvion again just so he could Ground her.

Magic in the Blood begins as Allie is recovering from the events that took place in Magic to the Bone. The reader remembers everything that happened, but as a result of a magical backlash, Allie doesn't. Specifically, she doesn't remember much about her relationship with Zayvion. The fragile trust that had just been developing between Allie and Zayvion is in a shambles now, and she's back at square one, trying to figure out whether to let him back into her life. She also doesn't remember meeting her stepmother, Violet. (An aside: I'm beginning to think Violet is my favorite character in this series. I'd love to see more of her. If Devon Monk were to write a spin-off book telling Violet's story, I'd be in bookworm heaven. I'd love to get inside her head.)

Further complicating Allie's life, she is being threatened by a crime boss just released from prison, haunted by the ghost of her dead father, and stalked by a horde of terrifying beings who are drawn to the magic she carries in her body. Every time Allie uses magic, she attracts these creatures, and has to use more magic to fight them off. As a result, she spends most of Magic in the Blood suffering from one magic-induced ailment after another.

The principal villain of Magic in the Blood is truly creepy. This character has mastered a horrific magical art, and to make things worse, it's such an obscure skill that everyone thinks Allie is hallucinating when she describes what's going on. I did figure out pretty quickly that this character was bad news, but I wasn't able to put all the pieces together until Allie did.

Magic in the Blood didn't grab me quite as insistently as Magic to the Bone did. When I try to put my finger on why, I think maybe it's just that it feels like Blood is treading some of the same ground again, both in terms of the romantic subplot and in terms of the sequences in which Allie travels around the city while feeling ill. I think this "retread" feeling was probably inevitable, though, given Allie's amnesia and the way magic works in Monk's world.

I look forward to seeing what happens in the next ALLIE BECKSTROM novel. Allie's growing alliances with other Hounds promise to be interesting (as long as she writes them down and makes sure to remember them!), and I always enjoy an urban fantasy heroine who develops more friendships as her story progresses rather than becoming more standoffish. And the cliffhanger ending! I can't wait to find out where this is going.

Read this and my review of Magic to the Bone at FanLit.net!
Profile Image for Julie (jjmachshev).
1,069 reviews284 followers
May 10, 2009
Magic with a twist. Devon Monk's second 'Allie Beckstrom' book, "Magic In the Blood" is just as good as the first. This world is filled with magic available for those who can use it...provided they're willing to pay the price. That price is pain. Small magics? Maybe a headache, fever, or a light rash and a few old memories. Big magic? Bad flu and broken bones and gaps in the memory. Blood magic? Death.

Allie's mostly recovered from the coma caused by her use of alot of magic to save a guy she supposedly fell in love with that she can't remember now. Sound confusing? Well, that's Allie's life all right. With bills to pay (sure she COULD use her Dad's money, NOT) she's out looking for a few 'hounding' jobs--tracing the source of illegal spells or magic use. So a job for the police department could be just the thing...if it didn't involve a cop with a 'curse', an old enemy out for Allie's blood (literally), and the ghost of her dead father.

How can I tell you how good this series is? Devin Monk's imagination has come up with a realm that's distinct and unusual. I only needed a few pages to find myself right back in Allie's world, with all its logic and mystery. The plot jumps into action and then accelerates through to the ending without a pitstop. My heart was racing (along with Allie's, I'm sure) as she tracks from spell to ward, trying to locate some missing children before they turn up dead.

This isn't romance per se. Instead it's Allie's life with all its mysterious twists and memory holes. There IS romance, but the series isn't built on the romance, it's built on the mystery of a woman's life as it spirals out of control and her efforts to snatch pieces of reality. As far as I'm concerned, Devon Monk can't write fast enough and I'm already anxious for the November 2009 release of "Magic in the Shadows" to see where Allie's headed next.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,220 reviews462 followers
October 14, 2010
For me, this book was frustrating to review and read, especially the first third of this book. Allison, is still suffering the effects of losing 3 weeks of her memories from the events in Magic to the Bone. That includes all memories of her so called love entanglement with the mysterious Zavyion Jones, who, like it or not, I don't trust. How can we? The story is told in the POV of Allison, and not the other characters in the book. I don't even trust her fathers newest wife #6 to have her best interests at heart.

Second; Allison is supposingly a power magic user and yet, she fails to protect herself when Lon Trager, kinpin of drugs and blood magic stabs a needle in her leg, and draws her blood. Then demands that she show up with another hound named Pike. I mean, really? She also finds herself hounded by shadow people who steal her magic. I mean, really? I want to see her kick some major evil, and come away without being admitted to the hospital each and every time.

Third, the fact that her father is in her head, and may or may not be using her for his own good, is disturbing on many levels. Of course, the ending of this book was exactly as I expected to be after I read the blurb for the next book in the series.

Next, like some of the other reviewers, I'm tired of the memory loss angle. The fact that Allie can't seem to remember pretty much the whole first book makes me wonder why I even bother reading it. Also, Monk left some dangling threads from the previous story that was never picked up in the 2nd book. Can we hope that these threads are closed in the next book?

Profile Image for Theresa .
1,425 reviews75 followers
May 4, 2018
4.5 Stars... In this second installment to the series, the readers are given a deeper look into the world of magic, it's consequences, and the impact on life and death... Allie learns to navigate the dangerous waters of dark magic or blood magic while combatting her personal demons, ghostly apparitions, and dangerous criminals... Devon Monk creates a unique and fascinating world for these complex characters to navigate and thrive; I truly enjoyed this read from start to finish; looking forward to continuing with this exhilarating series:)
Profile Image for Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method).
1,669 reviews477 followers
August 27, 2017
hmmm, still really like the magic system in this. Felt less complete than book 1. Guess with 7 more books to go you can't let the story develop too far. Still will probably continue on to the next book.
Profile Image for Lynsey is Reading.
665 reviews228 followers
June 18, 2017
This was a pretty decent follow up to the first book and went some way to improving on the characterization that I felt was lacking in book one, Magic to the Bone.

Having the main character, Allie Beckstom, have her memories reset back to her back to her 25th birthday, which was the opening scene of book one, was both a blessing and a curse for us as a reader. A blessing because it gave us a chance to get to know the love interest, Zayvion Jones' character a little more, and for them to try and build a relationship on something other than just "magic sex". And, I admit, I did soften towards him a little more in this book. He can be very sweet and endearing at times and I think it's good that they have slowed things down. It's how it should have been in the first place.

But it was a curse because Allie can't remember anything that happened in book one, so the amount of recapping and the feeling of being right back at square one was slightly overwhelming.

Allie gets drafted in by the police's magic enforcement division (MERC) to Hound a job involving a possible serial killer and six missing girls. She also starts to experience weird happenings whenever she taps into her magic.

There were several new characters introduced in this one, none of whom made any great impact, still, it was nice to widen the cast a little since most of book one featured only Allie and Zayvion.

Going back to Zayvion for a second, I'm finding the whole "Man of Mystery" persona slightly annoying at the moment. I'm all for characters being mysterious if it's done well, and if they are dropping clues without actually meaning or wanting to, but with this one it feels more like he's saying "I have loads of secrets! Neener neener neener!" If he can't talk about his job or say who he works for because he's not allowed, then fine, just stop mentioning it!

I'm going to give book three a chance because...well because I have it here right next to me, but this series really needs to step it up a notch to hold my interest for much longer.
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
February 2, 2012
Another good one. I have to stop myself after this one or I'll devour the whole series in one go and that would be bad.

In the world of this series magic has been discovered and harnessed and is sold like a utility. Anyone can use it if they've got the means to buy it or they only use it for tiny things. It also demands a secondary price for itself, giving the user a fever, headache, pain, even blackouts in the aftermath of its use.

It's an interesting world. Set in Portland, Oregon, Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series is similar to other kick-ass female magic-user series and, IMO, just as good. Allie is a likable character that I root for and the love interest is swoony and frustrating like the best of UF love interests. He's not the typical alpha, which is nice, although no one could ever call him beta. Zayvion Jones is unique.

In this installment, Allie is coming back from recuperating from a magic-induced coma. She's lost her memories of a few weeks, and she needs money. A lot has happened to her that she doesn't remember.

The memory loss is a major element of the story and I'm not sure I'm going to continue to like it. I'm not sure it can be dealt with as realistically as an element like that needs to be. For instance, her journal is vague and spotty. If I were losing my memories at random times, I would be as thorough and specific as possible. It's pointless to have some little tidbit that doesn't go into detail. So I get frustrated with the heroine because I think she's not putting the effort into being effective. This is another good reason to take a break because I'll start thinking about that aspect too much.

Overall this is as enjoyable as Ilona Andrews or Patricia Briggs, for me. I'm only two books in, and I'm hoping the world continues to build and become more specific for me. I want to understand how magic is used -- particularly as a weapon -- as we go along. I think we'll get there, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the ride.
Profile Image for Tami.
113 reviews
May 5, 2012

3.5 stars.
Ummm... I still really enjoyed the series so far. The writer does a great job getting to know Allie. I just wish she wasn't always so beat up all the time. she gets her ass kicked more than Rachel Morgan.. (and that's a lot) But at least she's not a baby about it and can handle the pain. Zayvion Jones is still a mystery to me. Why was this secret Authority soooo secret anyway? Why couldn't he just tell her before? And now that she knows, will he be honest with her about it all? Not be such a secret?
I was really hoping that the thing with her father was kind of a last ditch effort to actually 'save' her.. but no.. he really was the evil man she always thought he was. There were some pretty exciting parts in this book, but overall it was still kind of slow. I'm still not sure I like her step mommy. And I think this new character, Maeve, might be Violet's mom.. And I don't think either of them are good news. Violet being pregnant I think throws a wrench in things. Everyone is after Allie, FIRST because she's her fathers daughter and SECOND because she's pretty powerful. This new baby will also be her fathers child.. What will this do for the company? How much will the new child inherit? How much power will it have? How will it's mother handle it? Did she plan on this? Is it even his kid? And will this guard, Kevin, ever try to let Violet know how he feels? Or has he already and only keeps it awkward in public.? Could it be HIS baby? hmmmm? Sooooo many questions...

The 'showdown' with Lon Trager was anticlimactic. How was he drawing her to him so strongly if he was almost dead? I was really expecting more.. idk.. excitement and ass kicking during this scene. The following scene in the warehouse, was more exciting and even kind of hopeful, but still seemed weird and kind of awkward.

Over all it was a good story. I enjoyed reading it and wholly plan on finishing out the series.
Profile Image for Cindi.
1,053 reviews35 followers
April 25, 2010
You know how frustrating it is when you know that you know something but you just can't remember it? Someone's name or the name of a place or something that happened? I say it comes from getting older but for Allie Beckstrom it comes from using too much magic.

There is always a price to be paid for using magic. Rule No. 1. Allie can offer to swap a fever for using magic, or a head cold, but there is always some price. In this book, Allie discovers she is even more magical than she previously thought. The magic is in her blood. And Traynor, a criminal she helped put in jail during book #1, has gotten out of jail early and snagged a vial of her blood. Blood magic is illegal, but so what? Traynor is a criminal.

Allie meets Detective Stotts, a magical specialist with the PD, who wants her to work for him. She agrees and manages to get herself in to more trouble than she should.

The book is well-paced, interesting, fantasy yet believable. Allie survives what she shouldn't, bears pain and stays stubborn. She also knows something has happened with her and Zavyion in the past; she wants something to happen with him now and is looking forward to what does happen with him in the next book!

Profile Image for Carolyn F..
3,425 reviews51 followers
January 4, 2011
First thing, has Allie ever heard of a rain coat. I have a very nice lined Anne Klein black rain jacket with a removable hood. Although Sacramento gets half the rain of Portland, I use it instead of wool hats, wool jackets, no umbrellas. Does she want to suffer? So many times when she's soaked I think, why in the hell would you not have a thick rain jacket? Ridiculous!

In the last book Allie had forgotten a big chunk of time because she used too much magic and it included falling in love with Zayvion. He was breaking it off anyway, but I guess he changed his mind. So much of this book is about her getting wet, being wet, being cold, changing clothes and getting wet again, walking through the grass and getting her boot wet while she's freezing. Then the other third is about how this magic will make her get a headache, now a worse headache, now fever. Over and over again. Very monotonous. I would have liked the story/book better if these could have been pared down. I'm not going to order book #3 yet. I have too many other books I want to read more.
Profile Image for Cathy .
1,944 reviews52 followers
August 25, 2009
Loved it! As with the first book, Allie has immediate presence and energy. The story is vibrant and alive. The take on magic and it's consequences is original and supports an interesting story. Zay is hot, if overly mysterious. I like the build of Allie's relationship with Violet and look forward to seeing how that plays out. It's just a good read, all urban fantasy fans should pick it up.
Profile Image for Marne.
18 reviews3 followers
May 23, 2009
Local Oregon author whose series is set in a slightly altered version of Portland. I enjoyed this book and the main character Allie is one tough cookie. I'm excited to see where the author takes her. Can't wait for the next book in November!
135 reviews
June 23, 2014
Excellent and exciting installment in the Allie Beckstrom series. I did not even think of taking the series in the direction that Mrs. Monk has seen in her brilliant imagination with Allie's father. No spoilers in this review though!!! :)
Profile Image for Blodeuedd Finland.
3,438 reviews295 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 6, 2015
I read book 1 over 5 years ago and thought it was only ok. So this book has been sitting there for years. I gave it a go, but could not push through
Profile Image for Toshokan.
Author 3 books28 followers
April 29, 2023
Un tome 2 à la hauteur du premier.

Ici Allié aura fort à faire pour résoudre quelques mystères. Encore une fois l’auteure joue sur les contrecoups de l’utilisation de la magie. Allie a oublié certains aspects du premier tome et essaye tant bien que mal de faire en sorte que ça aille. Pourtant elle est assaillie par des visions de fantômes et une présence persistante de son père décédé.

L’intrigue est vraiment échafaudée de manière très précise. Chaque élément est important d autant plus qu’avec une méconnaissance du passé notre héroïne doit se fier aux seuls éléments à sa portée.

Le rythme est endiablé car il n’y a pas de temps mort. On vit vraiment les aventures de notre héroïne et on a même peur pour elle à des moments.

Son crush est aussi présent et j’ai adoré le fait qu’ils se rapprochent de nouveau. Il y a une de ces tensions entre eux deux…

En bref, une série qui tient ses promesses avec une plume précise et haletante.
189 reviews30 followers
September 24, 2018
Similar to the first, only even more delightful, this series has thoroughly hooked me.
Profile Image for Julie.
535 reviews139 followers
November 30, 2010
I am loving Allie Beckstrom. She has such a wit about her and a sharp sense of humor. She’s all sarcasm. And in “Magic in the Blood”, the second installment in Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series, you really get to witness these qualities that I personally love in a kick ass lead heroine.

That’s the perfect description for Allie. Even though she isn’t a gun wielding, knife throwing, kick boxing chick, she is totally kick ass. She’s got magic after all! She’s a Hound. Someone whose job is to track magical signatures back to the spell’s caster. And she uses magic to do so. But in Devon’s world, Magic users pay a price when they use it – they pay in pain. Allie tends to lean towards a migraine or flu. But sometimes when she overdoes it, she suffers from memory loss.

“Magic in the Blood” begins with Allie trying to piece her life back after losing quite a chunk of time in the last book. She starts seeing things and feeling things that she can’t explain. Part of her thinks it’s due to the fact that she was in a coma for a while and part of her thinks it’s because she’s nuts. While trying to figure that out, she finds that her father, a big wig she’s tried very hard to separate herself from, is still trying to control her life even after his death. In addition to that, she’s being threatened by an ex-con evil guy whom she helped convict. And she’s been asked to Hound a job for a member of the police force who seems to be having a run of bad luck. You see, quite a few who Hound for this Detective Stotts wind up dead. Yup, our Allie has a lot going on, which means we get a full and stirring story. But that’s not all that Allie is dealing with. The most important thing is that she is trying to figure out her relationship (or lack of one) with Zayvion.

By the end book one, you have no real idea who, what or why Zayvion Jones is. And really, by the end of book two you are no further along. Wait, that’s not completely true. You find out what he is…but then Allie passes out before she can ask questions. So once again, we are left wondering. Wondering about the dark, mysterious, talented magician that is Zayvion. Speculating about the man with the killer watt smile Zayvion. Thinking about sexy Zayvion. Oh who am I kidding? I’m trying to make it sound like a hardship but really, it’s not. If this book is any indication, we find out little bits and pieces here and there from book to book. But it’s not frustrating. It makes me want to read on. It makes me want to read more…while thinking of Zayvion. We know he cares for Allie and that he always happens to be around when she needs him. But when it comes to Zayvion, I think Allie says it best when she says: “Zayvion Jones just gets stranger and stranger.”

There are other supporting characters in this book that I quite enjoyed and I’m hoping they will keep popping up throughout the series. Violet, Allie’s father’s widow (I could say Allie’s step-mother but she is pretty much Allie’s age and that would just be odd). Her gentle and kind nature is just what Allie needs to help balance her. Kevin, Violet’s bodyguard. We know he’s a powerful magician and a good ally to have. I love how he is with Violet. Pike. Oh Pike. And finally Davey. He’s a fellow Hound who was asked to watch over Allie during one job and has taken his new responsibility a little farther than Allie would like. He’s just a kid but he’s full of spunk and fire. And he’s got the perfect attitude to help deal with our sarcastic heroine who is convinced that she needs no one.

The beginning of the book trudges along a little slowly due, of course, to the retelling of the events from book one, but you still get a taste as to where the story is headed. Once you get past that it’s go go go. And let me tell you, after reading book one and thinking I had a grasp on how this series is going to go, it went a whole other direction. One that completely took me by surprise but thrilled me just the same. I can see how there are endless possibilities as to where this series can go from here and I love it! And the ending of “Magic in the Blood” is a little more intense but still similar to the last one. Surprising but not dire. It makes you go “Whoa” and make you want to pick up the next book but not jump out of the window and hurt yourself to get to it. Those are the best cliffhanger endings.

So if you have yet to pick up this series and you are a fan of strong female leads in an Urban Fantasy tale, give it a try. You won't regret it. Really.
Profile Image for Rhianna.
459 reviews86 followers
May 3, 2009
Allie Beckstrom, bad-ass Hound in Portland, Oregon, is back! She might not remember her last adventure but she's definitely living with the consequences. Something in her remembers Zayvion Jones but can she trust the thought that they were more than just friends? He's a hard man to read but Allie might have to trust him and his advice about some powerful people who police the use of magic. People her father was involved with.

But there isn't time to dwell on her missing memories because the police's magic enforcement division needs her expertise on a mysterious kidnapping case. As the case leads her into the dangerous realm of blood magic, Allie may have to question the motivations of one of the only Hounds she might call a friend.

I know, I know! My synopsis is a little lacking. I really didn't want to give too much away. This second installment in the exciting new Allie Beckstrom series is just as carefully woven as the first. You'll just really have to read the plot description provided on the back of the book (or if you're shopping online in the product info) and maybe look at some other reviews who have shared other points. I was scared I might spoil something if I said anymore.

So how was the book? A bit slower paced and not as action driven as Magic to the Bone. Because Allie is just getting back on her feet after the body breaking and memory wiping adventure of the first book it's understandable she might just be trying to get her life back in order. With her father dead she has a lot to deal with on that front. The wife he left behind, legal matters and maybe even his ghost! The ghost angle is definitely what drives this story this time around and adds a really interesting element to the magic system Monk has built for this series.

Throughout Magic in the Blood, Monk introduces us to more of the magic using community. From the corruption of blood magic users to a group of Hounds working together to protect their own, the lines between good guys and bad continues to be blurred, twisted and remolded. I especially wanted to read more about the other Hounds and how they dealt with the negative side affects of being magic users. Alcoholics, pill poppers, coke heads and cutters being presented in this different world and situation may bother some readers who might take it as glamorizing addiction but I felt it made a really good point about paying the price and suffering the consequences for having magical power.

Frustrating but adding to the romantic tension of the relationship is the interaction between Zayvion and Allie now that she can't remember them being together. This relationship has thus far been a mysterious one and fans of interracial romance who also like urban fantasy should really be reading this series! I have to say that thus far Zay has become a personal favorite 'hero'.

All in all Magic in the Blood was a great, if a little slower paced, follow-up to Magic to the Bone. I think if you enjoyed the first you'll really like the second... especially the 'oh-no-she-didn't' cliff-hanger ending Monk left us with. It's gonna be a tough wait for the third installment!
Profile Image for Schnaucl.
900 reviews30 followers
August 18, 2009
This book picks up a short while after the first book ended.

Allie still remembers almost nothing about the events in the previous book. She's relocated to a nicer apartment building and she still owes the police a statement about what happened the day of her father's murder.

She's summoned by the police to give her statement and while she's on the bus she's threatened by a newly released man she had helped put into jail. He uses blood magic to put a glyph into her body and gives her one day bring Pike, another Hound who helped put him in jail, to him or unspecified bad things will happen.

Once she arrives at the police station she's offered a job Hounding as part of MERC, a unit that deals with magic and crimes. Unfortunately, the head of MERC has the reputation of being a curse for Hounds since they tend to end up dead after working with him.

Meanwhile, Allie's seeing the ghost of her dead father, and there are other, pastel ghosts of people with dark eyes, and when they touch her they devour the magic she caries in her body.

And oh yeah, Pike wants all the Hounds to band together and look out for each other.

This book felt pretty unfocused to me. There were too many plot arcs going on at once and so none of them felt particularly strong. Instead of one narrative thread with a couple of subplots it felt like a book made up of subplots.

I'm also really wary of Allie's memory loss. When it was here and there it wasn't a big deal. But it was really irritating that she forgot nearly all the events from the last book. I figured out early on in this book that her memory loss was probably targeted rather than a true side effect of using magic so frequently, and theoretically it's kind of interesting, but since the memory loss is pretty broad it ends up being more frustrating for the reader than an interesting plot development.

Her father is also a big problem. At first I thought maybe he wasn't one dimensionally selfish and evil, it was just that he and Allie had never seen eye to eye and they didn't really know how to communicate with each other. It's pretty clear by the end of this book that no, he's just one dimensionally evil and selfish.

Violette is supposed to be a good person, and she's supposed to have truly loved him, but there's absolutely no explanation for how that happened. Did Violette know he planned to use Allie so completely? Did she know he planned to basically kill everything that made Allie who she was and take over her body? So is Violette just better at hiding her cruel streak or was she just completely clueless about her husband? Either option makes her look pretty bad.

Having said all of that, I did like the relationship between Violette and the bodyguard.

I would have liked to see more of Zavyion this time around.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tabitha  Tomala.
692 reviews79 followers
May 11, 2023
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: Magic in the Blood

Allie’s memory has been torn apart by magic, causing her to forget chunks of time and the people she spent it with. But despite the pain magic has caused her, she still has a job to do. When the police come looking for a Hound, she takes on a missing person’s case. Yet despite what her nose is telling her, Allie feels like something is off about the crime scene. As she digs deeper into the oddly familiar scent of magic, she finds herself caught up in magic steeped in blood and death.

Magic in the Blood allows readers a closer look into the lives of Hounds and the struggles they face. While Allie has mentioned their penchant for substance abuse, being introduced to an entire group of hounds brings her revelations to startling clarity. But when Allie is faced with new Hounds, she’s quick to judge despite personally knowing what they deal with. The reader is also given a new cast of characters to remember, most of which do not play an integral part in the story.

Despite additional characters, the story remains fast-paced and filled with action. And Devon Monk ups the ante by adding in a race against time. When Allie pulls on magic, a new enemy stalks ever closer, threatening to drain her magic. If Allie can’t cast quickly enough, it puts all she works toward at risk.

The world is ever expanding as new magic is introduced in this second novel. And the depths to which death magic is used show a disturbing reality if certain characters attain their ultimate goals. Allie will be placed in compromising situations that will embed themselves in her psyche and leave her feeling violated. These situations are meant to unsettle the reader and at first, do just that. But there are multiple callbacks to the events throughout the book, making them lose their intended emotional baggage.

While there may have been some bumps in the road with Magic in the Blood, I know there is a lot more to come from the series. With such a unique magic system, I’m eager to revisit some of the heavier magic-slinging fights I know are on the horizon. And I can’t wait to be reintroduced to some of my favorite characters along the way.
Profile Image for Naoms.
706 reviews163 followers
August 29, 2012
Got to admit these books are growing on me. Devon Monk had created a world that is extremely interesting. For me, there is not much good in Allie's world, at all. It is infested with horrible people, death magic, blood magic and just really insane things Besides Allie's life, I haven't come across much that I find worth saving, which interests me.

Magic In the Blood, starts a few weeks after the events in Magic to the Bone. Allie is healing and still trying to piece together the events that forced her to use magic and made her lose her memory. This book packs an incredibly strong punch. Allie is accosted on the bus, interrogated by the police, hired for a hounding gig, attacked by what she believes may be ghosts, approached by a creeper and forced into going to a meeting of local hounds all before noon. It doesn't stop there every scene in this book is full of interesting information, action and magic. It pulls you more and more into the world.

My biggest problem with this series is that it is seriously a series about people with addiction. Thats what magic in Allie Beckstrom's world seems like to me. I haven't really seen it used for anything good or positive, except perhaps when it's used defensively. What makes it worse is that it's an addiction, that people have accepted. Using magic is not looked down upon. The meeting with the Hounds, I think was supposed to be entertaining, but it almost turned me off. The Hounds all had drug abuse, alcohol abuse or abused their bodies in some way as a result of magic use. That's just not appealing to me. This is the first time that I have been turned off completely by the supernatural element of an Urban Fantasy book I read.

What keeps me reading this series is Allie's father. What a completely interesting character. Even in death he's mucking things up. I also have so many questions about Zaviyon, Allie's power and what exactly it is that Allie's dad has been hiding from her. I also am confounded by the characters. Violet seems great, but I find that I can't really trust someone who loved Allie's dad. Added to that, I wonder what her news means for Allie's world.

What's great about this series is that it keeps you thinking, keeps you asking questions and those questions is what makes you go back for more.
Profile Image for Jeff.
101 reviews
December 3, 2013
Seems like ever since the debut of Harry Dresdan, we have been inundated with stories about people who see the things in the world around us the rest of us don't see. Not so nice things. Things that are downright scary. Things that populate what we assumed to be just our collective mythologies.
Magic in the Blood is a book that doesn't break much new ground. Allie Beckstrom is just such a person who sees magic and can use magic in a world much like our own. A world like our own? Well, not really. The world Allie Beckstrom lives in is a world where everybody knows about and can use magic. But if they do there is a cost. A cost to using magic that is paid by causing physical pain to those who would use it.
This world that Devon Monk has envisioned is the most creative part of what this book has to offer. While it took much of the book to get started with its story, the story and world in it was interesting and unusual. Since this is only the second book featuring Allie Beckstrom I look forward to reading the next book just to see how she and her world change.
And that's saying something from a reader who is getting tired of all the urban fantasies that have dominated the popular culture lately.
3 stars
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