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Hard Magic (Grimnoir Chronicles #1)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,941 Ratings  ·  871 Reviews
Jake Sullivan is a licensed Private Eye—with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someone to go after a suspected killer who's been knocking off banks in a magic ...more
Paperback, 423 pages
Published May 2011 by Baen (first published 2011)
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Eric While I cannot say definitively there are no sexy/romantic scenes or moments (it's been a several months since I read the series), I have zero memory…moreWhile I cannot say definitively there are no sexy/romantic scenes or moments (it's been a several months since I read the series), I have zero memory of anything like that, and with the plot the way it is I doubt there is even any room for it. Also I did not at the time of my review add my "romance-subplot" tag, which is usually my way of saying "There was a sex scene" or "There was at least one plot arc, however small, that included romance."

Disclosure: It looks like 2 people did add the "romance" tag to this book, but that's out of almost 10,000 ratings, so it's hard to put a lot of stock in that. (less)
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Urban Fantasy With Male Lead Characters
31st out of 625 books — 1,110 voters
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Best Urban Fantasy SERIES
59th out of 408 books — 2,345 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
WINNER:...BESTest, most FUN-Drenched and PAGE-Turniest new hard-boiled, magical, steampunk, noirish, alternate history, gun-toting, action-orientated urban fantasy.

Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series has been guilty pleasure of mine for a few years. Now, with Hard Magic, the first of a new series called the Grimnoir Chronicles, Correia unloads the guilt and pumps up the pleasure by crafting a smart, authentic, incredibly fun alternate history in which magic has been incorporated
...more
Carol.
Apr 22, 2015 Carol. rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Correia fans and people who don't want to know about authors' politics
Recommended to Carol. by: Fantasy Aficionados
Unfortunately, Hard Magic doesn't measure up to Correia's first series, Monster Hunters International. One reviewer hit it on the head when he noted that there is a lack of world building, and tossed-in 1920s vocabulary is supposed to stand for setting. There's more detail on guns then there are physical characteristics of setting and mood, critical elements of the detective noir. There's a lot of odd ethnic referrals going on as well that make me vaguely uncomfortable. I don't know a lot about ...more
seak
Jun 14, 2013 seak rated it really liked it
Cool [no, not nearly cool enough]

Cooooool [so now we're not even using our words? Nope]

Super cool [almost makes it less cool ... no]

Very cool [oh, now we're getting so descriptive ... no]

Chilly [apparently the thesaurus isn't working, nope]

Boss [actually on the way to fitting despite going back a few decades, not quite]

Bully [actually getting to the right decade, but still not there]

Cawbullboss aka Coolawesomebullyboss [I was right up above, needed a new word to describe this]

Yep, Hard Magic ree
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 02, 2013 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy, action
This is a big greasy double cheeseburger...with all the works kind-of-a book. It's not deep, it's full of action, a rather unique magic system that while you've probably seen things close to...you haven't seen it exactly...adventure, and imagination. I like it. So far I've pretty much liked everything Mr. Correia has turned out.

Maybe if we had a 10 star system here I "might have" given it a 9 as there are a lot of books I'd rate higher. The same goes for a half star system, it might get a 4.5. B
...more
Tim The Enchanter
Excellent Magic Noir - 4 Stars

Posted to The Literary Lawyer.ca

Being that I am a big fan of the gun toting, monster slaying cowboys in Larry Corriea's Monster Hunter International it seemed natural that I would give his other series a shot. I am glad that I did. Correia bends the Urban Fantasy Genre once again by melding elements of noir with alternate history sci fi. The result is a unique reading experience that sets it apart from the Dresden clones.


Plot summary

For a large portion of
...more
Mr. Matt
Sep 01, 2015 Mr. Matt rated it really liked it
I had high expectations when I picked it up and, boy, I was not disappointed. Awesome. Simply awesome. The book grabs you early and doesn't let go. And it has everything - super-bad bad guys, zombies, dames, magic, and more. Plus, I loved the setting - a blend of steampunk and 30's and 40's pulp fiction rollicking adventure. A great read!

Downgraded to four stars after some reflection. Fun read, but not a classic.
Beanbag Love
Nov 29, 2011 Beanbag Love rated it it was amazing
This alt-history magic noir series is a great mind-bender. I love Larry Correia's no-holds-barred action writing. His world building in this is fantastic and the attention to detail is superb. I had been told by other fans of Monster Hunter International that this was even better and I think I might agree.

Jake Sullivan is a gravity manipulating "Heavy", forced to do jobs rounding up other magical "Actives" for J. Edgar Hoover. Faye Vierra is a girl of indeterminate age -- a teenager -- who has
...more
Becky
4.5 Stars

I downloaded this book from Audible way back in February, but I hadn't touched it since then. It could be that I tried to start Correia's Monster Hunter International series a couple times, but it just didn't grab me, and so I thought this one would be the same way. I was very wrong about that.

Almost from the first line I was drawn into this story. I loved it, and have every intention of finishing out the series and getting back to the MHI series.

I do think that quite a large part of
...more
Alex Ristea
(Note: let's get this out of the way. There has been much controversy about the author and this work on the Hugo ballot this year. This review will touch on none of that, as I try to focus on the work alone.)

Hard Magic is a pretty interesting urban fantasy. It leans towards the noir end of things, so expect a dark and brutal world. I'm not much of an organized crime reader, but this was a good introduction.

It also has the best gun action scenes I've ever read. I mean, the action itself is pretty
...more
Kat  Hooper
Sep 01, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Jake Sullivan is not your average Heavy. He spent his jail time honing his skills and improving his mind and now he’s J. Edgar Hoover’s super-weapon, useful for fighting Fades, Torches, Brutes, and any of the other Actives who are using their magic for criminal purposes. Jake doesn’t like being used this way, but it’s his ticket out of prison. When the FBI asks Jake to bring down Delilah Jones, the Brute who used to be his girlfriend, Jake gets caught up i
...more
David
Dec 10, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Okie teleporters, red-headed magical ninja, New Orleans madames with super-strength
Contrary to its title, Hard Magic is not an urban fantasy: it's basically a superhero novel. Set in an alternate history between world wars, a mysterious alien "power" came to Earth in the middle of the 19th century and granted a subset of the population magical powers. For the majority of "Actives," these powers come in singular and well-defined forms: there are "brutes" who have super strength, "torches" who are pyrokinetics, "mouths" with mind control powers, "heavies" who can manipulate grav ...more
Ryan Draga
May 20, 2012 Ryan Draga rated it it was amazing
I've now read this along with Book 2 of the series (entitled "Spellbound"). I found this on a whim as an audiobook on Audible whilst looking for something for my girlfriend. I had a few free monthly credits thanks to a promotion, so I snagged both books.

First off, for novelty's sake I should note that the audiobooks are (quite wonderfully) narrated by none other than Bronson Pinchot...known to most of us 80s kids as Balki from Perfect Strangers.

Now I'll be honest here, when I saw a pulpy-looking
...more
Jana
Dec 19, 2011 Jana rated it liked it
An odd mix of Steampunk and sci-fi, elements of fantasy. Think film noir meets The X-men in an alternate history. Various characters have "powers" over elements, gravity, The time-frame is between the World Wars, but this is a US with regular blimp and train travel with a united Asia (imagine Mao working with Hirohito) poised to take over the world. Correia's world is fairly well-crafted, with interesting touches of humor--oblique references to the alternate nature of this history where a fanati ...more
Heather Bobrowicz
Mar 14, 2013 Heather Bobrowicz rated it it was ok
The characters are largely forgettable (especially the females-- some border on insulting), the possibly interesting setting is neglected in favor of dirigible-set combat, there's not enough atmosphere to invoke the "noir" suggested by the subtitle, and the ethnic stereotypes are cringe-worthy. I felt less like I was getting some fantasy/noir experience and more like I was reading the novelization of an uninteresting comic book. It's a mercifully quick read, but I wound up largely regretting the ...more
Elizabeth
Jun 07, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This is just all things fun. An alternate 1930s where people have X-Men style magical powers and world is history has been subtley and not so subtley changed by this. Obviously there's a bad guy that has to be defeated, a group of good guys who have to save the day, a bit of romance, a lot if intrigue, and hella good times. High literature this is not but a pure page turning joy it is.
Bridget
Mar 26, 2012 Bridget rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
What a great spin on the noir genre with magic and alternate history thrown into the mix. Reminded me of Mickey Spillane, Scott Westerfield's Leviathan series, Monster Hunters International and Jim Butcher's Dresden books all rolled into one heck of an action packed story. I'll be reading the next one.
Janie Johnson
Oct 26, 2015 Janie Johnson rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-challenge
I was recommend this book by a friend, so I decided to try it out even though it is an adult fantasy and I rarely do well with this genre. I both listened to this book and read along with it which helped since I don't really like Audio all that much. The story did keep my interest, it just did not blow me away. I am glad I read it and I think there is enough here to the story for me to venture into the next one.

Synopsis
Jake Sullivan is a licensed Private Eye—with a seriously hardboiled attitude.
...more
Paul
May 31, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: supernatural
Not one for me I'm afraid. This was a novel that seemed, from the description, to be trying to do something really interesting with the Urban Fantasy genre but doesn't succeed.

The Good:
- The story moves along at a fast pace
- The action scenes are well written and exciting (although a couple feel like they are thrown in for no real story reason and the final one goes on for too long in my opinion).
- The idea is pretty original.

The Bad:
- The writing. Just to point out that I'm not saying here th
...more
Caroline
Nov 12, 2012 Caroline rated it it was amazing
I bought this book on a whim from the audible sale and it was fantastic.
Take a cup of Gumshoe bordering on Film Noir, A magical alternate Universe complete with shavings of Quotes by famous people from our history, a large pinch of Steampunk, liberally add male female stereotypes of the 30s including Dames, hoods and Kid, a sprinkling of mobsters, secret societies, evil henchmen, ninjas, sumos, supernatural characters and then mix well with a huge flavour of the X -men meets the Matrix powers. I
...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
If you've enjoyed Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International series, then you'll love Hard Magic, the first of his series set in an alternative history in 1930s America, where for just over seventy years (since the 1860s) magic has begun to manifest in random people around the world. Some become stronger, others can walk through walls, and still others can heal, curse, see the future, teleport, control the weather, raise demons, or create zombies.

That's right. You didn't think that Correia wou
...more
Julie Davis
Sep 05, 2014 Julie Davis rated it really liked it
Jake Sullivan is a war hero, a private eye — and an ex-con. He’s free because he has a magical talent and the Feds need his help in apprehending criminals with their own magical abilities. ... Jake found out that not only have the Feds been lying to him, but there was a secret war being waged by opposing forces of magic-users. Worse still, he had attracted the attention of one side’s ruthless leaders — who were of the opinion that Jake was far too dangerous to be permitted to live.
This looked li
...more
Susan
A fun ride that launches a mystery right from the start. The characters who make up the Grimmnoir are so unique and are all introduced thoroughly without lingering on too many small details. The different magical powers they all possess and the different ways they use them is realy sensational, a lot of unexpected twists and turns.

Throughout the story we learn more about the depth of each character and they about eachother, which in turn, helps them to build a wonderful commeradery and the learn
...more
Traci
Jul 28, 2012 Traci rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I actually liked this more than Monster Hunter. But maybe I've been waiting for a X-Men style noir book and didn't know it. If you've been waiting for one as well this is the book for you.

Fun. Surprising. Heartfelt. And kick-ass.

Very reminiscent of Watchmen.
Robin
Mar 02, 2015 Robin rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOOOVE this book. I'll post a more comprehensive review when I can be bothered! BTW this is a reread.
Jessica
Aug 22, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Larry Correia sure can write the hell out of a book.

Here we've got an alternate history where magic-users (known as Actives) work on the fringes of western society. Hitler, with his crazy Active breeding program, has been executed before he could do any damage, but the real threat is the Japanese Empire, with its army of super-enhanced Actives.

This book has everything: X-Men-like powers, noir-esque writing, action, romance, mid-air zeppelin battles, and lots and lots of guns. What always pleases
...more
Maggie K
Sep 29, 2011 Maggie K rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I really dig everything Correia writes so far...

This one is very different than monster hunter, but still has that page-turning, action-filled adventure sense tha makes MHI so great.
Dan
Aug 25, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi, 2013
Amazing. LOVED this book.
Richie, The
Jul 09, 2014 Richie, The rated it it was amazing
I had some misgivings when this book was suggested to me. I didn't like the cover art (I know, I'm so vain) and contains a number of tropes that I have seen utterly mangled repeatedly in the past (history revision, magic, super powers).

It was amazing. From 'historical quotes' given by famous figures at the beginning of each chapter to the descriptions of how different characters were able to perceive their powers, I was kept in Correia's world and made Audible the most used app on my phone.

Bron
...more
Rusty
Jul 15, 2012 Rusty rated it it was ok
Larry has created another world of fantasy where magic exists. I really like his Monster Hunter series, so I was hoping this series was good in its own way. I’ll admit, the premise was good, the fact that it takes place in the 1930’s gives that noir appearance. After reading about 1/4 of the story, I started to worry it was going to drag on. One of my biggest pet peeves is to read a good story that tends to stretch a bit too long. His M.H. series is long too, but there’s plenty of action and sus ...more
Richard
Jun 20, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
Well this book didn't exactly win me over with the look of its cover, but then again theres an important quote about judging books by those so ill not comment further on that, however what I found inside this book was a remarkably well done Urban fantasy/Alternative History, how would history change if magic was discovered back in the 1800's, what if Darwins theory of evolution was therefore proven by the rise of these abilities, how would history change, well here we have some prime examples an ...more
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Larry Correia is the New York Times bestselling author of the Monster Hunter International series, the Grimnoir Chronicles, and the thriller Dead Six.
More about Larry Correia...

Other Books in the Series

Grimnoir Chronicles (3 books)
  • Spellbound (Grimnoir Chronicles, #2)
  • Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles, #3)

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“You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot further with a smile and a gun. A smile, a gun, and a Brute get you the key to the city. —Al “Scarface” Capone, Interview, 1930” 1 likes
“When I get those types, the men who just need to control everything, to tell everybody else what to do, I stick it in and break it off. I’m fighting for freedom.” 0 likes
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