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Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – November 4, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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"Fast-paced... gritty and urban... fantastic and original." -- Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Top Customer Reviews
Self-described tough girl private detective Allie faints every third page, believes every man wants to bed her and/or kill her, and thinks in spectacularly purple prose like this:
"Oh, sweet loves, I wanted him. All of him.... I gasped hungrily. Fire followed his thumb as he stroked down the curve of my hip bone.... He kissed me again, and the pleasure, the want, the sweet hot need for him radiated through me."
So, is it well written? It's not bad--it's just not good. She doesn't mix up her narratorial styles, her tenses agree from sentence to sentence, he grammar is consistent, she used a spell checker. However, her skill with characters and plot are not up to snuff.
It is incredibly hard to suspend disbelief when the narrator tells you how independent, tough, competent, experienced, and savvy the protagonist is--yet her every action shows us she is not.
Independent? She throws herself on everyone's mercy over and over again. Tough? She faints twice in the first 50 pages or so. She went to Harvard for an advanced degree, and somehow graduated without much of an education. Her profession is magic, her father practically invented magic, her advanced degree from Harvard is in magic, yet everyone around her knows more about it than her. She is constantly surprised as her bodyguard, the head mistress of a street orphanage, and pretty much everyone else she runs into does things with magic that they "cannot do". So--competent, experienced, and savvy she is not, although we are told, assured, instructed, that she is. Over and over.
Plot? Kinda forced. One of those unpremeditated plots where the protagonist kinda stumbles around from one place to another, and then back to the first place again.
Save your time and money.
When I started reading this novel I really liked it. The world-building, particularly the idea about magic being discovered and harvested, was interesting. I liked that there were consequences to using magic. The story was pretty fast-paced for the first half of the novel and it mostly kept my interest. One thing that kept bugging me were Allie's feelings towards Zayvion (a stupid character name that can be found on almost every page of this novel). It felt like I was reading a diary of an extremely horny teenage girl. "I know he was hired by my father to stalk me, but he's like so hot, I want him now!" or something to that effect was said each time Zayvion even looked at our main character...which happened a lot. It got old really quick. And then at the halfway mark somewhere, they sleep together. Well, I'm glad we got that out of the way, I thought. After that happens the author kind of puts the main story on the back burner (though there wasn't much of a story there to begin with) while we focus on the love birds bickering and flirting with each other. And then we come upon a ten page sex scene that not only bored me out of my skull, but should be used as an example under "anti-climatic" in the dictionary. That was around page 280 something. I stopped reading right then and there and skimmed through the last seventy pages or so to see if anything interesting was gonna happen. No such luck.
As a character, Allie came off as self-aware but stupid ("I know I shouldn't do this but I'll do it anyway because I want to!" is a common theme with her). She's also kind of needy and not independent at all.Read more ›
The whole layout of this story held a lot of promise and I willingly immersed myself in Allie's seamy world, eager to see how she handled her manipulative, possibly murderous father as well as the darkly enigmatic Zay. Allie herself is world-weary in a way that mirrors her world, a place ironically sapped of wonder and goodness by the largely unregulated abuse of "magic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom #1)
by Devon Monk
I read Magic to the Bone for my Urban Fantasy Book Club and, though it has flaws, I enjoyed... Read more
If I have to hear about her claustrophobia one more time I am going to find a way to go into the book and strangle the character or slap the writer!Published 1 month ago by Solarra
I honestly cannot understand why this book has gotten any 4-5 star reviews. Allie Beckstrom is supposed to be a worldly, streetwise, tough, independent woman. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. S. Handley
This book had an interesting plot and the characters sucked me in. It was vague and mysterious, and pulled me in. Looking for a sequel because when it ended I was like , huh? Read morePublished 4 months ago by SunglassesAtNight
Apparently Magic to the Bone is Devon Monk’s debut novel. All I can say is, WOW. Apparently we have another Tobias Buckell on our hands, which blows me away. Read morePublished 8 months ago by H. Grove (errantdreams)
This was a good read but not so good that I want the next book. The main character is a hound. She can find things, people, or what happened. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Audrey Anderson
This is an enjoyable read. It is a story Based in the Portland Oregon area. Urban fantasy with magic, a little sex and a little violence.Published 13 months ago by K. Partridge
This is the first novel I have read by Devon Monk and I absolutely loved it. Allie is a great lead character and she goes through a lot during this first book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Christina Platt
Imagine that magic is real. Its sort and energy source. That some people can drawn on it! Use it like a tool. It has it good side. And its bad side. Allie Beckstrom. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer