Title: Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom, #2)
Author: Devon Monk
Publisher: Penguin Books (ebook version)
PublicationDate: July 2009
Ebook: 368 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
REVIEWED BY LAURA
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.
*** Warning as this is the second in a series I’ve tried my hardest, but it’s almost impossible to write the review without a couple of spoilers for the first book ***
This is the second book in the Allie Beckstrom Urban Fantasy series that’s set in a world where magic is a powerful, commercial commodity. The use of which always comes with a physical price for its use for the user. A price Allie is intimately familiar with. If you use magic, you must be prepared to pay the price, and Allie has the migraines and the memory loss to prove it.
Working as a hound, it is Allie’s job to trace the illegal use of magic back to its user.
The story takes off where it ended. Allie has barely had time to recover from the events of the last book and her terrible memory loss when the police come knocking on her door.
Interestingly it’s not her usual contacts in the police force, but a secret magical division who wants to recruit Allie for help.
However, Allie has her own set of problems. It starts with a recently released, magical criminal intent on revenge. But then there’s the fact her magic is no longer behaving the way it used to. Changed forever after her spell with Cody in the last book. Now she’s seeing ghosts everywhere and they’re not the placid sit there and look spooky type. Oh no, they’re decidedly more malicious.
In this book we get a lot more insight into the world of hounding. From the affect the continual magic use has on hounds, to the sort of work they do, and some interesting new characters.
Then there’s her relationship with Zayvion. I was desperate to see where it would go in this book after the unexpected twist at the end of the last. The chemistry definitely continues to sizzle nicely between them. However, I found that it didn’t develop enough for my liking and I was left wanting a little bit more romance.
Perhaps most sinister of all elements to arise is the dark manipulations of Allie’s father. Who cannot seem to stop interfering her life even from the grave. As all of Allie’s problems start to unravel, she finds herself caught in a tight, dark web amongst the magical underworld she’d tried so hard to avoid. Events that will a long lasting impact on Allie’s life.
As with the first book, it does take a little while to get going. The author takes her time to set the scene and build the story. As a consequence you have to be patient in waiting for the gripping, page turning scenes you’re longing for. But they do come, and when they do they’re as fantastic as you’d hoped.
While I do have once again some issues with pacing, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable series. Allie is a nice mix of complex, feisty and grit and the developing threads of the story still leave me wanting to read more.
SOURCE: This is from Laura’s personal library.
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