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Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1)
Magic to the Bone - Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1
Author: Devon Monk
"Using magic meant it used you back. Forget the fairy-tale, hocus-pocus, wave a wand and bling-o, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gave as good as it got." — Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user -- maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first ...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780451462404
ISBN-10: 0451462408
Publication Date: 11/4/2008
Pages: 368
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 178 ratings
Publisher: Roc
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I just read Devon Monk's first book and really enjoyed it.

The main character is what is known as a Hound - someone who can trace a spell back to the person who cast it. The book is set in Portland, OR and I think the author does a nice job with her world building. Magic has been commonly used ever since it had been discovered thirty years ago. But there is a physical cost to be paid. Allie, the heroine, suffers from physical injuries and gaps in her memory due to the use of her magic.
One of the ways magic users can avoid paying the price is to offload it onto someone else. Allie's troubles begin when she is hired to find out who offloaded magic onto a friend's child. The trail leads back to her father which is when things get really complicated.
A strong heroine,a mysterious love interest, and a new take on the urban fantasy add up to a solid first novel.
If you enjoy Kim Harrison, Lilith Saintcrow, and Meljean Brooks, I'd recommend this book.
stephanie13w avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 300 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
At first I wasn't sure if I liked this book or not, but as I read it I couldn't put it down. In fact I read it in one day. Allie has a lot of issues - her relationship with her father, her use of magic are just some of them. She gets involved with Zayvion Jones & it is complicated - he starts out by tailing her for her father & they end up in a smokin relationship. The characters & story are well written. I like the intrigue & that it will go on in the next book in the series.
reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was a little hard to get into, but is definitely worth the read. There are a lot of twists and turns. I like the way she worked the characters together. Good first book.
katkeen avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This series is awesome! Im on Magic at the Gate and they just keep getting better and better. I am adding these books and author to my list of FAVS because the writing style is on point and the characters are very...original...likable....magical...idk, there are a lot of words to describe them.
If you are on the fence about it, try it out...I doubt you will be disappointed!
IDOLFAN avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a new author for me, and I really enjoyed this first book. The take on the Magic is interesting. I loved the characters and there witty sarcasm. Can't wait to get the next book.
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lambie37 avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
This is the first book I have ever read by Devon Monk. I am so glad I did! The story line was excellent. It was very easy to get into the story and understand what was going on. I found myself rooting for the main character, Allie Beckstrom. The chapters are a bit long (which makes it hard to put down...I like to stop reading at the end of a chapter, not in the middle of one), but I found it to be an excellent book. If you like stories about magic with just a touch of romance, some adventure, good guys and bad guys, you'll like this book.
donkeycheese avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 1255 more book reviews
Everything has a price. Using magic is no exception; when you use it, it uses you back. It could be a migraine for a few days, or a week long flu, or it could take away your memories. Allie Beckstrom keeps a little black book to journal her memories because you never know what your going to lose when the magic stops.

Allie Beckstrom is a Hound. Many magic users offload the magic onto innocents so they don't have to pay the price. Allie identifies the spell caster of those that offload magic onto innocents so they can be held accountable. The pay stinks, but she enjoys her job. Her only other alternative is to work for her father, a very wealthy businessman, and she has no desire to. She hasn't seen him in seven years, but when she identifies her father's magic signature on a young boy dying from an offload, she goes to see him in a rage.

Zayvion Jones works for Allie's father. He follows Allie around, unbeknownst to her, then reports back. The day that Allie confronts her father with her findings, Zayvion follows her. Unfortunately, Allie's father is killed moments after they leave and Allie's signature is on the kill. She is now being hunted by the police. Zayvion is a Grounder, and his very touch soothes the magic in Allie.

Zayvion and Allie become close as they try and unravel who killed Allie's father and is trying to frame her. There investigations lead them to a young man named Cody the Hand, and his magic coupled with Allie's unleashes a fiery magical pool within Allie. Strange, but beautiful, psychedelic markings appear on Allie from her temple to her fingertips. Unsure of her new power and her feelings for Zayvion, Allie is bewildered when events spiral into Zayvion's betrayal.

MAGIC TO THE BONE is a thrilling, magical ride that will leave you breathless for more. Toss in a bit of romance with gritty characters, a magical world and a mysterious plot and you have a superb adventure. Devon Monk is original and exciting and I can't wait for more!
barbsis avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 1076 more book reviews
Allie Beckstrom is a very powerful magic user with unique talents. She is what they call a Hound. She sniffs out the magical signature of criminals and hunts them down. When investigating a severely magically injured boy, she recognizes the signature and immediately confronts the user. This person soon turns up dead and now the police are hunting her. Enter Zayvion Jones, a "drifter" who appears time and again to rescue Allie. She's intrigued by him but skeptical of his intentions especially when she finds out her hated father has hired him to follow her. Allie spends most of the book running from the police and from Bonnie, a magic bounty hunter. She is not a very good magic user since she cannot think on her feet and freezes when in danger and cannot remember the necessary spells.

The uniqueness of this series is that everyone has magic but the use of magic imparts a kickback which you can control (if you remember, Allie rarely does). You can "bargain" with it to say give you a delayed kickback and then have 2 days of flu-like symptoms or you can take the hit immediately and just live with it. The Hound comes into play when a magic user illegally offloads his magic onto the unsuspecting public thereby making someone else pay for their magic use. This is what happened with the injured boy. They also have the Hand which is someone who can forge the magical signature of someone else thereby pushing the blame for their magical crimes onto someone else.

I thoroughly enjoyed Allie and Zay's adventures and though she isn't the kick-ass heroine I expected, she got the job done. The cliffhanger ending has me wanting to dive right into book two.
ophelia99 avatar reviewed Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1) on + 2527 more book reviews
This is the first book in the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk. This series currently has five books with the sixth book, Magic on the Hunt, due out in April of 2011. This was an easy read and a solid start to a new urban fantasy series.

Allie works as a Hound, she tracks magic back to it's source, a dangerous job in a world where using magic always has a price. When a young boy is gravely injured Allie Hounds back the source of the magic to her father. Her father denies involvement. At her father's office she finds out that a man, Zayvion, has been hired by her father to protect her. When Allie's father is killed things begin to spiral out of control. Allie is blamed for the murder and is blundering into magic that she never even dreamed existed. Now Allie is hunted with only the sexy Zayvion to help her out, can she trust him? What was really going on with her father before his death?

This was a quick and fun read. Allie is a tough girl, who is seriously stubborn, but has a great sense of sarcasm. There is dark humor sprinkled throughout the book. The book moves at a fast pace and the magic system development is a bit ambiguous but interesting all the same.

The characters in this book are well thought out and engaging; all of them have mysterious pasts and are intriguing. Zayvion is a wonderful male lead; he obviously has a lot of secrets but his soft spot for Allie brings out his humanity. There are some steamy scenes between him and Allie throughout the book; they are decently done and are sensual without being really explicit.

I love the world that Monk's created. I especially love the idea that magic extracts an immediate price from the user. Allie's sporadic amnesia as a price for using magic is another interesting bit that is thrown into this story.

This story is well-wrapped up with some threads left dangling for the next book. As with many first books in urban fantasy series, this book mainly sets things up and introduces us to Allie's world.

I had a couple complaints; the main one is that Allie spends an awful lot of her time being saved by other people. It seems like whenever there was trouble Zayvion was there to catch Allie as she fell. That was kind of sweet, but at the same time it made Allie seem weaker than she should have been. My other complaint is that the magic system is a bit vauge.

Overall a solid urban fantasy, definitely more of an introduction to Allie's world than anything else. I really loved the easy to read writing style, the intricate characters, and the world building. The fact that magic extracts a steep cost whenever used made things really interesting. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series, Magic in the Blood. I hope the second book fills out the magic system better and that we see Allie really step up and learn to control her magic.