One of the things I like about Devon Monk’s Portland is the kind of magic she uses (well, her character anyways). In a place where magic has become something so ordered and available that everyone can use it for just about anything, what would happen if that magic got messed up?
When Allie discovers that a storm of apocalyptic force is bearing down on Portland, she and Zayvion have their work cut out for them in trying to convince the Authority to act. How to deal with a storm that threatens to take out the entire city while at the same time turning magic unstable and destructive, is something that has to be solved. But the Authority is divided in its approach to the problem.
Having to keep any knowledge of the Authority from non-Authority friends/acquaintances is another challenge Allie has to deal with. Fortunately Zay and Shame are also members of that “elite” society and get to play with people’s lives. For that is what the Authority does. It controls magic and how much people know about it. If some person gets too much knowledge the Authority messes with their heads. Allie hates this part of the Authority but has little choice in the matter.
Imagine you had your dad living in your head. That would be enough to drive me insane. Insanity is something Allie has to keep from happening all the while trying to be the one in charge of herself. Both she and her father are incredibly stubborn people and Daniel Beckstrom is used to people doing what he wants. But Allie is no push-over and seems to be handling her co-habitation.
Another thing Allie seems to be coming to terms (more or less) with is the acceptance of the responsibilities that have been thrown her way. Trouble still has a tendency to find her, and it seems Allie has recognised that this is her lot in life. As a “leader” of the Hounds her charges adds to the pot of trouble. But there is plenty of good that comes with all of Allie’s challenges. Her relationship with various people gives her life a dimension that had been missing.
Shame is still Mr. Naughty. His character is a gem. He and Zayvion are like two brothers (lots of love and lots of annoyance). Time and again we see Zay falling for Shame’s na-na-na-na behavior. Monk does an excellent job in portraying the balm that these relationships are to Allie’s loneliness. It is fun to follow an author that shows growth.