Tag Archives: Portland

Monk, Devon: Magic in the Shadows (Allie Beckstrom) (2009)

Cover art by Larry Rostant

There is especially one character in Magic in the Shadows that I want to point out. In Magic in the Blood Allie managed to bring alive a gargoyle. Stone, the gargoyle, is a wonderful “pet”/”friend” for Allie. Our block-building dude. I love him.

Another one is Shame (Shamus Flynn), our self-destructive but ever so loyal friend. I don’t know why, but characters that get into “trouble” are incredibly fun. Shame is the prankster of our trio/quartet.

Zayvion has a larger part than the other two – naturally. He is Allie’s second half (so to speak). A lot of the Allie Beckstrom series describes the growth that these two characters go through (well the rest of them as well). Monk manages to give us characters that grow and she explores human nature in all its glory and horror.

Allie’s problems are not over. The voice in her head is not helping her at all. As the series is told in 1st person, we get to view all of Allie’s incredibly dense moments, but also those moments when she gets to show what she is good for.

The Authority is very interested in getting Allie to deal with the voice in her head. They feel threatened by it. But it comes in useful when Allie has to fight with a magically created “demon”. Allie’s ability to store magic in her bones is a phenomenon no-one quite understands. Her lack of ability in controlling her magic makes it necessary for her to get help – through the Authority.

 

Monk, Devon: Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom) (2008)

Devon Monk has written the Allie Beckstrom series. Allie Beckstrom is one of many strong urban fantasy women. What she has that makes her different from everyone else is Devon Monk. Devon Monk is an excellent urban fantasy author. Her writing is delightful and the entertainment value of the books is high. Humor, action, magic and some romance are all ingredients of this series. I see that the series is recommended for ages 18 and up, but am not really certain why. Maybe I’m too Norwegian???

Allie lives in a Portland where magic has become something anyone can use. But magic extracts a price – memory loss, pain or sickness. If you do not want to pay the price, there are actually people who are willing to do so – for a sum.

Allie’s father is Daniel Beckstrom, the inventor of the rods that attract magic, drawing it away from buildings and into wells beneath the city. He and she do not get along, partly due to her choice of career. You see, Allie is a Hound, someone who hunts magic abusers through smell.

In Magic in the Bone Allie has to hunt for someone who is using blood-magic. All the evidence is pointing right to her father as thee perpetrator. This throws Allie into a world of corporate espionage and black magic.

Devon Monk does an excellent job of introducing the reader to Allie’s universe. This is high quality entertainment.