Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Review: Magic Without Mercy

Magic Without Mercy (An Allie Beckstrom - Book 8) by Devon Monk

Publication Date: April 3,2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: Paperback, 368pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0451464484
ISBN: 0451464486

(Received for an honest review from Roc Fantasy )

Devon Monk on the WEB: webpage, blog, Twitter, Facebook

Books in the series: Magic to the Bone (2008), Magic in the Blood (2009), Magic in the Shadows (2009), Magic on the Storm (2010), Magic at the Gate (2010), Magic on the Hunt (2011), Magic on the Line (2011), Magic Without Mercy (2012)

Coverart: Click on the image for a clearer,larger picture of the books in this series.

Excerpt from Magic Without Mercy courtesy of Amazon's Inside Look Feature


Allison Beckstrom's Talent for tracking spells has put her up against some of the darkest elements in the world of magic, but she's never faced anything like this.

Magic itself has been poisoned, and Allie's undead father may have left the only cure in the hands of a madman. Hunted by the Authority -- the secret council that enforces magic's laws --wanted by the police, and unable to use magic, she's got to find the cure before the sickness spreads beyond any power to stop it.

But when a Death magic user seeks to destroy the only antidote, Allie and her fellow renegades must stand and fight to defend the innocent and save all magic...

Author Devon Monk continues her wildly popular Allie Beckstrom series with her latest book, Magic Without Mercy. Monk's world-building in this series is simply amazing and her character development is just as well done. In this installment Allie and her renegade friends are up against their most difficult challenge to date, with Magic poisoned and Allie's life hanging in the balance. This is not a book to be read as a stand alone. To get the full affect readers should  start at the beginning of the series with Magic to the Bone. A great addition to a well written Urban Fantasy series!

Allie finds herself in some pretty hot water this time, in the eighth book in the series. Magic Without Mercy picks up right where Magic on the Line ended. Magic has been poisoned. Allie can't use it without becoming sick. She's in over head now that she's killed the head of the Portland Magical Authority. Everybody is after her, the Authority, the cops, you name it. Monk creates a very tension laden storyline that will have readers biting their nails as they try to figure out how Allie will survive this time. The pacing is lightening fast, which sometimes causes readers to miss important details. This is a book that requires engaging the mind a little more than most and I really enjoy that about this series. 

Monk's world building is beyond description. One of the things that I truly enjoy about fantasy writing whether it's urban, or mainstream is that the author gets the liberty to create a completely new reality. The author isn't enhancing someone else's ideas or improving on already established norms, they are truly creating something new and different. To say that Monk's writing is original does not quite do it justice. Her descriptions of the world that Allie lives in are so vivid that readers are able to see it in their minds eye with ease. I love the characters she has created to populate her world and the situations she brings to bear in each book.

The premise for this particular book was well thought out and executed. Monk is ramping up the series with the last book in view. She uses this book to bring up story threads from all of the previous installments. She's tying up loose ends and bringing everything into focus. Relationships are changing and characters are becoming aligned. Shamus and Terric are a good example of this as they learn to work together and what it means to sacrifice for each other. That was a large part of the storyline in this one and it really meshed well and felt realistic. November's release of the final book in the series, Magic for a Price will bring sadness for long time fans, but I'm interested to see where Monk will take us next. 

This is a great urban fantasy series, but it's one that needs to be read from the beginning and savored. There are so many details that readers cannot pick up on without understanding what has happened before. As Monk wraps up the series I can't take enough time to recommend this one. It's a long running series for a reason... it's just that good!

Magic Without Mercy is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Devon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. Surrounded by numerous colorful family members, she lives in Oregon. She has sold more than fifty short stories to fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, and young-adult magazines and anthologies. She has been published in five countries and included in a year's-best fantasy collection.

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