Magic on the Hunt (Allie Beckstrom, Book 6)
I picked up Devon Monk’s first Allie Beckstrom book the week that it debuted. I was drawn by what sounded like a unique magic system, and I wasn’t disappointed. Six books in, I remain impressed with the author’s deft handling of a complex web of power and intrigue embedded in a large plot arc. Magic on the Hunt ups the stakes considerably and delivers a bang-up story.
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“In the secret lockup of the Authority, the council that decides what can and can’t be done with magic, an undead magic user has possessed one of the prisoners. He wants his freedom–and then some. Now Allie Beckstrom and her lover, Zayvion, are the first line of defense against the chaos he’s about to unleash on the city of Portland…”
While there is certainly more to the story that will take place beyond this novel (another three novels worth, if I’m remembering correctly), there are some plot points that are now wrapped up, or at least sufficiently dealt with. Readers of the series will remember the backstory of how magic came to be fractured, and much of that is resolved. I was quite satisfied with how things worked out, and it didn’t bother me that certain things were dealt with in advance of the climax of the series.
One of the things that Monk excels at is creating a tightly interlocked ensemble of characters. Some authors create secondary characters who are interesting, but ultimately the story could go on without them. With this series, I can’t imagine Allie without Shame, Terric, and her other friends. The author has done an excellent job of creating a group that functions as a single unit, and it’s not something that I see all the time.
Allie herself continues to grow as a character. Her forced interactions with her father (since he’s trapped in her head as a ghost) have slowly changed and matured as the series has gone on, and the author paints Allie as gradually coming to terms with the situation. Given that her backstory includes some tension between her and her father, this present a unique opportunity for the two to reconcile and make peace with how things passed between them. I’m a sucker for good character growth, and this fits the bill admirably.
As far as I’m concerned, this series is getting better as it continues and moves towards its conclusion. I raced through this book and eagerly anticipate the next one. Magic on the Hunt is a hard-hitting and action-packed novel that showcases the very best that urban fantasy has to offer. We may be up to book six, but if you haven’t read this series, I’d still recommend that you go back to the start and catch up. It’s a lot of reading, but it’s well worth it.
This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on November 2, 2011.