This title isn’t available with your membership

We’re working with the publisher to make it available as soon as possible. If you’d like to read it immediately, you can purchase this title individually.

Request Title
Devon Monk is casting a spell on the fantasy world...

Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control...
Published: Penguin Group on Nov 4, 2008
ISBN: 9781101078914
List price: $7.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Magic to the Bone
Available as a separate purchase
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

Odd book. Some very interesting premises, but a sort of dippy main character and an even dippier bit about True Love.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My first introduction to Devon Monk's writing. I am very impressed. Allie Beckstrom is a very unique character. Monk has quite an imagination, and I throughly enjoyed this story. I admit I was struggling with some of the first half of this story, but once Monk had grown her momentum in the first half; the second was action packed and quite a good read. I look forward to reading 'Magic in the Blood'. If Monk continues with the same momentum, I look forward to an great story.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first 6 chapters didn’t light my fire, although it was nowhere as near as frustrating as Nightwalker. I’d read a review somewhere which described it as dark but to be honest I found it a bit fluffy (I’m still talking about the first few chapters). I prefer my stories/series a little dark and gritty but I didn’t dislike this enough to stop reading, but then again I’m renowned for disliking the first half of the first book in every series I read -I almost stopped reading Halfway to the Grave because Bones’ accent was getting on my nerves and now that’s my favourite series EVER.Chapter 7 is where things take a turn for the better. Then that was it, I couldn’t put it down. Everything just got better. I enjoyed the relationship between Allie and Zay. I have to admit though that Allie frustrates me a little, but I’m hoping that she’s grow over the next few books. I have now read the first 3 books and it is now on my favourite series listread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In this urban fantasy/Romance novel, we find Allie, a Hound, living alone in the bad part of Portland. She lives in a world where magic was just recently discovered, and can be channeled like electricity or water. Magic can be easily used, but at a price - it causes pain unless a person "Offloads" it to someone else, willing or unwilling. A hound is someone who tracks magic use back to the originator and Allie is a good at her job, but her pain is that sometimes takes away Memory.Its well written, solid characters. Where I felt this book was lacking was the world - it is complex enough, but it felt a bit off kilter, like something was missing. I think it is the way the rules of magic changed so quickly. The novel also didn't feel complete - there was a resolution, but a bit more explanation of how the secret society, would have a gone a long from making this from a good book, to a great book.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did.

Parts of this book just kind of plodded along, while others felt rushed. I think it could have done with a bit more editing and a bit more length.

The concept of a world in which magic is known but inflicts a price for every little spell cast is really intriguing. But I feel as if it wasn't fully developed. So, all businesses have people who work magic for them. Ok, but how? What do they do? What happens when differing businesses magicians duel against each other? Street lights are lit by magic. Why? Given the cost of doing magic, how is magic better for that than just building another electric plant? There was a lot more that could have been done with the universe that just wasn't touched on. It ended up feeling a bit unfinished.

Similarly, the concept of a amnesiac heroine was enthralling but it it just didn't quite live up to my expectations. There's all the buildup about forgetting things, but other than the ending, which I won't spoil, what has she really forgotten? Her childhood birthday parts and hints that she's forgotten something that happened in college. Maybe an explanation of what she forgot that caused her to keep a diary with her own name/address handy might have lent some substance to this plot point. Instead, all the spells but one resulted in illness rather than amnesia. It was interesting, but just not what I expected from the book.

I'll probably read the sequel just to read more about the world, but I'm in no big hurry.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Urban Fantasy. The premise is good and it was nice to read about the male love interest being very zen, very calm and very contained, rather than uber-macho Alpha males which happens a lot in romances.The worldbuilding was interesting... in the future, everybody can use a little bit of magic. However, it always comes with a price - physical pain for the user, depending on how much magic was used. This leads to sub-industries such as proxies, who take the pain for the magic-users for money. The morality for using magic was refreshing, which is why I gave it this rating at all.In the end, I started skipping paragraphs to get to the end just to see how it ended because I wasn't invested in the main character - who is supposed to be a badass Hound - a person who tracks down illegal magic users - but she never seems to make any rational decisions, and she whines a lot. The book has so many plot holes and dis-joining scenes I could name 10 things right now off the top of my head which didn't make sense or should have been explained. Hopefully the author can clean up her plotting and characterizations in the next book in this series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
New (to me) author Devon Monk has imagined a world where magic exists--but extracts a serious price from its users. The more magic you use, the bigger the price in pain, blood, or loss...unless you're rich enough, or ruthless enough, to transfer that price to someone else. Allie knows all about magic's price. At least she would, if she could only remember. After all, her father and his wealthy corporation have their fingers in all the magic 'pies' in the world. And she was all set to follow in those footsteps and join the family business--until she worked herself free of her father's 'Influence magic'. Since then she's made her own life, and spends a lot of it tracking down those who misuse magic and turning them in to the authorities. So when her latest job reveals her father's magic 'signature', she tries not to be surprised. But all of a sudden, weird things start to happen, her father's dead, she's the number one suspect, and there's an incredibly handsome yet strange man who always seems to be around when things go badly. And did I forget to mention the almost dead man and his kitten? A mysterious hunky man, lost memories, magical sex (although maybe not quite enough of it!), murder, a cute kitten, industrial espionage...this story has it all. The action is fast paced, the plot is well spun, and the romance vs. suspense quotient was just right for me. Monk has written a strong, yet emotionally vulnerable heroine with a drive for justice that often works against her best instincts. If I didn't know there was a second book coming, I would have found the author's website and hounded her for one! There's a lot of potential in her world and her characters and I'm hungry for more.I loved the idea of a physical cost to magic and how that could play out in today's world. Devon Monk had me hooked from page three and I just couldn't stop reading 'til the end of this book. Now I'm tapping my toes waiting for "Magic in the Blood" to be released in May 2009 and hoping the story picks up right where this one left off!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In a magical Portland, Oregon, Allie Beckstrom's 25th birthday gets off to a rough start. She lives in a world where every magic use exacts a price from its user--migraines, cramps, or memory loss. Before she can even head out to breakfast, one of her frequent clients, Mama, calls her and asks her to identify who cast a magic spell because every magic user has his or her own distinctive signature. Allie's just the person for the job because she works as a Hound--even though, or more likely because--her father is a wealthy businessman who would just as soon she work for him in the Beckstrom family biz. Allie heads into North Portland where there are no lines laid for accessing magic. But, somehow, someone has found a way to Offload the price of casting a magic spell onto a little boy. When Allie Hounds the spell, she sees the unmistakable flavor of her father's magic in that attack. When Allie confronts her father in his skyscraper office, he denies he did anything to the boy, but, as driven as he is, he's had a shaky track record as far as Allie is concerned. Allie then discovers the hot guy who's been following her works for her father. The next morning, things go from bad to worse when Allie learns she's being blamed for murder. Soon, Allie's on the run and trying to protect a boy and his cat. Magic to the Bone is a very enjoyable and original urban fantasy with strong mystery and romance appeal. What's next in Magic Portland? Magic to the Bone is part of a trilogy. At the end of the novel, you get hints that magic is changing, but, rest assured, there's closure at the end of this book. Magic in the Blood is up next in the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Great book -- the story developed quickly and never slowed. Devon Monk uses an interesting concept -- the price of magic -- as the premise of her book, but also manages to fill the story with a host of other issues: a daughter's struggle with a distant father; society's lust for instant, cost-free gratification; learning to love and trust when it seems unwise. I found this book both entertaining an intelligent. The characters are great fun, as well. Allie Beckstrom is a wonderful protagonist; she's strong and likable, but she isn't perfect. There's just enough room there for her to grow into a more intriguing character as the series progresses. And Zayvion Jones is the perfect complement -- a successful Tall, Dark, and Mysterious. If you're tired of authors striving for cryptic and enigmatic, only to end up with vague and irritating, Zayvion will be a refreshing change.I will definitely continue reading the rest of this series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It’s a unique setting: 21st century Earth, after the scientific discovery of magic. Magic can be collected like oil or electricity, and stored; when they use magic people don’t pull it from within, but from their surroundings, and every city now has cisterns of magic gathered from storms. And every use of magic has an effect on the user, which you can if you try mitigate by setting up a Disbursement. The effects on Allie, the first-person protagonist of the book, range from headaches to severe head-to-toe bruising to a sore throat, etc… And, sometimes, when she’s really lucky, gaps in her memory, to the extent that she’s begun recording everything in a book she carries with her. The effects can also, illegally, be transferred to someone who had nothing to do with the spell, who doesn’t even have to be present.Allie is called in by a … friend? called Mama to help the victim of just such an illegal move, Mama’s young son “Boy”. Why all her sons are called “Boy” I don’t know, but … whatever. They don’t seem to have other names. Allie’s what is called a Hound, which means she can – literally – sniff out details of a spell, like who cast it. And what she finds when she Hounds Boy is … her father. Who is a very rich, very powerful, very manipulative (ordinarily and magically) SOB, from whom she has been estranged for years.Now, however, she goes to his office to confront him about the spell – about which he claims to know nothing … and the reader knows this is true because in brief third-person chapters it is revealed that someone very evil is using a very gifted, very damaged young man (Cody) to forge the spell “signatures” of others, including Allie’s father on this spell.Then, the same day Allie goes to see her father for the first time in several years, he is murdered. And she is implicated. (Guess how.)What follows is a high-energy action-packed story about how Allie investigates her father’s murder, the young man with the strange gifts (who somehow transforms her gifts, which results in some interesting physical markings), and whether or not she can trust Zayvion Jones, the handsome and sexy and seductive man her father had hired to keep tabs on her (my initial instinct was NO – but I could be wrong), dodging assassins and magical rebounds.I never really warmed to Allie, or anyone else except Nora, Allie’s best friend; I never let myself trust Zayvion, right up to the end, since it seemed to me that Allie threw herself at him a little too quickly, thoroughly, and heedlessly. The writing wasn’t bad at all; it was very much like being in Allie’s head, listening to her ordinary speech patterns. Setting was well painted; I like the concepts the book was based on; while I didn’t enjoy the ending I appreciated the method of it. Not bad at all, and certainly very different from Kay without being a too-drastic comedown; I won’t rush out and buy the other books in the series, but I won’t pass them up if I come across them second-hand. I do still love the cover, and if I were slim and twenty-something might seriously consider a sleeve tattoo like that …read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I came across this Series in the library and picked it up. I was not disappointed. I got so interested in this book that I've been reading it at super speed since it is really easy to read and really effortless to follow all of her characters. This is a story about magic casting, where you need glyphs and natural magic. The heroin of the book is named Allison (Allie) and right from the start she is projected as rebellious, strong and independent. She is the daughter of a very powerful and rich man that as per Allie’s standards is not 100% good. She has been independent and has not talked to her father in over 7 years. She is a Hound which is jus like a hound dog where she tracks spell casters in crime scenes and helps investigators identify what kind of magic was used and even the user. Allie’s world gives a 360° turn on the day of her birthday when she receives a call from a regular client asking her to hound magic for her. Devon Monk does a great job in introducing this new world to us and through out her series gives us more background information. The reader’s learn more about this world in the same pace Allie does. FYI: I started writing this review for first book only on 9/8/10 and am now on book four of this series on 9/13/10 trying to write the review with out any spoilers. Hard work! I’ve just added Devon Monk as one of my favorite authors cause’ I L-O-V-E this series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Picked this up yesterday at the used book store. Our heroine is a Hound, who sniffs out magic, back to the one who did it. She lives in a modern, urban world where magic exists, and is distributed through the cities much like electricity is in our modern, urban world. But in her world, using magic means paying a price - pain commensurate with the usage, and sometime holes in the memory, too. But it is possible to redirect, or offload, that priceShe is called to the "bad part of town" to use her Hound senses to search out who offloaded a sh*tload of magic onto a 5-year-old boy, nearly killing him. The signature of that offloading leads her to her father, who was instrumental in making magic commercially viable. On the way, she discovers she's being followed by an intriguing, somewhat mysterious man named Zayvion Jones. They join forces to figure out what is really going on.This was a page-turner. I found myself pulled along, even though I was sleepy. There are a few bedroom scenes, but they felt a bit "added on," as if they had been included because the modern paranormal first-person urban fantasy genre seems to demand it. The action seemed somehow a bit muddled, like the heroine, but it does tie up the loose ends by the end of the book. And then unravels some, to provide a leadin to the next book. I enjoyed this one, but not sure I will pick up the next one in the series (and I am sure there will be a next one).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
a handful of interesting ideas...mainly all cribbed from previous entries into the urban fantasy genre. not much new or original here, though it can be fun to ponder "now, where have i read this thought before?"read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I know I read this but I can't remember a thing about it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a spoiler free review of the first FIVE books in the Allie Beckstrom series.

So there are two things to know about Allie Beckstrom: the first is that she's a Hound, someone who makes a living tracing magical residues back to their source. The second thing to know is that she's the only child of Daniel Beckstrom, a fabulously wealthy innovator and tycoon. You might think that her profession, Hounding, is the more important fact - but there are books in the series where she only Hounds once or twice. Her daddy issues, on the other hand...they refuse to go away.

The series takes place in a world where magic has been discovered and commercialized in recent history. In fact, it's Allie's father - yep, daddy's already back in the conversation - who developed the technology to store and harness magic. Magic use has become very common, integrated into most aspects of everyday life, but it carries a "price in pain." Physical pain. The caster can direct the pain to arrive at a certain time, in a certain way, but there's no avoiding it.

This "price in pain" defines the Hounds - because they use magic all the time, they're always hurting. They turn to coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol. They burn out fast. Allie's avoided that fate so far, but it's pretty clear that she's gravitated to Hounding not just because she has a talent but because she wants to get as far away from her father, and her father's plans for her life, as possible. So, you know, daddy issues again.

In MAGIC TO THE BONE, Allie's dad is murdered and Allie is the prime suspect. Everyone who examines daddy's body says she cast the spell that killed him. She didn't. We also find out, because we get occasional scenes from his point of view, that a mentally broken young man named Cody forged Allie's magical signature on the killing spell. When I read MAGIC TO THE BONE I was kind of annoyed by Cody. He seemed like a throwaway character and I didn't want to read from his point of view. To my surprise, Cody turns out to be really important to the series as a whole. He reappears in each book, and we get a little more backstory about him every time he shows up.

This Cody issue showcases one of the best and worst qualities of the series. The plot conflicts that Devon Monk starts brewing in MAGIC TO THE BONE carry through to every book I've read. She builds and builds and builds from the same elements. The overarching plot is the only plot, and the whole series feels a lot like one really long novel to me. On the downside, that means that a lot of problems that carry from one book to another also seem to DRAG from one book to another, long after they should have been solved.

Two highlights of the series...I find Allie's narration super funny, and her love interest, Zayvion Jones, super sexy. Allie is full of quips ("I was so thirsty I could drain a river dry and still have room for a few creeks and springs"). Her humor is often wry and understated and just works for me. As for Zayvion? He's unique in the urban fantasy pantheon. Allie always talks about his "Zen" demeanor and he is indeed a very calm, cool guy. He's also got a sense of humor and he and Allie have great banter, which is wonderful. But Zayvion manages to be relaxed and still very much an alpha, still fierce and downright scary when he wants to be. It's a nice change, and it means that he's equally sexy on the battlefield, in the bedroom, and just hanging out around the kitchen table.

On the whole I recommend the Allie Beckstrom books, although the series doesn't break into my circle of favorites.
read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was recommended by members of my paranormal romance book club as a great read and it didn't disappoint.This is a great urban fantasy genre novel set in a world 30 years after the discovery of magic.Magic has replaced traditional technology however there are restrictions on its use and who can use it.Allie Beckstrom is a Hound who can trace who has been using magic illegally and she gets caught up in a conspiracy.She is a feisty and interesting character and the narrative is faced paced with plenty of action and mystery to keep you enthralled.I look forward to reading more books in the series.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fun foray into the paranormal. Thoroughly enjoyable. A definite fun read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An interesting premise where magic is part of the world around us. Magic was "discovered" 30 years ago and is now taught in Colleges. Allie Beckstrom is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the magic industry but she has shunned her family background and money and makes her living as a Hound. Magic has used her hard and left big gaps in her memories as a consequence of her magic use, but this doesn't stop her sniffing out illegal magic. The story starts when Allie traces an illegal spell to her own father. His subsequent death, supposedly at her hand, leads to her going on the run with the mysterious Zayvion Jones.The world of Monk's series is interesting, with the combination of magic and technology, however the book itself felt a little rushed. Like I was being rushed into a world where I didn't get enough time to situate myself before the scenery changed and more information was thrown at me. I liked what I saw of Allie but I would have liked to have spent more time on what makes her tick, and how the world of magic actually operated. I'm hoping that the big gaps in the background will be filled in with the next two books and that the story will be less rushed now that Monk has established the world of Allie Beckstrom.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Allie Beckstrom is a hound, someone who traces magic back to the caster. In her world magic is readily available to those who wish to pay the price. Allie has to pay twice the price when she uses magic as it steals parts of her memory. She carries a book with her at all times to jot down notes of her experiences so that when she loses the memories, she doesn't truly forget. Allie spends her time hunting those who offload their spell costs onto the innocent. When a friend's little boy ends up very ill from a spell offload things get a little crazy. Allie tracks the source back to her estranged billionaire father, and in the process meets the mysterious Zayvion. There is an instant attraction, but can she really trust him?Allie is very strong willed, but she isn't overly physically powerful as many paranormal heroines are. As far as strength goes, shes just an ordinary person. Also magic and powers in her world do not come without a price. I find both of these things to be very refreshing. Most novels have their heroines seem to have endless powers, and not that ruins a book, but sometimes it is nice to have more consequences of power in a novel. One thing I did not care for was the excessive memory loss. Allie forgets almost every important thing that happens to her and whenever she doesn't remember to jot them down in her book she truly loses those memories forever. Based on how things ended in this book, it seems as if Allie will be "starting all over again," and I find that to be a little frustrating. I hope in future novels Allie learns how to stop the memory loss. All in all however, it was very good book and I am very interested to see where the series goes.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Holey schmokes!!! I mowed through this book rather quickly for many reasons: to make one more book for my book journal this month, to get one more review in for the mini-challenge over at Literary Escapism/League of Reluctant Adults...but, most of all, I couldn't seem to stop reading this superb book! I obviously had to stop to sleep or go to work, dagnabbit (how else does one support a bookholic habit?), but I wished I could have stayed home to continue reading. Some points, I had to sleep from the feeling of exhaustion in response of all that Allie went through on hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis. This is why I love reading the urban fantasy genre, it's dark, action packed, putting the main character into situations they'd rather not be in, but take care of anyway because it's how they are wired. They keep going in the positive aiding direction even after the point of exhaustion, after getting injured...they just keep going. Makes me wish I could be that heroic/stoic, but I'm not so I read about the character who are that way.That's Allie through the book, aiding those weaker than she and in need of help. She gets assistance from the mysterious Zayvion, the Savant Cody, and her best friend Nola who lives in the magic-free countryside. Mostly, though, Allie stands on her own two feet and gets what needs doing accomplished. She learns along the way, even with losing some of her memories of her past through the use of magic. Using magic has its consequences. And Allie knows it only too well.The atmosphere of the genre seems best set in the Pacific Northwest, rain seems the prevailing weather adding to the dark mystery. Cold, drizzly, always there rain.... I cannot wait to get and read the rest of this series. This one is going on the keeper shelf, it's a fab book that I will revisit and my good book buddy, Jenna, got it for me and had Devon Monk sign it. I don't keep many books, but this one is definitely one of the few that stays in Casa IYamVixen. Five rain adds to the magic diamonds.....read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Allie Beckstrom lives in a world where magic has been discovered, discovering pools of magic deep in the earth and that it can be harvested from storms. She is the daughter of a famous business man who created the devices for humans to gather magic. But, like everything, magic has a price, and it exerts that price from the user in the form of pain on the body. There are those who would rather have the magic without paying the price, and Offload the cost to innocent people. Allie is a Hound who investigates these illegal Offloads. But when one Offload, that almost causes death, seems to have come from her father, things get a little personal for Allie, a little too close to home, putting her life at risk.I don’t think I’m a big fan of this book, and I would have trouble explaining why without spoiling the novel. The story seems to just go round in circles, and so some things get a little predictable, and you know what’s coming. Sometimes predicting what happens in a book can be fun, but not when you know what’s coming in almost every stage of the book.One of the things that bugged me about this book is that it just didn’t feel like an urban fantasy to me. There is magic in this novel, and a lot of it, and it is set in Portland, so it is an urban fantasy, but it just feels like there’s something missing to me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but perhaps it’s the absence of anything paranormal. I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy lately hat include paranormal creatures, so that may be it – in which case, I guess it’s just a preference I have when it comes to these types of novels.Some of the characters annoyed me a bit, too. Zayvion, Allie’s love interest, is just a bit too nice to be believable for me, and lacks what I can only describe as maleness. I don’t mean masculinity, there’s a lot of that, but he just doesn’t seem like a guy – and I don’t mean that guys can’t be nice, they are in a lot of books, but they are also obviously male, whether it be a sense of humour, or the way they talk about things. Zayvion just doesn’t seem complete to me. And with Allie... ok, she has a lot going on her plate but still needs to get on with things to survive, but she tells herself to “suck it up” far too often, and I just wanted to slap her. She also seemed to miss the obvious on too many occasions.Magic to the Bone is the first in a series, but the story is resolved to a certain extent. However, it seems to me that the resolution is just an excuse given, rather than the actual story. There is more going on beneath the surface, and not everyone is being completely honest with Allie. There are too many questions about the events of this book, in my opinion, for this story to be resolved. I would be amazed if Allie doesn’t find out more about the main events of this story in the sequel.Saying that, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next in the series. I didn’t really enjoy this novel, so I think I’ll move on to something else. Although the premise of this book was pretty awesome, it just isn’t for me.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Devon Monk has been recommended to me by friends, and even by Amazon based on some purchases I made, but I have an extensive to-be-read pile. Though I picked up a copy some time ago, I hadn’t gotten to it yet. Then, a friend was visiting and looked at the pile. She picked out Magic to the Bone as the “must read next.”Now I know why.This novel plays with all the traditions of strong narrative. The main character is beaten about left and right, never really understanding what’s going on but just struggling to stay on her feet long enough to figure it out. If I had to characterize the action, I’d say it’s mostly “done to” rather than “done by” her. That said, the way Allie responds to things, her own personal code mixed with a heavy dose of distrust that, despite everything, is stirred with loyalty even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary makes for a strong novel that pulled me in and kept me reading through to the end.I started this novel just as a nasty cold was claiming the space I call my own. My focus on everything else went flying out the window, but I found whenever I started reading this book, I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to put it down to struggle for an inch of progress on all the other things that I needed to do. I think that says more for the novel than most reactions just because it created focus out of thin air when I had none.The story begins with a loner who has abandoned her father, with good cause, and sets herself apart from almost everything. At the same time, she’s at the beck and call of people who she considers downtrodden but good at heart, often providing her services for free when she can’t even make her rent. As the story develops, we learn not only can she manipulate magic, though that always comes with a price in both pain and lost memories, but that she has a somewhat unique ability everyone has assured her is impossible–she carries her own supply of magic.This book is an eye-opener for Allie, knowledge which, like magic, comes with its own price, but at the same time she’s not left hanging out in darkness as she gains much in her quest to uncover the truth.Devon Monk slips sideways on the first person narrative tradition for urban fantasy by bringing in a second, 3rd person, narrator so that the reader knows a smidge more than Allie, but that smidge isn’t enough to spoil the unfolding mystery. Rather, it adds to the picture.Her other odd choice is the main character’s memory loss as a penalty. It certainly creates trouble for Allie, but I have to wonder if it won’t have even more significance in the books to come.Anyway, I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you it’s much like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in that the story careens along its path, dragging you with it at a terrifying rate with glimpses here and there to build a tale. I never felt left behind. I never sat back and wondered if there was a greater story. I was right in the muck with Allie trying to figure things out, and it was a happy place to be.My list of “always buy” authors has increased by one, and I predict that my to-be-read pile is going to swell up a bit the next time I’m at the book store.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk is set in Oregon in an alternate world, where magic has recently been discovered. The general populace actually believes that magic has in fact only recently developed or appeared. In this setting, using magic costs the user a price in body pain or memory loss. Miss Monk has developed a world where corporations are making money with magic and all the byproducts of magic use. "Offloading" where users don't have to pay a personal price , storage of magic, rights to magic, blackmarket magic uses, etc. Devon Monk has brought up a lot of interesting concepts. The book has suspense, murder, romance (nothing too sappy though - tired of sappy romance, probably a symptom of my encroaching aging), twists and turns. The heroine (Allie Beckstrom) doesn't have it easy, suffers from memory loss when she's not careful with her magic offloads, and doesn't have a special happily ever after. I really enjoyed this book a lot. I was interested from the first page to the last.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a new author to me. Allie Beckstrom is a Hound; a person who tracks back magic to the person who abuses it. When it leads back to her father, a person she hasn't seen in 7 years, her life gets changed forever. In steps the mysterious Zavyion Jones, who has a few secrets of his own; some we don't learn about in this novel. Too much magic has a negative impact on Allie; she loses memories and has to carry a little black book with her name and other important contact information. **This was an interesting book for me. I've read other Magical users (IE the Ilona Andrews series), but this one had way too much Allie acting like a love struck teenager. I guess others will like this Urban Fantasy novel; I can only hope that #2 is alot better. Personally, I could have done without almost 100 pages of pensive sexual feelings between Allie and Zay. But, again, that's just me.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Really great series!!! Reminds me of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I love it! Even better its a finished series so you can read all nine in the series and be done! I hate waiting! Author has a different twist on magic I havent seen before and Allie Beckstrom does get her ass kicked a lot. Its great to see a character still willing to defy the odds.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
With the recent discovery that magic actually does exist technology has advanced so that it’s available to everyone for whatever – green lawn, less wrinkles - presto it’s done. But magic isn’t all pixie dust and faeries, oh no, it’s available to everyone but it comes with a price: each time inflicting bruises, sore throats or even headaches depending on how much magic you used. Consequently, there are lots of folks taking advantage of the system (and others around them) by offloading their magical kickback onto unsuspecting victims. Allison Beckstrom is a Hound, someone who uses magic to track down magical offenders and turns them over to the law to make sure they pay for their crimes. Only Allie gets an additional bonus every time she uses magic – she not only gets the nasty side effects but she also looses portions of her memory. When Allie discovers her estranged father has offloaded his magic onto a little boy (illegally of course) who is now on the brink of death she gets fightin’ mad and wants to see justice done. But her father swears he didn’t do it and Allie doesn’t exactly believe him. So naturally when her father winds up murdered everyone is pointing the finger at her and Allie can’t seem to remember if she did or didn’t do it. Her only option is to trust the shady Zayvion Jones who has some very interesting talents himself to help her discover who is the real murderer and get her off the hook. Good, solid read with an interesting twist on the general conception of magic as a whole. I’m looking forward to see where Allie goes next (and can I just say I hope it’s with Zay?).I’d like to give a special thank you to the cover artist on this one. Usually, UF covers sort of turn me off and tend to not look anything at all like the characters. To tell you the truth I was not terribly excited about this one either – tattooed girl shown from behind – can we get any more unoriginal? But after reading it, this cover gets it right, I mean, *gasp* the artist might have actually read the book or at least listened to someone who knew the characters. I mean she’s Allie: funky tattoos (sort of), black tank top and short hair. So thank you, thank you for giving me a cover that doesn’t make me want to tear the cover off every time I look at it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

Odd book. Some very interesting premises, but a sort of dippy main character and an even dippier bit about True Love.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My first introduction to Devon Monk's writing. I am very impressed. Allie Beckstrom is a very unique character. Monk has quite an imagination, and I throughly enjoyed this story. I admit I was struggling with some of the first half of this story, but once Monk had grown her momentum in the first half; the second was action packed and quite a good read. I look forward to reading 'Magic in the Blood'. If Monk continues with the same momentum, I look forward to an great story.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first 6 chapters didn’t light my fire, although it was nowhere as near as frustrating as Nightwalker. I’d read a review somewhere which described it as dark but to be honest I found it a bit fluffy (I’m still talking about the first few chapters). I prefer my stories/series a little dark and gritty but I didn’t dislike this enough to stop reading, but then again I’m renowned for disliking the first half of the first book in every series I read -I almost stopped reading Halfway to the Grave because Bones’ accent was getting on my nerves and now that’s my favourite series EVER.Chapter 7 is where things take a turn for the better. Then that was it, I couldn’t put it down. Everything just got better. I enjoyed the relationship between Allie and Zay. I have to admit though that Allie frustrates me a little, but I’m hoping that she’s grow over the next few books. I have now read the first 3 books and it is now on my favourite series list
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In this urban fantasy/Romance novel, we find Allie, a Hound, living alone in the bad part of Portland. She lives in a world where magic was just recently discovered, and can be channeled like electricity or water. Magic can be easily used, but at a price - it causes pain unless a person "Offloads" it to someone else, willing or unwilling. A hound is someone who tracks magic use back to the originator and Allie is a good at her job, but her pain is that sometimes takes away Memory.Its well written, solid characters. Where I felt this book was lacking was the world - it is complex enough, but it felt a bit off kilter, like something was missing. I think it is the way the rules of magic changed so quickly. The novel also didn't feel complete - there was a resolution, but a bit more explanation of how the secret society, would have a gone a long from making this from a good book, to a great book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did.

Parts of this book just kind of plodded along, while others felt rushed. I think it could have done with a bit more editing and a bit more length.

The concept of a world in which magic is known but inflicts a price for every little spell cast is really intriguing. But I feel as if it wasn't fully developed. So, all businesses have people who work magic for them. Ok, but how? What do they do? What happens when differing businesses magicians duel against each other? Street lights are lit by magic. Why? Given the cost of doing magic, how is magic better for that than just building another electric plant? There was a lot more that could have been done with the universe that just wasn't touched on. It ended up feeling a bit unfinished.

Similarly, the concept of a amnesiac heroine was enthralling but it it just didn't quite live up to my expectations. There's all the buildup about forgetting things, but other than the ending, which I won't spoil, what has she really forgotten? Her childhood birthday parts and hints that she's forgotten something that happened in college. Maybe an explanation of what she forgot that caused her to keep a diary with her own name/address handy might have lent some substance to this plot point. Instead, all the spells but one resulted in illness rather than amnesia. It was interesting, but just not what I expected from the book.

I'll probably read the sequel just to read more about the world, but I'm in no big hurry.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Urban Fantasy. The premise is good and it was nice to read about the male love interest being very zen, very calm and very contained, rather than uber-macho Alpha males which happens a lot in romances.The worldbuilding was interesting... in the future, everybody can use a little bit of magic. However, it always comes with a price - physical pain for the user, depending on how much magic was used. This leads to sub-industries such as proxies, who take the pain for the magic-users for money. The morality for using magic was refreshing, which is why I gave it this rating at all.In the end, I started skipping paragraphs to get to the end just to see how it ended because I wasn't invested in the main character - who is supposed to be a badass Hound - a person who tracks down illegal magic users - but she never seems to make any rational decisions, and she whines a lot. The book has so many plot holes and dis-joining scenes I could name 10 things right now off the top of my head which didn't make sense or should have been explained. Hopefully the author can clean up her plotting and characterizations in the next book in this series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
New (to me) author Devon Monk has imagined a world where magic exists--but extracts a serious price from its users. The more magic you use, the bigger the price in pain, blood, or loss...unless you're rich enough, or ruthless enough, to transfer that price to someone else. Allie knows all about magic's price. At least she would, if she could only remember. After all, her father and his wealthy corporation have their fingers in all the magic 'pies' in the world. And she was all set to follow in those footsteps and join the family business--until she worked herself free of her father's 'Influence magic'. Since then she's made her own life, and spends a lot of it tracking down those who misuse magic and turning them in to the authorities. So when her latest job reveals her father's magic 'signature', she tries not to be surprised. But all of a sudden, weird things start to happen, her father's dead, she's the number one suspect, and there's an incredibly handsome yet strange man who always seems to be around when things go badly. And did I forget to mention the almost dead man and his kitten? A mysterious hunky man, lost memories, magical sex (although maybe not quite enough of it!), murder, a cute kitten, industrial espionage...this story has it all. The action is fast paced, the plot is well spun, and the romance vs. suspense quotient was just right for me. Monk has written a strong, yet emotionally vulnerable heroine with a drive for justice that often works against her best instincts. If I didn't know there was a second book coming, I would have found the author's website and hounded her for one! There's a lot of potential in her world and her characters and I'm hungry for more.I loved the idea of a physical cost to magic and how that could play out in today's world. Devon Monk had me hooked from page three and I just couldn't stop reading 'til the end of this book. Now I'm tapping my toes waiting for "Magic in the Blood" to be released in May 2009 and hoping the story picks up right where this one left off!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In a magical Portland, Oregon, Allie Beckstrom's 25th birthday gets off to a rough start. She lives in a world where every magic use exacts a price from its user--migraines, cramps, or memory loss. Before she can even head out to breakfast, one of her frequent clients, Mama, calls her and asks her to identify who cast a magic spell because every magic user has his or her own distinctive signature. Allie's just the person for the job because she works as a Hound--even though, or more likely because--her father is a wealthy businessman who would just as soon she work for him in the Beckstrom family biz. Allie heads into North Portland where there are no lines laid for accessing magic. But, somehow, someone has found a way to Offload the price of casting a magic spell onto a little boy. When Allie Hounds the spell, she sees the unmistakable flavor of her father's magic in that attack. When Allie confronts her father in his skyscraper office, he denies he did anything to the boy, but, as driven as he is, he's had a shaky track record as far as Allie is concerned. Allie then discovers the hot guy who's been following her works for her father. The next morning, things go from bad to worse when Allie learns she's being blamed for murder. Soon, Allie's on the run and trying to protect a boy and his cat. Magic to the Bone is a very enjoyable and original urban fantasy with strong mystery and romance appeal. What's next in Magic Portland? Magic to the Bone is part of a trilogy. At the end of the novel, you get hints that magic is changing, but, rest assured, there's closure at the end of this book. Magic in the Blood is up next in the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Great book -- the story developed quickly and never slowed. Devon Monk uses an interesting concept -- the price of magic -- as the premise of her book, but also manages to fill the story with a host of other issues: a daughter's struggle with a distant father; society's lust for instant, cost-free gratification; learning to love and trust when it seems unwise. I found this book both entertaining an intelligent. The characters are great fun, as well. Allie Beckstrom is a wonderful protagonist; she's strong and likable, but she isn't perfect. There's just enough room there for her to grow into a more intriguing character as the series progresses. And Zayvion Jones is the perfect complement -- a successful Tall, Dark, and Mysterious. If you're tired of authors striving for cryptic and enigmatic, only to end up with vague and irritating, Zayvion will be a refreshing change.I will definitely continue reading the rest of this series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It’s a unique setting: 21st century Earth, after the scientific discovery of magic. Magic can be collected like oil or electricity, and stored; when they use magic people don’t pull it from within, but from their surroundings, and every city now has cisterns of magic gathered from storms. And every use of magic has an effect on the user, which you can if you try mitigate by setting up a Disbursement. The effects on Allie, the first-person protagonist of the book, range from headaches to severe head-to-toe bruising to a sore throat, etc… And, sometimes, when she’s really lucky, gaps in her memory, to the extent that she’s begun recording everything in a book she carries with her. The effects can also, illegally, be transferred to someone who had nothing to do with the spell, who doesn’t even have to be present.Allie is called in by a … friend? called Mama to help the victim of just such an illegal move, Mama’s young son “Boy”. Why all her sons are called “Boy” I don’t know, but … whatever. They don’t seem to have other names. Allie’s what is called a Hound, which means she can – literally – sniff out details of a spell, like who cast it. And what she finds when she Hounds Boy is … her father. Who is a very rich, very powerful, very manipulative (ordinarily and magically) SOB, from whom she has been estranged for years.Now, however, she goes to his office to confront him about the spell – about which he claims to know nothing … and the reader knows this is true because in brief third-person chapters it is revealed that someone very evil is using a very gifted, very damaged young man (Cody) to forge the spell “signatures” of others, including Allie’s father on this spell.Then, the same day Allie goes to see her father for the first time in several years, he is murdered. And she is implicated. (Guess how.)What follows is a high-energy action-packed story about how Allie investigates her father’s murder, the young man with the strange gifts (who somehow transforms her gifts, which results in some interesting physical markings), and whether or not she can trust Zayvion Jones, the handsome and sexy and seductive man her father had hired to keep tabs on her (my initial instinct was NO – but I could be wrong), dodging assassins and magical rebounds.I never really warmed to Allie, or anyone else except Nora, Allie’s best friend; I never let myself trust Zayvion, right up to the end, since it seemed to me that Allie threw herself at him a little too quickly, thoroughly, and heedlessly. The writing wasn’t bad at all; it was very much like being in Allie’s head, listening to her ordinary speech patterns. Setting was well painted; I like the concepts the book was based on; while I didn’t enjoy the ending I appreciated the method of it. Not bad at all, and certainly very different from Kay without being a too-drastic comedown; I won’t rush out and buy the other books in the series, but I won’t pass them up if I come across them second-hand. I do still love the cover, and if I were slim and twenty-something might seriously consider a sleeve tattoo like that …
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I came across this Series in the library and picked it up. I was not disappointed. I got so interested in this book that I've been reading it at super speed since it is really easy to read and really effortless to follow all of her characters. This is a story about magic casting, where you need glyphs and natural magic. The heroin of the book is named Allison (Allie) and right from the start she is projected as rebellious, strong and independent. She is the daughter of a very powerful and rich man that as per Allie’s standards is not 100% good. She has been independent and has not talked to her father in over 7 years. She is a Hound which is jus like a hound dog where she tracks spell casters in crime scenes and helps investigators identify what kind of magic was used and even the user. Allie’s world gives a 360° turn on the day of her birthday when she receives a call from a regular client asking her to hound magic for her. Devon Monk does a great job in introducing this new world to us and through out her series gives us more background information. The reader’s learn more about this world in the same pace Allie does. FYI: I started writing this review for first book only on 9/8/10 and am now on book four of this series on 9/13/10 trying to write the review with out any spoilers. Hard work! I’ve just added Devon Monk as one of my favorite authors cause’ I L-O-V-E this series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Picked this up yesterday at the used book store. Our heroine is a Hound, who sniffs out magic, back to the one who did it. She lives in a modern, urban world where magic exists, and is distributed through the cities much like electricity is in our modern, urban world. But in her world, using magic means paying a price - pain commensurate with the usage, and sometime holes in the memory, too. But it is possible to redirect, or offload, that priceShe is called to the "bad part of town" to use her Hound senses to search out who offloaded a sh*tload of magic onto a 5-year-old boy, nearly killing him. The signature of that offloading leads her to her father, who was instrumental in making magic commercially viable. On the way, she discovers she's being followed by an intriguing, somewhat mysterious man named Zayvion Jones. They join forces to figure out what is really going on.This was a page-turner. I found myself pulled along, even though I was sleepy. There are a few bedroom scenes, but they felt a bit "added on," as if they had been included because the modern paranormal first-person urban fantasy genre seems to demand it. The action seemed somehow a bit muddled, like the heroine, but it does tie up the loose ends by the end of the book. And then unravels some, to provide a leadin to the next book. I enjoyed this one, but not sure I will pick up the next one in the series (and I am sure there will be a next one).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
a handful of interesting ideas...mainly all cribbed from previous entries into the urban fantasy genre. not much new or original here, though it can be fun to ponder "now, where have i read this thought before?"
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I know I read this but I can't remember a thing about it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a spoiler free review of the first FIVE books in the Allie Beckstrom series.

So there are two things to know about Allie Beckstrom: the first is that she's a Hound, someone who makes a living tracing magical residues back to their source. The second thing to know is that she's the only child of Daniel Beckstrom, a fabulously wealthy innovator and tycoon. You might think that her profession, Hounding, is the more important fact - but there are books in the series where she only Hounds once or twice. Her daddy issues, on the other hand...they refuse to go away.

The series takes place in a world where magic has been discovered and commercialized in recent history. In fact, it's Allie's father - yep, daddy's already back in the conversation - who developed the technology to store and harness magic. Magic use has become very common, integrated into most aspects of everyday life, but it carries a "price in pain." Physical pain. The caster can direct the pain to arrive at a certain time, in a certain way, but there's no avoiding it.

This "price in pain" defines the Hounds - because they use magic all the time, they're always hurting. They turn to coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol. They burn out fast. Allie's avoided that fate so far, but it's pretty clear that she's gravitated to Hounding not just because she has a talent but because she wants to get as far away from her father, and her father's plans for her life, as possible. So, you know, daddy issues again.

In MAGIC TO THE BONE, Allie's dad is murdered and Allie is the prime suspect. Everyone who examines daddy's body says she cast the spell that killed him. She didn't. We also find out, because we get occasional scenes from his point of view, that a mentally broken young man named Cody forged Allie's magical signature on the killing spell. When I read MAGIC TO THE BONE I was kind of annoyed by Cody. He seemed like a throwaway character and I didn't want to read from his point of view. To my surprise, Cody turns out to be really important to the series as a whole. He reappears in each book, and we get a little more backstory about him every time he shows up.

This Cody issue showcases one of the best and worst qualities of the series. The plot conflicts that Devon Monk starts brewing in MAGIC TO THE BONE carry through to every book I've read. She builds and builds and builds from the same elements. The overarching plot is the only plot, and the whole series feels a lot like one really long novel to me. On the downside, that means that a lot of problems that carry from one book to another also seem to DRAG from one book to another, long after they should have been solved.

Two highlights of the series...I find Allie's narration super funny, and her love interest, Zayvion Jones, super sexy. Allie is full of quips ("I was so thirsty I could drain a river dry and still have room for a few creeks and springs"). Her humor is often wry and understated and just works for me. As for Zayvion? He's unique in the urban fantasy pantheon. Allie always talks about his "Zen" demeanor and he is indeed a very calm, cool guy. He's also got a sense of humor and he and Allie have great banter, which is wonderful. But Zayvion manages to be relaxed and still very much an alpha, still fierce and downright scary when he wants to be. It's a nice change, and it means that he's equally sexy on the battlefield, in the bedroom, and just hanging out around the kitchen table.

On the whole I recommend the Allie Beckstrom books, although the series doesn't break into my circle of favorites.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was recommended by members of my paranormal romance book club as a great read and it didn't disappoint.This is a great urban fantasy genre novel set in a world 30 years after the discovery of magic.Magic has replaced traditional technology however there are restrictions on its use and who can use it.Allie Beckstrom is a Hound who can trace who has been using magic illegally and she gets caught up in a conspiracy.She is a feisty and interesting character and the narrative is faced paced with plenty of action and mystery to keep you enthralled.I look forward to reading more books in the series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fun foray into the paranormal. Thoroughly enjoyable. A definite fun read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An interesting premise where magic is part of the world around us. Magic was "discovered" 30 years ago and is now taught in Colleges. Allie Beckstrom is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the magic industry but she has shunned her family background and money and makes her living as a Hound. Magic has used her hard and left big gaps in her memories as a consequence of her magic use, but this doesn't stop her sniffing out illegal magic. The story starts when Allie traces an illegal spell to her own father. His subsequent death, supposedly at her hand, leads to her going on the run with the mysterious Zayvion Jones.The world of Monk's series is interesting, with the combination of magic and technology, however the book itself felt a little rushed. Like I was being rushed into a world where I didn't get enough time to situate myself before the scenery changed and more information was thrown at me. I liked what I saw of Allie but I would have liked to have spent more time on what makes her tick, and how the world of magic actually operated. I'm hoping that the big gaps in the background will be filled in with the next two books and that the story will be less rushed now that Monk has established the world of Allie Beckstrom.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Allie Beckstrom is a hound, someone who traces magic back to the caster. In her world magic is readily available to those who wish to pay the price. Allie has to pay twice the price when she uses magic as it steals parts of her memory. She carries a book with her at all times to jot down notes of her experiences so that when she loses the memories, she doesn't truly forget. Allie spends her time hunting those who offload their spell costs onto the innocent. When a friend's little boy ends up very ill from a spell offload things get a little crazy. Allie tracks the source back to her estranged billionaire father, and in the process meets the mysterious Zayvion. There is an instant attraction, but can she really trust him?Allie is very strong willed, but she isn't overly physically powerful as many paranormal heroines are. As far as strength goes, shes just an ordinary person. Also magic and powers in her world do not come without a price. I find both of these things to be very refreshing. Most novels have their heroines seem to have endless powers, and not that ruins a book, but sometimes it is nice to have more consequences of power in a novel. One thing I did not care for was the excessive memory loss. Allie forgets almost every important thing that happens to her and whenever she doesn't remember to jot them down in her book she truly loses those memories forever. Based on how things ended in this book, it seems as if Allie will be "starting all over again," and I find that to be a little frustrating. I hope in future novels Allie learns how to stop the memory loss. All in all however, it was very good book and I am very interested to see where the series goes.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Holey schmokes!!! I mowed through this book rather quickly for many reasons: to make one more book for my book journal this month, to get one more review in for the mini-challenge over at Literary Escapism/League of Reluctant Adults...but, most of all, I couldn't seem to stop reading this superb book! I obviously had to stop to sleep or go to work, dagnabbit (how else does one support a bookholic habit?), but I wished I could have stayed home to continue reading. Some points, I had to sleep from the feeling of exhaustion in response of all that Allie went through on hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis. This is why I love reading the urban fantasy genre, it's dark, action packed, putting the main character into situations they'd rather not be in, but take care of anyway because it's how they are wired. They keep going in the positive aiding direction even after the point of exhaustion, after getting injured...they just keep going. Makes me wish I could be that heroic/stoic, but I'm not so I read about the character who are that way.That's Allie through the book, aiding those weaker than she and in need of help. She gets assistance from the mysterious Zayvion, the Savant Cody, and her best friend Nola who lives in the magic-free countryside. Mostly, though, Allie stands on her own two feet and gets what needs doing accomplished. She learns along the way, even with losing some of her memories of her past through the use of magic. Using magic has its consequences. And Allie knows it only too well.The atmosphere of the genre seems best set in the Pacific Northwest, rain seems the prevailing weather adding to the dark mystery. Cold, drizzly, always there rain.... I cannot wait to get and read the rest of this series. This one is going on the keeper shelf, it's a fab book that I will revisit and my good book buddy, Jenna, got it for me and had Devon Monk sign it. I don't keep many books, but this one is definitely one of the few that stays in Casa IYamVixen. Five rain adds to the magic diamonds.....
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Allie Beckstrom lives in a world where magic has been discovered, discovering pools of magic deep in the earth and that it can be harvested from storms. She is the daughter of a famous business man who created the devices for humans to gather magic. But, like everything, magic has a price, and it exerts that price from the user in the form of pain on the body. There are those who would rather have the magic without paying the price, and Offload the cost to innocent people. Allie is a Hound who investigates these illegal Offloads. But when one Offload, that almost causes death, seems to have come from her father, things get a little personal for Allie, a little too close to home, putting her life at risk.I don’t think I’m a big fan of this book, and I would have trouble explaining why without spoiling the novel. The story seems to just go round in circles, and so some things get a little predictable, and you know what’s coming. Sometimes predicting what happens in a book can be fun, but not when you know what’s coming in almost every stage of the book.One of the things that bugged me about this book is that it just didn’t feel like an urban fantasy to me. There is magic in this novel, and a lot of it, and it is set in Portland, so it is an urban fantasy, but it just feels like there’s something missing to me. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but perhaps it’s the absence of anything paranormal. I’ve been reading a lot of urban fantasy lately hat include paranormal creatures, so that may be it – in which case, I guess it’s just a preference I have when it comes to these types of novels.Some of the characters annoyed me a bit, too. Zayvion, Allie’s love interest, is just a bit too nice to be believable for me, and lacks what I can only describe as maleness. I don’t mean masculinity, there’s a lot of that, but he just doesn’t seem like a guy – and I don’t mean that guys can’t be nice, they are in a lot of books, but they are also obviously male, whether it be a sense of humour, or the way they talk about things. Zayvion just doesn’t seem complete to me. And with Allie... ok, she has a lot going on her plate but still needs to get on with things to survive, but she tells herself to “suck it up” far too often, and I just wanted to slap her. She also seemed to miss the obvious on too many occasions.Magic to the Bone is the first in a series, but the story is resolved to a certain extent. However, it seems to me that the resolution is just an excuse given, rather than the actual story. There is more going on beneath the surface, and not everyone is being completely honest with Allie. There are too many questions about the events of this book, in my opinion, for this story to be resolved. I would be amazed if Allie doesn’t find out more about the main events of this story in the sequel.Saying that, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next in the series. I didn’t really enjoy this novel, so I think I’ll move on to something else. Although the premise of this book was pretty awesome, it just isn’t for me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Devon Monk has been recommended to me by friends, and even by Amazon based on some purchases I made, but I have an extensive to-be-read pile. Though I picked up a copy some time ago, I hadn’t gotten to it yet. Then, a friend was visiting and looked at the pile. She picked out Magic to the Bone as the “must read next.”Now I know why.This novel plays with all the traditions of strong narrative. The main character is beaten about left and right, never really understanding what’s going on but just struggling to stay on her feet long enough to figure it out. If I had to characterize the action, I’d say it’s mostly “done to” rather than “done by” her. That said, the way Allie responds to things, her own personal code mixed with a heavy dose of distrust that, despite everything, is stirred with loyalty even in the face of strong evidence to the contrary makes for a strong novel that pulled me in and kept me reading through to the end.I started this novel just as a nasty cold was claiming the space I call my own. My focus on everything else went flying out the window, but I found whenever I started reading this book, I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to put it down to struggle for an inch of progress on all the other things that I needed to do. I think that says more for the novel than most reactions just because it created focus out of thin air when I had none.The story begins with a loner who has abandoned her father, with good cause, and sets herself apart from almost everything. At the same time, she’s at the beck and call of people who she considers downtrodden but good at heart, often providing her services for free when she can’t even make her rent. As the story develops, we learn not only can she manipulate magic, though that always comes with a price in both pain and lost memories, but that she has a somewhat unique ability everyone has assured her is impossible–she carries her own supply of magic.This book is an eye-opener for Allie, knowledge which, like magic, comes with its own price, but at the same time she’s not left hanging out in darkness as she gains much in her quest to uncover the truth.Devon Monk slips sideways on the first person narrative tradition for urban fantasy by bringing in a second, 3rd person, narrator so that the reader knows a smidge more than Allie, but that smidge isn’t enough to spoil the unfolding mystery. Rather, it adds to the picture.Her other odd choice is the main character’s memory loss as a penalty. It certainly creates trouble for Allie, but I have to wonder if it won’t have even more significance in the books to come.Anyway, I’m trying to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you it’s much like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in that the story careens along its path, dragging you with it at a terrifying rate with glimpses here and there to build a tale. I never felt left behind. I never sat back and wondered if there was a greater story. I was right in the muck with Allie trying to figure things out, and it was a happy place to be.My list of “always buy” authors has increased by one, and I predict that my to-be-read pile is going to swell up a bit the next time I’m at the book store.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk is set in Oregon in an alternate world, where magic has recently been discovered. The general populace actually believes that magic has in fact only recently developed or appeared. In this setting, using magic costs the user a price in body pain or memory loss. Miss Monk has developed a world where corporations are making money with magic and all the byproducts of magic use. "Offloading" where users don't have to pay a personal price , storage of magic, rights to magic, blackmarket magic uses, etc. Devon Monk has brought up a lot of interesting concepts. The book has suspense, murder, romance (nothing too sappy though - tired of sappy romance, probably a symptom of my encroaching aging), twists and turns. The heroine (Allie Beckstrom) doesn't have it easy, suffers from memory loss when she's not careful with her magic offloads, and doesn't have a special happily ever after. I really enjoyed this book a lot. I was interested from the first page to the last.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a new author to me. Allie Beckstrom is a Hound; a person who tracks back magic to the person who abuses it. When it leads back to her father, a person she hasn't seen in 7 years, her life gets changed forever. In steps the mysterious Zavyion Jones, who has a few secrets of his own; some we don't learn about in this novel. Too much magic has a negative impact on Allie; she loses memories and has to carry a little black book with her name and other important contact information. **This was an interesting book for me. I've read other Magical users (IE the Ilona Andrews series), but this one had way too much Allie acting like a love struck teenager. I guess others will like this Urban Fantasy novel; I can only hope that #2 is alot better. Personally, I could have done without almost 100 pages of pensive sexual feelings between Allie and Zay. But, again, that's just me.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Really great series!!! Reminds me of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I love it! Even better its a finished series so you can read all nine in the series and be done! I hate waiting! Author has a different twist on magic I havent seen before and Allie Beckstrom does get her ass kicked a lot. Its great to see a character still willing to defy the odds.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
With the recent discovery that magic actually does exist technology has advanced so that it’s available to everyone for whatever – green lawn, less wrinkles - presto it’s done. But magic isn’t all pixie dust and faeries, oh no, it’s available to everyone but it comes with a price: each time inflicting bruises, sore throats or even headaches depending on how much magic you used. Consequently, there are lots of folks taking advantage of the system (and others around them) by offloading their magical kickback onto unsuspecting victims. Allison Beckstrom is a Hound, someone who uses magic to track down magical offenders and turns them over to the law to make sure they pay for their crimes. Only Allie gets an additional bonus every time she uses magic – she not only gets the nasty side effects but she also looses portions of her memory. When Allie discovers her estranged father has offloaded his magic onto a little boy (illegally of course) who is now on the brink of death she gets fightin’ mad and wants to see justice done. But her father swears he didn’t do it and Allie doesn’t exactly believe him. So naturally when her father winds up murdered everyone is pointing the finger at her and Allie can’t seem to remember if she did or didn’t do it. Her only option is to trust the shady Zayvion Jones who has some very interesting talents himself to help her discover who is the real murderer and get her off the hook. Good, solid read with an interesting twist on the general conception of magic as a whole. I’m looking forward to see where Allie goes next (and can I just say I hope it’s with Zay?).I’d like to give a special thank you to the cover artist on this one. Usually, UF covers sort of turn me off and tend to not look anything at all like the characters. To tell you the truth I was not terribly excited about this one either – tattooed girl shown from behind – can we get any more unoriginal? But after reading it, this cover gets it right, I mean, *gasp* the artist might have actually read the book or at least listened to someone who knew the characters. I mean she’s Allie: funky tattoos (sort of), black tank top and short hair. So thank you, thank you for giving me a cover that doesn’t make me want to tear the cover off every time I look at it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd