Book Review: Devon Monk’s Magic on the Storm

Posted April 21, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Devon Monk’s Magic on the Storm

Magic on the Storm


Devon Monk

It is part of the Allie Beckstrom #4 series and is a urban fantasy that was published by ROC on May 4, 2010 and has 357 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dead Iron, Tin Swift, Hell Bent, Magic to the Bone, Magic in the Blood, Magic in the Shadows, Magic at the Gate, Magic on the Hunt, Magic on the Line, Magic Without Mercy, Stone Cold, Magic for a Price, Cold Copper, House Immortal, Infinity Bell

Fourth in the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series and revolving around Allie, a Hound who can scent magic, and her friends.

My Take

I do enjoy Shamus’ cheekiness! At the other end of the spectrum is that father of hers! He definitely wins the A-hole of the Year award. Sometimes you imagine that he actually does love Allie, but then you discover in the next breath that he loves her as long as he can use her for his own ends. And Jingo Jingo is lying to the Authority about her father possessing Allie. It does not bode well.

Whoa, well, we find out what happened to Anthony. After his betrayal in Magic in the Blood, 2, I didn’t expect to hear from that little jerk again. It doesn’t help that Violet has bad news for Allie. And Allie learns who murdered her father.

I do like that Allie is such a firm person. It’s her way or you can leave. I don’t, however, like it when she carries that attitude everywhere. Especially into areas about which she knows so little. It’s veering into the I-know-everything trope. She’s never hunted before, but insists on going even though the stakes are so high and she’s clueless about the weapons.

“How come I had to be the one to fix everything? How come I had to be the hero? I sure as hell didn’t feel like a hero.” (No, she sounds more like a selfish, whiny bitch.)

Well, Allie finally gets her wish. To be the center of everything. And she wants to run. All of a sudden, she falls back on the I-know-nothing card. Hypocrite much?

I get that Alllie doesn’t trust her dad, but she has to trust in his knowledge and skill somewhat. It pisses me off that she automatically refuses to at least think about what her dad is saying. Yeah, I agree with Allie. She could never have held the Illusion focus, as she’s too scattered. It seems as if, every time there’s a battle of some sort, she can’t make up her mind where to go, who to help, what to do. She wants to be in the thick of it all the time, but she’s useless most of the time. Can you tell how much I dislike her?

We get the story on why Shame hates being around Terric so much.

Why is it that no one else seems to feel the tension? At least, Monk never tells or shows that anyone else is aware of it. They must be aware of it, but no one says anything. They all simply accept that they must blindly follow their leader.

It gets so tense at the end, I couldn’t read fast enough. So much is happening, so much set-up for Magic at the Gate.

It’s a frustrating series. The premise is intriguing, and I like some of the characters. God knows, the mystery behind it all certainly pulls me in. But God save me from Allie!

The Story

A wild magic storm is coming and Allie feels the power in the magic wells. Only she feels it being drained away.

The Characters

Allie Beckstrom Hounds illegal spells for Detective Stotts, by night she works for the Authority. Her father was Daniel Beckstrom, an extremely powerful magic user, who was murdered. Events in Magic in the Blood, 2, gave him the chance to possess Allie. Now he shares her mind and sometimes takes over her body. Kevin Cooper is with the Authority and a powerful magic user; he’s also the pregnant Violet Beckstrom‘s bodyguard. And secretly in love with her. A fact that her dead husband is furious about. Stone is a stone gargoyle that Allie brought to life, an Animate. Now he lives with her and stacks things for fun. He makes an excellent bodyguard as well. Nola is a non-magic user and Allie’s best friend. Only she lives on a farm 300 miles away in a magic-free zone. She’s seeing Stotts. Cody Miller, the Hand who had been involved in Daniel’s death, is now living with Nola.

Zayvion Jones is Allie’s Soul Complement. He’s a Closer — all Zen smooth and deadly — and the Guardian of the Gates using all magics.

The Authority is…

…the secretive underground magic organization that polices all magic users, except they all seem to be at odds with each other.

The Portland Authority
Shamus Flynn uses Death magic and supposedly washes dishes at his mum’s restaurant. His mother, Maeve Flynn, runs Feile San Fhomeher (restaurant and inn) and uses Blood magic. She’s also one of the Voices in the Authority along with Victor who is Zay’s boss, head of the Closers, and uses Faith magic; Liddy Salberg who is another Death user and Jingo’s boss; and, Sedra, their leader. Other members include Sunny, Ethan Katz who was Daniel’s and now Allie’s accountant, Carl and La who are twins; Jingo Jingo uses Death magic and is Shamus’ boss; Dane Lannister is Sedra’s bodyguard; and, Chase is another Closer, an ex-girlfriend of Zayvion’s, and Greyson’s Soul Complement. Allie hates Sedra’s know-it-all, hate-everyone attitude.

The Seattle Authority
Terric is a Closer from Seattle — and Shamus’ Soul Complement. A man Shame avoids even as he longs for him. Hayden Kellerman is another from Seattle, and he’s staying with Maeve. Others include Pham, the Georgia girls, Darla who uses Death magic, Nick Pavloski and Joshua Romero are Closers using Faith magic, Mike Barham who thinks Daniel was a good man is Life magic, and Paige Iwamoto is Blood magic.

The Hounds are…
…magic users who can scent magic. They’re employed by various people to track spells back to their source. They’re also loners who endure too much pain because of all the magic they use, a pain they treat with drugs, alcohol, or self-abuse. Davy Silvers is Allie’s secretary for the Pack. Blood magic happened to him in Magic in the Shadows, 3, and now he feels it when another Hound is hurting. Beatrice Lufkin and Jack Quinn are the only other active Hounds.

Tomi is the Hound Davy loves, who was broken in Magic in the Shadows and is now living with her grandmother in California.

Anthony Bell is a wanna-be Hound, a betrayer who got less than he deserved.

Portland PD
Detective Makani Love is partnered with Detective Lia Payne. Detective Stotts leads MERC. Julian, Roberts, and Garnet are part of Stotts’ crew.

Grant runs Get Mugged, Allie’s favorite coffeehouse. And her new landlord, for Allie has leased the old warehouse next door from him. She’s fixing it up as a crash pad for her fellow Hounds.

Greyson is a Closer and a murderer. Allie thinks he got payback on that from his partner-in-crime, Frank Gordon. That Gordon turned on him and forced him into his half-man, half-beast form, a Necromorph.

Leander and Isabelle are a folktale, a true one. They were Soul Complements who got too deep into each other. So deep they tore the world apart. For this, they were separated. Kathy is one of the waitresses at Maeve’s inn. Mama Rositto was the restaurant owner in Magic to the Bone, 1, whose son had almost died.

A wild magic storm is “violent and deadly, and will mess with the flow of magic that powers the city’s spells”. They’re part of why the Beckstrom Storm Rods are essential for every householder and building owner. Violet and Daniel invented magic disks that can hold magic and not require the user to endure the pain of using them. Oopsies. Dr. Frank Gordon was the guy who dug up Allie’s father and tried to kill Allie in Magic in the Blood.

Closers can take people’s (and Hounds’) memories away. Grounding is a very high level skill that requires the user act as a lightning rod for someone else. Disbursement is a spell magic users cast to choose how to pay for using their magic. Allie turns it into colds, flu, aches, and pains and more. A Proxy is the alternative to a Disbursement. A magic user sends the pain to them instead of having to endure it themselves. Soul Complements share magic, combining it to be even more powerful. The negatives, however, are also tremendous. If they go too far, they forget who they are as individuals and go insane. Death magic transfers life energy into magic.

The Cover and Title

The cover is dark, a storm of determined rain and crackles of lightning battering Allie and a tall building, its windows shining in the dark with glowing runes circling around the tattooed Allie in her cropped black tank top and jeans, creating an irregular halo of light. She’s in profile to us, looking over her right arm with a katana over her far shoulder, and it looks as if she’s getting ready to swing.

The title is more hopeful than reflective as it’s more “in the storm” than “on”. Then again the Magic on the Storm could be a reference to the battle that breaks out.