Book Review: Devon Monk’s Magic in the Blood

Posted March 31, 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 in the Blood

Magic in the Blood


Devon Monk

It is part of the Allie Beckstrom, series and is a urban fantasy in eBook edition that was published by ROC on May 5, 2009 and has 368 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 Shadows, Magic on the Storm, 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

Second in the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series about a Hound whose estranged father has just died.

My Take

The marks that magic has burned into her skin, the constant questions and quizzical looks, the doubts — so many doubts from so many directions — have Allie in a spin. Perhaps that explains why Allison does so many stupid things. Rather, Monk writes too many stupid things for Allie to do.

More of the stupid… It makes sense to me why Allie doesn’t want to tell the police what Lon did, but why doesn’t she have Zayvion help her? If she can Hound her own blood, why doesn’t she take the police along and trace it?

Yeah, it’s a practical thought, to use that Binding to take Trager down. So go into the police station now. Let them record what he’s done. Don’t wait around. Zay has told her what that spell can do. But, nooooo, it’s so much more fun to wait and wait and wait until it can create a heartstopping conflict. With part of me hoping she gets killed. I do hate a stupid woman, and I so do not care that she’s scarring up that leg. And does it do her any good in the long run?

She’s already had one run-in with the watercolor people, they’re coming after her again and Zay is telling her to get in the car. Does she listen? Why, no. Why ever would she want to do that? He’s obviously got bigger, better magic that he knows how to use, but oh no, he must need help.

She’s been doing magic for how long? And she still forgets to set Disbursements?

Why didn’t she stop and call the cops about her blood at the end? She knows she can’t fight as well as her father, and she fears his taking her over, but no, Monk has to stretch it out before Allie comes to her senses. Mind you, I too would hate someone taking me over, but someone has to be smart about fighting. Even someone like her father who really is too much like one of the bad guys.

I do like Pike’s approach: you don’t like it, don’t show up next week. I like Allie’s reaction to Trager’s threat too. Hook up with the man he’s threatening! It’s after this chat, that I think Pike knows how his retirement is going to go and when it’s going to end. Allie sure can be dimwitted.

The Story

It’s an angry Allie who thinks she’s seen her dad’s ghost. Angry and lost as she tries to remember what she’s forgotten. The list of unknown actions she’s taken that Nola has reminded her of. Actions that the Allie she knows would never do.

Seems there may be another action Allie commits that she would never do when Lon Trager implants that link.

Meanwhile Detective Stotts has a job for her: tracking down kidnapped girls.

The Characters

Allie Beckstrom is a Hound whose magic is a double whammy. There’s pain for using it and memory loss as well. Since Magic to the Bone, 1, she’s been struggling not to use the magic. Nola Robbins is her best friend and lives 300 miles away on a nonmagical alfalfa farm.

Zayvion Jones is a man Allie knows she should remember. Violet tells her that Zay is part of the Watch, a branch of the Authority, a private organization of people who do what they can behind the scenes to keep magic and the people who use it, safe. Some members of the Authority include a few of the Beckstrom Enterprises board and Maeve Flynn while memories of Victor, Liddy, and Jingo float up at Daniel’s second funeral.

The Hounds are…
…usually whacked out on drugs, alcohol, or self-abuse to try to keep the pain down from having to use magic to do their work. Martin Pike is a Hound who does a lot of work for the police and a legend. He’s put a support group for the Hounds together, the Pack, so that each knows where each other has been and for whom they’re putting their lives on the line. His granddaughter is dead, suicide. Anthony Bell is an apprentice, a favor to a friend and Ant’s mother. Sid Westerling, Dahlia Bates, Davy Silvers, Theresa Garcia, Tomi Nowlan, Beatrice Lufkin, Jack Quinn, and Hanar Kegare are more of the Hounds.

There are also the Hounds who have died working for the cursed Stotts including Piller, Rosalee, and Herlief.

Portland PD
Detectives Makani Love (he calls Allie “Tita”, tough girl) and Lia Payne cross-trained to handle magical crime enforcement. Officer Decker is not a friend of Allie’s. Detective Paul Stotts is the man on the bus with a bit of magic in him; he’s also the head of Magical Enforcement Response Corps (MERC). Officers Garnet, Julian, and Richards are part of his team. Lori is an EMT. Marvin is the medic with magic.

Grant Rhines is the owner of Get Mugged, Allie’s favorite coffee shop. Jula is one of his employees.

Violet was Daniel Beckstrom’s latest and sixth wife. Seems she’s pregnant and Daniel never knew. Kevin Cooper is Violet’s bodyguard. Seems he’s in love with her. Ethan Katz is Daniel’s accountant. Mr. Overton is her father’s lawyer.

Dr. Frank Gordon is Allie’s new neighbor. Lon Trager is the kingpin of drugs and blood magic.

Blood magic is illegal. The Veiled are parts of dead magic users who don’t know they’re dead.

The Cover and Title

I do feel for Allie in this cover. She must be freezing in those hiphugger jeans and the cropped black tank top the cover artist has put her in. Considering how often Allie wants to cover up her tattoos, maybe this isn’t even Allie. If it is, I’d guess that gleaming athame she’s clutching is the one she jabs into her thigh. Then there’s the background, a swirling collage of stylized blood inside a series of bubbles with a fountain and building behind it all against a deep gray blue that becomes a deep black at the top.

The title could be referring to Allie’s abilities, who her father is, or the Magic in the Blood that Frank wants to use.