Book Review: Devon Monk’s Magic on the Hunt

Posted April 28, 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 Hunt

Magic on the Hunt


Devon Monk

It is part of the Allie Beckstrom #6 series and is a urban fantasy in eBook edition that was published by ROC on February 23, 2011 and has 360 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 on the Storm, Magic at the Gate, Magic on the Line, Magic Without Mercy, Stone Cold, Magic for a Price, Cold Copper, House Immortal, Infinity Bell

Sixth in the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series set in Portland and revolving around Allie, a self-important Hound.

My Take

Monk uses a first person point-of-view so we get full exposure to Allie’s self-importance. And yeah, she’s tough. She doesn’t need to Proxy her pain, although we have to suffer listening to all the pain she has to endure. Trope, trope, trope, trope…trope, trope…

Allie’s heart is in the right place even if her brain doesn’t engage as often as you would expect from her character. She has a bad habit of leaping into anything whether she knows what she’s doing or not and isn’t concerned with how her actions will hinder or hurt her friends. Well, she’s always concerned afterwards when they are hurt and she realizes it’s her fault. Somehow, the girl never learns.

She’s a pain as well about the cavalier approach the Authority has about Closing. Yeah, it’s wrong that the Authority seems to Close people as casually as if they were eating potato chips, but Allie endangers her friends too often as she argues about it. And she also goes on at Zayvion about his Closing people. She never stops to consider underlying issues, whether it’s about Closing, diplomacy, tact, the concept of making a move that puts you in a more powerful position, controlling the damage, gaining background knowledge that might explain it, nothin’.

Monk states that Shame and Terric have a connection ever since Terric used a combination of magics to save Shame’s life in Magic on the Storm, 4. Although I seem to recall that they’ve been sharing a connection since the start of the series due to the high probability that they’re Soul Complements. Of course, I could be projecting my irritation with Monk about that detail.

I know, I know. If I’m so irritated with Monk and Allie, why am I reading this? It’s that series-long question about what Daniel’s plans are. I wanna know if he’s as black as he paints himself or if there actually is a glimmer of good guy buried under all his posturing. I also like the warmth and hominess of most of the characters and their interactions. That and I do like the series premise; I do not like Allie.

Jesus, Dane says he and Allie’s father have the same approach to a problem: “Use, discard, destroy”. Yep. That sounds like Allie’s dad all right.

I do want to believe Daniel and his loftier stated goal, but he’s such a scum sucking liar that he makes it impossible. And then he wonders why his daughter fights him on everything.

I do have to agree with Allie about the Hounds, and I’m curious to know why no one ever addresses the reasons why the Authority no longer has Hounds in its roster. I haven’t much respect for the Authority. They’re so interested in their own small areas and following the rules that they can’t think outside the box. How is it that they’ve never seen the children’s ghosts that are always around Jingo Jingo?

Oh, NO! Nola tells Allie she’s selling the farm, and Allie gets all upset about it. It’s been a refuge for her. Whatever will she do without Nola having that farm for her to retreat to? So, she’s got all this money she inherited from her dad. Buy that damn farm!

Another thing that bugs me is how much the Authority sits on its hands. They have resources they refuse to use. Anything they learn, anything that needs to be done, Allie and crew are told to stand down. Let the adults handle it. Which they don’t. Allie and her friends get into a bad situation, one they were specifically told not to do. But they gain life-changing knowledge. Without their actions no one would know what had happened until it was way too late. So what does the Authority focus on? That they went against orders. Oy.

Another thing. After we learn that the Portland Authority is just one fish in a big pond, I start wondering why the other cities/regions aren’t pitching in to help. Sure, I know that Monk has already told us that the cities are independent, but magic isn’t going to limit itself to that one city. It’ll affect all the others too. And what’s happening in Portland is not exactly a minor upset.

Oopsies, Nola finds out how much Allie has been holding back from her.

The Story

It’s a short rest for Allie and Zayvion, now that the more experienced members of the Authority have locked the solid Veiled away in the secret prison.

Now if only people didn’t keep escaping…

The Characters

The claustrophobic Allie Beckstrom is her father’s heir and has the ability to work all the branches of magic. If only she knew how. Unlucky for her, her father took possession of her mind and occasionally wrests control of her body from her. Daniel is her dead (and disgusting) father who doesn’t care who he steps on to gain immortality and power. He does seem to love Violet Beckstrom, though. That’s his pregnant widow with whom Kevin Cooper, her bodyguard and Authority member, is in love. Stone is a gargoyle, an Animate, that Allie brought to life. Now he stacks anything in her apartment and keeps an eye on her.

Nola Robbins is Allie’s non-magic using best friend. Cody Miller is half the person he used to be, part of the “punishment” for being a crooked Hand in Magic to the Bone, 1, and Nola is fostering him. His other half, his spirit half, is with Mama Rositto in Saint Johns. Nola is also dating Stotts.

Zayvion Jones is her Soul Complement and the guardian of the gate with the same ability to wield magics.

The Authority is…

…a secret organization that polices all magic users. Too bad they don’t have anyone to police the ruling Voices, the Watch, or the Ward! Every region in the country, the world, has two overseers, a Watch, and a Ward. Bartholomew Wray is the Northwest Watch and his boss is Sam Arch, the Ward. They have the power to Close everyone in Portland.

The Portland Authority is…
…in turmoil with all the events so far. Rebellion amongst its members, betrayal. Possession. Victor Forsythe is the Voice for Faith and a Closer, Maeve Flynn is the Voice for Blood and the Blood well of magic is located under her inn, Dr. Fisher is the Authority medic, and Shamus Flynn is Maeve’s son and a user of Death magic. Daniel is impressed with his abilities. Sedra Miller is the kidnapped Head of the Authority. Melba Maide is the Beckstrom Enterprise lawyer and a member of the Authority along with Sunny and Carl and La, the twins.

The Seattle Authority is…
…sitting by, waiting to see what happens, although some of their members have come to help in Portland. Hayden is probably going to be Shamus’ stepdad; Daniel had killed Maeve’s husband, Hugh. Terric is Shame’s Soul Complement although they haven’t been tested. Worse, Shame wants nothing to do with Terric. Carl and Nik. The three Georgia sisters came down to help, and we finally learn the name of two of them, Savannah and Atlanta. It’s only been five books. Flo Hill is an amazing teacher.

The other prisoners who escaped include Henry Aslund and Jakob Single. There’s a third person, but their records were wiped, but Joshua thinks it may be Roman Grimshaw, the last guardian of the gate.

The Hounds are…
…magic users who scent magic and can track it back to the person who cast the spell. They’re in demand by the police, morgues, corporations, and more. Only they don’t Proxy their magic and the pain involved finds many of them resorting to extremes to deal with it. The Hounds Davy Silvers trusts include Sid, Jamar Legare, Bea, Jack Quinn, Theresa Garcia, and Dahlia, well, besides Allie. Bonnie is another Hound.

The Portland PD and MERC is…
…the Magical Enforcement Response Corps which is responsible for crimes involving magic. Detective Paul Stotts heads this division up. Garnet, Julian, and Roberts are his team. Officer Makanie Love is one of the cops who has worked with Allie in the past.

Betrayers in Magic on the Storm.
Dane Lanister had been Sedra’s bodyguard who disappeared after Magic on the Storm. Jingo Jingo was Shame’s boss and is a Death magic user. Seems he was also watching over the Death well since he was the cemetery’s groundskeeper.

The now-dead Mikhail, the previous leader of the Authority, was married to Sedra.

Leander followed Allie through the gate from death and has been wreaking havoc on the Authority and the world. He and his Soul Complement had been a distant myth come true.

Grant owns Allie’s favorite coffeeshop, Get Mugged, and he’s her landlord for the warehouse next door. Jula and Ryan are two of his employees. We met Mama Rositto in Magic to the Bone, 1. She is James Hoskil‘s mother; her husband, Perry Hoskil, had been Daniel’s business partner before Daniel forced him out of the business.

The Veiled are…
…fragments of magic users that are still hanging around and are attracted to magic, to eat it. The solid Veiled shouldn’t exist, and they’re near impossible to kill. All thanks to Daniel and Violet’s magic disks.

Closers are the assassins. They also Close people’s minds, able to select memories, remove the ability to do magic, kill, and open gates. To Proxy a spell is to cause someone else to endure the pain of the magic you are using. A Disbursement is a spell the user casts choosing what kind of pain to suffer for using magic.

The Cover and Title

The cover is golden browns with a classical-looking observatory in the background, mountains sloping upwards on either side, a glowing circle of runes in the sky, and a jean-clad Allie in a black cropped tank top (just what the Allie who wears lots and lots of layers would not be wearing), a katana balanced over her left shoulder as she looks back over her shoulder at us.

The title is the main activity as Allie, Zay, and Shame go for a Magic on the Hunt for n’er-do-wells.