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Review: Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk

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Magic in the Blood (Allie Beckstrom #2)
by Devon Monk

Urban Fantasy, Magic
Mass Market Paperback (ROC, 368 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 045146267X
Working as a Hound—tracing illegal spells back to their casters—has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.
Author Site:

Bloody Good Times In Portland (5 stars)

Allie Beckstrom, bad-ass Hound in Portland, Oregon, is back! She might not remember her last adventure but she's definitely living with the consequences. Something in her remembers Zayvion Jones but can she trust the thought that they were more than just friends? He's a hard man to read but Allie might have to trust him and his advice about some powerful people who police the use of magic. People her father was involved with.

But there isn't time to dwell on her missing memories because the police's magic enforcement division needs her expertise on a mysterious kidnapping case. As the case leads her into the dangerous realm of blood magic, Allie may have to question the motivations of one of the only Hounds she might call a friend.

I know, I know! My synopsis is a little lacking. I really didn't want to give too much away. This second installment in the exciting new Allie Beckstrom series is just as carefully woven as the first. You'll just really have to read the plot description provided on the back of the book (or if you're shopping online in the product info) and maybe look at some other reviews who have shared other points. I was scared I might spoil something if I said anymore.

So how was the book? A bit slower paced and not as action driven as Magic to the Bone. Because Allie is just getting back on her feet after the body breaking and memory wiping adventure of the first book it's understandable she might just be trying to get her life back in order. With her father dead she has a lot to deal with on that front. The wife he left behind, legal matters and maybe even his ghost! The ghost angle is definitely what drives this story this time around and adds a really interesting element to the magic system Monk has built for this series.

Throughout Magic in the Blood, Monk introduces us to more of the magic using community. From the corruption of blood magic users to a group of Hounds working together to protect their own, the lines between good guys and bad continues to be blurred, twisted and remolded. I especially wanted to read more about the other Hounds and how they dealt with the negative side affects of being magic users. Alcoholics, pill poppers, coke heads and cutters being presented in this different world and situation may bother some readers who might take it as glamorizing addiction but I felt it made a really good point about paying the price and suffering the consequences for having magical power.

Frustrating but adding to the romantic tension of the relationship is the interaction between Zayvion and Allie now that she can't remember them being together. This relationship has thus far been a mysterious one and fans of interracial romance who also like urban fantasy should really be reading this series! I have to say that thus far Zay has become a personal favorite 'hero'.

All in all Magic in the Blood was a great, if a little slower paced, follow-up to Magic to the Bone. I think if you enjoyed the first you'll really like the second... especially the 'oh-no-she-didn't' cliff-hanger ending Monk left us with. It's gonna be a tough wait for the third installment!

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