4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book of 2011 so far for me
I will start off by saying that I thought this book was amazing and it is the best book so far that I have read in 2011. I wish that I had reviewed the previous 6 books because a bit like Allie I can sometimes forget what happens in books and I use my reviews to refresh my memory like Allie uses her journal. In this installment we have a new leader of the Authority who...
Published on 12 Nov. 2011 by Claire's Book Corner
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as earlier books
**spoiler alert** This book was slow to take off and had a different feel to the rest of the series. There was also too much time with Allie alone, no Shame, no Zayvion, and, frankly, that's too much Allie. For a woman who relies on her wits and Hounding skills to make a living, she's astoundingly slow on the uptake much of the time and stunningly stupid on occasion...
Published on 4 Aug. 2012 by Nicola Taunt
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book of 2011 so far for me,
I will start off by saying that I thought this book was amazing and it is the best book so far that I have read in 2011. I wish that I had reviewed the previous 6 books because a bit like Allie I can sometimes forget what happens in books and I use my reviews to refresh my memory like Allie uses her journal. In this installment we have a new leader of the Authority who is drastically changing the way things are run. Magic has also been poisoned and it is infecting the masses and eventually killing them. Even though absolutely loads happens in this book I thought it was written at a slower pace than the others and I liked that as there is always so much to take in. I feel sorry for poor Allie she never gets a break she deserves a massive vacation. All the usual crew are there Zayvion, Terric, the Hounds and last but definitely not least my man Shamus (Oh Shame I love you), but the book tends to centre more on Allie. She seems to be on her own a bit more and it reminded me of the first book. I can tell that we are getting towards the end of the series as some major things happen that turn everything on its head and I had no idea why certain things were happening until the explosive ending. I'm sorry to be so vague on this but I can't talk about the events without giving away spoilers. Allie's father is still in her head and more secrets are promising to reveal themselves about Allie's past which I can't wait to find out. Daniel Beckstom you are so devious and nasty, I love that about you. I find Ms Monks voice wonderful, I could read her books all day long, I get totally lost in her stories. The characters and dialogue between them is so believable that I feel I am there. The world building she does is so creative, I love all the magic she comes up with. We are left with a huge cliffhanger in this book and I am now counting down the days until April 2012 for the next one. I would like to give this book 5 stars. Please please give this series a go if you have not read it before.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as earlier books,
**spoiler alert** This book was slow to take off and had a different feel to the rest of the series. There was also too much time with Allie alone, no Shame, no Zayvion, and, frankly, that's too much Allie. For a woman who relies on her wits and Hounding skills to make a living, she's astoundingly slow on the uptake much of the time and stunningly stupid on occasion.
This book deals with the aftermath of the showdown with Leander and Isabelle. It takes a while for the real story to begin as Monk deals with the repercussions of the last book. When the story does start and Allie begins seeing the Veiled possessing people, it takes her ages to put two and two together. Countless times, she sees something practically labelled 'Clue' and walks right on past, commenting that it's weird and then dismissing it completely. So much for being such a spectacular Hound.
Magic is making Allie ill. She throws up and passes out when she casts, but Monk never explains why. It doesn't affect anyone else like this, so why Allie? The whole story is a bit slapdash. Different elements pop up and don't get explained or tied to the story later on.
There are some new characters, mostly unpleasant, untrustworthy magic users, and the Hounds get more of a look in. There are also some interesting scenes with Cody, but the rest of the regulars are somewhat sidelined in this story.
Allie doesn't hear from Zayvion for ages and never appears to think to contact him and let him know about the things that are happening to her. When she does see him, she self-righteously bitches him out about the things he's had to do in his role as guardian of the gates, even though she can feel his emotions, none of which are good.
Allie and her brain-squatting dad seem to have called a truce and actually work together without either one of them fighting the other. This works well in the story and it's nice to see Daniel without the venom Allie usually spits at him. Perhaps she'll finally learn not to see everything as simply black or white all the time.
Onto book 8...
4.0 out of 5 stars Things are ramping up for Allie Beckstrom,
This review is from: Magic on the Line (Allie Beckstrom Novels) (Mass Market Paperback)
One has to wonder if Devon Monk is finally moving toward the resolution of her Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series. The creation of a new world with the "Age of Steam" series speaks to that, as does the fact that her latest Beckstrom novel, Magic on the Line, ends in the first cliffhanger I've seen in this series. Well, maybe not a cliffhanger per se, but it ends with the series going off in a radical new direction, sort of like part three of a four-part Dr. Who episode. It will be interesting to see what Monk does with it as it moves forward. This installment is excellent, though not quite as good as the previous two.
Things are getting hairy in Portland, Oregon. The Authority (the organization that regulates the use of magic in a city) is in disarray. Some members have gone over to the other side, others have been killed or wounded. The head office in the Northwest is not happy with the way this particular chapter has been run and has sent Bartholomew Wray down to put things right. His method of doing things rubs Allie, her lover, Zayvion Jones, and many other members the wrong way. It doesn't help that dark magic is spreading and leaking all over the city, dead magic users are rising from their graves, and Allie's powers are making her sick every time she uses them. Something's got to give; in this novel, something finally does.
Finally the series has a sense of movement. While each individual book has been great, building and growing the characters, the overarching plot seemed not to have an end in sight. Things changed without moving forward that much. In Magic on the Line, however, the tension is thick as the rival factions within the Authority butt heads. Wray is portrayed as a weasel from his first scene, where he and his Blood Mage are interrogate Allie and the other magic-users who were involved in the prison fight at the end of the last book.
Wray lacks any sense of nuance. In this series, where even the bad guys are three-dimensional and have their own agendas, I can forgive Monk this one conceit. There's still some mystery with Wray, though. Is he merely a ruthless, arrogant bureaucrat who has his own view of how things should run and stomps anybody who gets in his way? Or does he have his own thing going on as well?
Characterization and plot get the reader through Magic on the Line, because there isn't a heck of a lot of action in it (unlike previous books). Instead, we get internecine politics within the Authority, how it affects our heroes and their relationships with each other, and what is going on with Allie's magic. Every time she tries to cast the simplest spell, she becomes sick and nearly incapacitated. The ongoing mystery of that coincides pretty well with the politics, especially when it becomes known that dark magic is leaking out of the magic wells around Portland and Wray refuses to do anything about them. Is this why Allie's getting sick?
While Monk's characterization skills are top-notch as always, I question one aspect of her plotting that brings Magic on the Line down a peg. Very early in the book, Allie's bag is stolen. She recovers it and doesn't think much of it. The way Monk writes it, and the events that occur subsequent to her retrieving her bag, make what's going on completely obvious even if you don't know exactly why. I spent 300 pages knowing approximately what was going on and feeling like Allie should have figured it out about 150 pages ago. Monk doesn't usually employ plot points this obvious, and this one disappoints.
But when one bad plot point is really the only negative thing you can say about a book, you know you're in for a good read. Monk masterfully writes the various personal relationships in the novel. Allie and Zayvion make a great team, both as Authority members and as lovers. Their relationship shines off the page. The sexual tension between Shame and Terric is palpable, heightened by their magical bond (Shame isn't gay and Terric is, which really makes their closeness uncomfortable for Shame). The many other characters are all fully fleshed and interesting to read about.
We've been with these characters through seven books now, and with each book we grow to love them more. Magic on the Line is another great novel in the series.
Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book © Dave Roy, 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic on the Line,
Another great addition to the Beckstrom series - not that I find that surprising. What was surprising was where Devon Monk takes us with this story. The twists and turns make this a must read novel and I cam hardly wait for the next one.
4.0 out of 5 stars Magic on the line,
Enjoyable read, enjoyable enough to purchase the whole series and hope that Allie Beckstrom returns in the future, without her Dad!
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this series,
Really enjoyed these books (a good chick read!) Allie and zey are great characters. Lots of action some humour and magic
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Magic on the Line (Allie Beckstrom Novels) by Devon Monk (Mass Market Paperback - 19 Jan. 2012)