Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: Magic to the Bone

Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Book 1)Product Description
Devon monk is casting a spell on the fantasy world...
Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control...

I wanted to love this book, it sounded very promising.  I enjoy books where the characters have to train to use their abilities, they don’t just automatically arrive and the main character knows immediately exactly how to use the ability, I enjoy stories where there is a cost to using the ability, even if it’s only fatigue.  We have that here in spades.   Not only does Allie get fatigued, she pays a physical price for the magic she uses: headache, flu, nausea, bruising and sometimes she pays a double price: memory loss, sometimes large chunks.
The book was well-written, the theme is a nice mystery, it’s tense in the appropriate spots, I just wasn’t that interested in what happened to Allie and friends.  I’ve heard the next few books in the series are much much better now that the author has laid the groundwork in this book.  That’s the main reason I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.  It’s the first book in the series and often there’s a lot of world-building stuff that the author needs to do.  I will probably read more books in the Allie Beckstrom series but there are so many more books that are calling to me: “read me, read me!” that it will probably be a while before I actually get around to it.  Overall, I do recommend the book.  It probably won’t rock your world or anything but it’s a great alternative to sitting and staring at a wall! 
Sensuality: a few sex scenes
Rating: 3 stars

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