Review- Magic to the Bone

Devon Monk
Urban Fantasy
355 pages
Allie Beckstrom Series #1
Roc/Penguin Usa

Goodreads Synopsis:
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...

My Review:
I'm always excited when I'm introduced to a completely new world with a different set of rules.  Devon Monk's series opener, Magic to the Bone, is just that; a friendly handshake, a polite nod, or tip of your hat. Eh, no it's not, it's an explosion of events, a thrill ride, a shot of adrenaline to this reader's heart.

Allie Beckstrom is engaging. The compassion I ended up feeling really attached me to her character.  She's been taking care of herself since she decided as a teenager that the easy road {her father's world of money and power} was not for her.  She's tough for that, but her generosity of spirit sets her apart from other heroines merely looking to survive for themselves.  Allie doesn't become frustrated by the numerous crappy hands that fate has dealt her. She proves over and over again that she's a survivor,  and if that's not a quality to emulate then I don't know what is.
"Don't give me shit for the price I've had to pay to live my life.  I didn't get a choice about losing my mind. Magic is a heartless bitch, and she's had me by the throat for years."

Zayvion Jones is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; and all that adage. From the moment he's introduced you're constantly saying "who are you"? Besides being a perfect counterpoint for our heroine he is mystifying and entertaining to try and figure out. His character really stands in Allie's shadows, and for a powerful male {and you know he's powerful, even if you don't know what the hell he is or really anything about him}, it comes off rather endearing. 

There are so many pieces of this book I enjoyed I could be here forever discussing each of them. I'm always a fan of stories centered around magic, but Monk's fresh ideas, and inventive version of reality made Magic to the Bone completely unique. Monk's writting style was easy to slip into and the pace she sets with the story is thrilling.  Be warned: once you start you'll find it near impossible to stop.  

Bottom Line: A flawed, struggling, kick-ass heroine attached to a cunning plot...I've got a new series to be hooked on.

4.5 stars


  1. Love your review!! I started this series because of you and Julie and have not been able to put them down. I love DM's magic world building, and the creativity that goes in to it. With the way this book ended I had to move on to book 2 and have been reading them every free second I have had. So, thank you for introducing me to this series!! :D I can't wait to see what you think when you get to the next ones, squeeee!!!!

  2. I'm counting down the books until I have the chance to read book 2. EVERYONE who likes Urban Fantasy should read this series. Getting people to know about it is one of my new missions in life! Nice Review Jess! I'm so glad you and Pam are into this series too...and a bit jealous that Pam is already at book 3!

  3. Pam & Julie: I'm so glad we're kind of reading these at the same time...I feel like I'm going to need people to say WTF?! with
    Pam....I'm so jealous about your progress in the series. I can't wait to get where you are.
    Julie: I completely agree, every UF fan HAS to read this series :D