Review- Magic in the Shadows

Devon Monk
Urban Fantasy
350 pages
Allie Beckstrom Series #3
Roc/Penguin Usa

Allison Beckstrom's magic has taken its toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories-including those of the man she supposedly loves. But lost memories aren't the only things preying on Allie's thoughts.

Her late father, the prominent businessman-and sorcerer-Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities-and find a way to deal with her father...

Magic in the Shadows is the 3rd installment in the Allie Beckstrom series, and if after reading my first 2 reviews you didn't add this entire series to your TBR pile, maybe a straightforward review is not what you need to see?  Maybe you've been burned by series in the past; investing your time and emotions with a set of characters only to lose interest along the way. Maybe I need to disspell those fears right here and now; prove to you that Allie is one of those heroines you feel more bad-ass just by knowing/reading her, show you examples of her snarky-ness and generosity of spirit. And maybe I should prove that Devon Monk has what it takes to keep a series riveting.  Has the cojones to take a series exactly where it needs to go, even if that's down a dark and grey alley. {er, no pun intended}

Allie is tough,witty, compassionate, sharp...my adjective list could go on and on. She's so true to character readers can't help but feel every blow, wince at each crack in her shell. And her internal monologues are some of my favorite.  They're not filled with dribble and over-analyzing but with genuine humanity... and humor when you need to stay sane. 
We paused there, caught in the proverbial unspoken question of first dates: to kiss or not to kiss. 
"I have company," I said.
He nodded. "Would you like me to come by and take you to class tomorrow?"
"How very college of you Jones. Does this mean we're going steady?"
"Now who's old fashion? And yes. Say, around five?" 

That was all I had time to watch.  I hacked at the first thing with fangs that jumped at me like the mother of all rosebushes was out to kill me, and then fell into a steadier rhythm, my body catching on pretty quickly how to use this much metal.
Which was great, because I liked breathing.  It was one of my most favorite things to do. 

Me? I felt like an idiot. And a jerk. A jerkiot.
Monk's plots are so interesting you never really know what you're in store for.... I love that.  This time around the plot was a little twisted; I loved that too.  Allie's dead father's spirit has taken up shop in the back of her brain; influencing, demanding, and even helping a little, and after basically disowning him so early in life, you can imagine how disturbing it is that he's now smack dab in the middle of every thought and emotion, every struggle. Add to the fact that Allie's still weeding through her feelings for Zay in this book, can we just say "AWKWARD"  But, it all comes off really really intriguing and leaves you dying to know what's up next.  And the fight scenes in this book, are the best of the series in my opinion...seriously "magic" makes fighting way more interesting.

Another aspect of Monk's writing that has me ubber fan-girl, is the way she introduces new characters to the series.  Sure, every series has them but Monk's new additions lend real purpose, and attach like parts of the same crazy jigsaw puzzle; totally separate misshaped pieces that have a picture all its own, but when put together form something really amazing. Even the characters I growl at {and there's definitely a new growl-worthy character here} leave me wanting to know more, desperate to uncover what makes them, them. 

And, I know it's an odd thing to point out but I love how Monk ends a chapter.  More than any other author I can think of at the moment, her chapters feel like a true end-scene. Like each one is a mini act, complete with a start a conflict and a resolution of sorts.  For me anyway, it keeps a fantastic momentum.

Still not convinced?!  Well hell, here are some shiny in-your-face buttons, courtesy of Julie at Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks, to win you over.

4.5 stars


  1. I loved the jerkiot quote! it had me laughing, I HAVE to use that somehow! Great review, your analysis of the new characters is spot-on.

  2. Yes! I have the first one on my tbr and will read it! I swear! Those quotes make me want to read this even more!

  3. Pam: I'm totally using jerkiot at the mall later today :D

    Melissa: It really is a great series. I hope you do.

  4. You are so spot on with this review Jess! It's true and perfect! Great job!

  5. lol. Well, the series is on my WANT list... I just have to get there. :) So glad you are enjoying this series and just breezing through it too. :)

    Great review!

  6. Julie- I can't wait for the next book!!!

    Melissa- I think you'd REALLY like it.