Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Magic On The Line by Devon Monk - review

Magic On The Line

UF - released 11/29/11



cover-I have a mixed feelings about the covers in this series. Mostly I love the covers. I love the markings on the model, and her kick-ass yet at times vulnerable look. What I don't like, is that most of the time she is depicted as so skinny, with no muscle tone that it's hard to believe that this is the character who is such a walker - Allie Beckstrom is a rich girl who has rebelled against her background to such a degree that she lives off what she earns on her own - to the point where she's had to walk almost everywhere in Portland, Oregon; from the walking and the recent fighting/training her muscles - especially on her thighs - should be a bit more developed. I'm picturing the legs/body of a dancer. Have you watched dancers legs and bodies? Not ballet dancers, but the dancers such as the ones that you can see on Dancing With the Stars? Those women cannot afford to be stick thin, they have muscles and real bodies. They are sexy with their muscles and toned bodies without being stick skinny and having their bones poke out on their chests....Now this cover isn't quite as skinny as a few others, but her thighs are way to small for a real walker. I would also love to see a more accurate depiction of her magic marks, which are supposed to travel all the way from the side of her face down to her shoulders/chest to her side and her arms. And on the other side, she's supposed to be sporting some thick bands of color - like stripes - on her fingers, her wrists, elbow area and a bit higher up. Don't get me wrong, I think the artist does do a great job (except for the excessive skinnyness) but I would love to see a complete picture of ALL of Allie's magic "tattoos" or markings. I think it would be cool to see, and when I'm reading the series, I'm always trying to picture them in my mind (expecially since Ms Monk describes them or mentions them at least twice in each book.) I admit though, that these covers do a better job than many other urban fantasy books of representing the character and the setting.

Now - the book. Devon Monk is one of those writers that I can say (every time) that I love her work. Love them. There are a lot of writers that are on my autobuy list (it's a list that resides in my head - Hope I don't forget anyone) that is full of what I consider to be quality writers, but even though they're all on my autobuy list, not all are writers that I can say I absolutely LOVE their work. Monk is one of them. There are others, but if I start mentioning them, I'm going to get all OCD and want to make a list, and then I'll want to make a separate list of young adult writers (it would be a short list, haha) and THEN I'd want to alphabetize them, sort them, etc...and it would end up to be a completely different post.

O.K., Now, for reals - now Magic On The Line. Anyway, after the events of the past few books, there is a new head of Authority in Portland and he's making some hard decisions. Zay is having to do things he hates to friends he loves, and Allie isn't too happy. Weird things are happening to the houds and magic users...then on top of everything else, Allie finds herself once again in hiding - from the Authority AND the law this time. Not only that, but suddenly she's having a hard time accessing magic - something that has always been so easy for her, so natural. Things are going to hell in a handbasket, for sure.

I think that this is the next to final book in the series - if not then it's very close to the final book. Things are definitely coming to a head - story arc-wise. A few more hints about Allie's magical history are given...has she really been closed? if so how many times? Is her dad really an evil guy (as evil as Allie believes?), or is he a guy who's simply ready to do what ever he has to, to make a dollar and make magic accessible. There's more to Allie and her father's past than she's been told...can't wait to find out what's going on - or what went on. And as usual Devon Monk has managed to write a novel full of hard decisions, horrific happenings, heartache/break and STILL managed to fit in some snarky dialog, and excellent words between the characters. You would think that this should be easy - but it's not everyone (speaking of authors) who can have their characters speak naturally, the way the real people in everyday lives speak. Many times, the speech patterns don't really match the characters or the times that the book is set in. I've enjoyed the dialog as well as the plots and narration of Devon Monk's novels - and Magic On The Line is no exception to this.

It's hard to write much about a book, especially one this far along in a series without spoilers, so I'm trying to keep this to generalities. In general, we see a lot of return characters - with a focus on Allie (of course, main character and pov) Zayvion Jones, Shamus and Terric. Stone, the Gargoyle appears. Victor, Maeve, Davy and a few others play important roles, but aren't seen much. New characters are introduced - Bartholomew and a Doctor Collins (a very strange man) and a few others are returning characters who have played small parts before.

All in all, a very interesting installment with the usual wonderful, magical touch of Devon Monk's way with words put together in a book that I enjoyed very much. If you've been thinking about getting into this series, DO IT, YOU WON'T REGRET IT. If you're waiting to get this book, and are a follower - get it as soon as you can, you'll want to read this one.

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