Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review - Magic on the Storm (Allie Beckstrom, Book 4) by Devon Monk (4/5 stars)

Magic on the Storm: An Allie Beckstrom NovelReading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: May 4, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0451463272
Stand Alone or Series: 4th book in Allie Beckstrom series
Source: Bought

Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the fourth book in the Allie Beckstrom series by Devon Monk. The sixth book, Magic on the Hunt, is due out April 2011.  This was an excellent addition to the series and brings the reader deeper into issues with in the Authority, as well as delving deeper into what Allie's father's company was working on.

The book starts with Allie doing her martial arts training; not only is she getting magical training but defensive training as well.  This comes to a halt when evidence that a Wild Magic storm is going to hit the city comes to bear.  Now Allie and Zayvion must join forces with the rest if the Authority if they are going to save the city.  Additional story threads are woven throughout; Allie has to deal with Grayson (the evil guy in the last book), certain things about her father's company come to light, and Allie is still struggling with toting around part of her dad's soul in her head.

This book has a lot of different story threads going on that come together in the end.  Some of the threads left hanging in the last book are resolved while others continue on.  This book really dives into the Authority and starts dealing with some of the factions and rivalries within that organization.

We meet more of the members of the Authority in this book and get to know Shame even better (and he is a very interesting character).  Other interesting characters introduced are Terric (Shame's possibly Soul Compliment) and finally Jingo Jingo (who we hear so much about off and on).  Allie and Zayvion continue to have a heated relationship that is maturing into something stable and caring; they also struggle with the fact that they are Soul Compliments and as such struggle to keep their souls separate.

The plot moves at a good clip and is always engaging, the characters are interesting and the action scenes well-done.  This book ends with a total cliffhanger that will have readers dying to read the next book.

For some reason, so far, these books have never made it to the outstanding category for me.  I like the characters, but I don't find them absolutely enrapturing.  The storyline is good, but always feels like it could be a bit tighter and maybe not wander quite as much.  Allie is a good heroine, but sometimes I wish she had a bit more humor, spunk and personality.  That being said these have still been very solid urban fantasies, and each book is a little bit better than the last...this one is no exception to that.

Overall a very solid urban fantasy.  I enjoyed reading it.  The books are getting more interesting with each installment and I enjoy watching Allie build her power and knowledge.  I have also enjoyed the added complexity with the gates and the Authority.  Given the cliffhanger ending of this book I will definitely be reading the next book, Magic at the Gate.  Fans of urban fantasy with a strong female heroine in a magic heavy setting should like this story.  I would also recommend Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews, Jane Yellowrock by Faith Hunter, and Elemental Assassins by Jennifer Estep as alternate urban fantasies that are a bit better and more engaging.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

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