Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Debut Showcase: Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Magic to the Bone (Amazon: US, Canada, UK)
By Devon Monk (Website, Blog)
Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Roc (Penguin)
Publisher's Feature

From the Author's Website:

Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user--maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying, and they offload the cost onto an innocent. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster--and Allison Beckstrom's the best there is.

Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune--and the many strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magical offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into the high-stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic.

Now, Allie's out for the truth--and the forces she finds herself calling on will overturn everything she knows, change her in ways she could never imagine...and make her capable of things that powerful people will do anything to control.

Mulluane's Take:
I searched everywhere for an excerpt for this one to no avail. Blurb sounds interesting but does not give much info. I do know that this is an Urban Fantasy set in Portland, Oregon and while modern settings are not my "thing" the premise sounds solid. I do like magic that is balanced with costs and consequences. There are several reviews on this book you might like to check out for a more informative opinion. The Book Smugglers has one, Darque Reviews has another.

Tia's Take:
I really like the premise for this one. Protecting an innocent child is a strong hook for me. It might even be interesting enough for me to ignore the cover, which I'm not wild about. An incongruity that made me smile: the author's website has a section on knitting! One has a hard time juxtapositioning a tattoo cover with an author who make cute knitted creatures, caps and gloves. I know, I know. Don't assume things. Still, such an incongruity makes me more likely to remember the book . . . and perhaps, to pick it up.

It has a starred Publishers Weekly review! I don't see many of those for debut novels.


Anonymous said...

Protecting the innocent is a strong hook for me as well. For some reason I don't find the description of the heroine intriguing, though. I guess I'd like to know what sets her apart from similar heroines in other urban fantasy novels.

ediFanoB said...

My wife doesn't read blogs on a regularly base. But I do. So I'm happy to read entries like this because this is one more book my wife would like. So I will send her a link to your blog entry.

Tia Nevitt said...

Raven, what set is apart for me is the fact that there are no vampires. Or do I have a skewed view of vampires in urban fantasy?

Thanks, edi!

Lisa said...

Are you suggesting that a woman with tattoos wouldn't knit?
I have a kitty tattoo on my leg - it is of my cats Precious and Leibchen, both gone now.

I don't knit but I like embroidary.

Hey, ediFanoB - are you the same person that mentioned on another blog that you loved "Shadows of the Wind"? I went searching for your blog but couldn't find it.

Maria said...

We just had yet another discussion over at BSC (under fantasy cover) on the stupid tattoo thing going on with covers--the resounding input is that everyone hates them (if anyone doesn't they aren't speaking up on that forum anyway!)

The premise does sound Really interesting, but I'm not sure I'm willing to buy yet another tattooed cover...they bug me.

Maria said...

I read a lot of UF that doesn't involve vampires...have you read Dog Days by Levitt? Great series. Or Anton Stout's series (I don't recall any vampires...) I also like Illona Andrews...and The Wind Warden Series by Rachel Caine--no vampires there (her YA does have vampires in it).

Fun stuff!!

Tia Nevitt said...

Lisa, that's why I added that line about "making assumptions." :) What a sweet way to immortalize your cats.

Maria, yes; I apparently do have a skewed view of urban fantasy and vampires!

Maria said...

Oh--and just to be clear, a tattoo here or there isn't the issue with the covers--it's more about the plethora of late on bookcovers of half clad heroines with body tattoos that are generally not even mentioned or a part of the book. :>)

Lisa said...

A tattoo clad character doesn't speak to the story line, but is to the fun loving interesting dynamic wonderful character - hee hee says someone with a tattoo.

That said, I'm not all that fond of tattoos that cover the entire body but not having an aversion to them, they wouldn't dissuade me from the cover.

Tia Nevitt said...

Adrian Phoenix's A Rush of Wings had a tattoo cover that I didn't think was too bad. But the huge tattoo is just icky.

Still, no cover would dissuade me if the hook was strong enough.

Thea said...

Wow, I didn't know that Magic to the Bone had a starred PW review! I really did enjoy it, if only for the world building.

On tattoos on covers--in this cover, it's completely misleading (annoyingly so! her "tattoos" have significance). But I'm with the consensus that vampires, scantily clad skinny chicks in stilettos with huge chinsy tattoos and leather are kinda blah.

That said...I love ink, and if there was a cover with cool tattoos (not stenciled looking tribal stuff), I'd be into it :p

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the tattoos and the whole story around them =)

I crochet and I have a tattoo on my hip bone of a bird, and probably getting another one of a tree on my back. I like nature =) haha

I loved this book. Very original and I love a book with a tough chick heroine and a great love story =)