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Download Magic in the Shadows (An Allie Beckstrom Novel) epub

by Devon Monk

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.
Download Magic in the Shadows (An Allie Beckstrom Novel) epub
ISBN: 071819327X
ISBN13: 978-0718193270
Category: No category
Author: Devon Monk
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; paperback / softback edition (May 10, 2012)
ePUB size: 1346 kb
FB2 size: 1447 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 513
Other Formats: azw doc docx mobi

I really liked the first book in the series and loved the second book; but I adore Magic in the Shadows.

Allie goes on a date, interrupts a kill site, almost gets killed, gets in a fight with her date, overloads on magic at the restaurant, trips and accidentally frees a gargoyle, and gets a good night kiss at the door. This girl knows how to be an interesting date! And that's just the start.

At a breakneck pace, situation after situation unfolds itself. Allie has assumed authority over the hounds. Peripheral characters shine and we are introduced to three of the most fascinating and lovable sidekicks ever: Shamus, Stone, and Grant, all of whom excel at staying under the radar. Ms. Monk expands on each character in depth. Allie's formal magic training continues; but it is interrupted when a challenge is issued forcing her to prematurely undergo the formal test for acceptance into the Authority. She is brought up against the most powerful magic wielder in the Authority because they fear that she will defeat all the others. Allie hasn't a clue about her power because she is in too much awe of the other members. If she fails this test, they will take away her magic and her memories will be wiped clean. Worse, they could execute her to eliminate her as threat. She is fighting the fight of her life against a shocking opponent.

Her father is now as active as he pleases in the back of Allie's mind, sometimes taking control of her thoughts and her body. Occasionally, Allie must listen to how to cast a spell or what step needs to be taken next and it galls her no end. She really wants to get dear old Dad out of her head and in the grave where he's already been buried twice. Through her interactions with her daddy dearest and his late wife Violet, we begin to ever so slightly question Allie's impression of her father. We have a fairly good understanding why he shielded her from the Authority and left her untrained in magic. Violet's perceptions of the man she married are contradictory to Allie's experience, too, and Violet paints an entirely different picture of an honorable and loving man. In spite of her father's presence in her head and his desire to "rule the world" with Allie at his side, everything he does is in Allie's best interests. He takes over her body and mind when her rebelliousness drives her into almost being killed. This is worth reading about just for the times when Violet is in the room and Allie's father starts talking love words to her out of, or wants to kiss her with, Allie's mouth.

In the meantime, Allie is being hunted by a necromorph, part human and part something else. The human part is one of her father's murderers. The monster is after her father's soul and knows that Allie is housing it in her brain. It will do whatever it takes to suck her father from Allie into its body if it means killing Allie. Turns out that the half human is a former member of the Authority and boyfriend of Zayvion's ex-girlfriend, also a powerful magic user of the Authority. The necromorph has blood bound a hound to him to perform deadly blood magic.

We begin to suspect that Allie has been closed on one or more occasions, which could account for her memory losses.

A breach among the Authority members has occurred and they are uneasy with each other. Wild magic is on the wind. It all plays together for a breathtaking ride that I couldn't put down.
I've read both the previous books, and really love the way the author describes magic. It's utterly fascinating worldbuilding, and Devon Monk deserves every kudo for it. But this book only gets two stars from me, because it was terribly thin on plot, being mostly Allie's squicky internal struggles with the dead father who has possessed her. As in the previous two books, I can guess the whole "mystery" by the end of the first few chapters. And, most of all for me, because of the failure of the author to make a sympathetic, compelling main character.

Unfortunately, Allie Beckstrom is really starting to ruin this series for me. I don't believe I'll be continuing the series after this offering, because Allie just seems to get more annoying with every book. And since the books are written in the first-person POV, it's just impossible to get away from the increasing stupidity of this girl. There's no escape. We're stuck in her head along with her ol' dead daddy, and it is a frustrating, exasperating, and silly place to be. I like an urban fantasy heroine to have a little intelligence to go along with her (inevitably) hot body. She doesn't have to be some kind of uber-tough psychopath anti-hero, like Anita Blake has become, but an out-an-out ditz? It wouldn't annoy me so much if Allie was presented as being IQ-challenged by the author, maybe a little retarded, but the implication is that she's hot stuff on all levels, and she just doesn't demonstrate much intelligence in her actions. Also, her internal dialogue is just TOO cutesy-snarky. I know the author is trying to be funny, but it just makes Allie sound even sillier to me. Frankly, I have no idea what a hot, smart magic-user like Zayvion Jones sees in someone like her, other than her looks. I guess the whole Soul Complement thing trumps all--he's stuck with a ditzy, immature, impulsive, suicidally stubborn know-it-all who seems determined to kill herself in some spectacularly dumb way. And it's too bad, because the Soul Complement concept, and the way Devon Monk describes Allie and Zayvion's growing relationship, would have such potential for excellence and enjoyment for me...if only Allie wasn't one half of the Complement.

Since the books are first-person, it's no wonder that I can guess the solution to the mystery way before Allie. Bless her heart, she just is not very bright.

I like it when a main character is flawed--it makes for a realistic story. But in a series like this, one hopes that the character will grow over the course of the stories, and in Allie's case, one wishes she would develop a little as a supposedly adult character and grow out of her childish stubborness. Maybe all the Hounding doesn't just strip away memory, but IQ points. Allie seems incapable of learning anything, and doesn't seem to want to, anyway. I have now come to expect that every time Zayvion or some other more knowledgeable person tries to warn Allie against some course of action, she will do it anyway and endanger herself and everyone else in the vicinity because her daddy issues won't let her listen to anyone but herself.

For such a promising premise and world, it's too bad we couldn't have a better main character. Sadly, this is the end of the series for me.
The first Devon Monk book I read was Death and Relaxation, which I wholeheartedly enjoyed and recommend. After reading both books in the Ordinary Magic series, I looked back at past works and picked up the Allie Beckstrom series.

I thought the first two books were okay. I would rate this book as slightly worse than the first two. That's primarily because, after and earlier slow pace, the story advances in this book so abruptly. It was an unpleasantly uncontrolled and explosive experience for me.

It felt a bit like the first two books were exploratory and this book was a strong path correction. I might be okay with that if it leads to good results in the next book, but it was really off-putting for me going through the experience. If it doesn't pay off in the next book, I'll probably stop reading the series.
This series has been delightful. Ms Monk is a master at characterization. Her narrative description puts all of the reader's senses into action. She continuously surprises me with innovative ideas about the setting of the story and the main element in the story--MAGIC--becomes a living creature as it changes shape and substance--often in shocking ways. The energy in her story continues to build from page one to the very last word in the story. I am grateful to Ms Monk for this wonderful E ticket ride through Allie Beckstrom's world. If you want a detailed synopsis of the story--you won't get it from me. The best part of reading Monk's novels is SURPRISE--I won't mess with that.