Feel the magic in the blood, Allie, Allie, Allie. Levez les mains en l’air, allez allez allez. Let’s raise our hands into the air for Magic in the Blood, by Devon Monk.
Working as a Hound-tracing illegal spells back to their casters-has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.
The Allie Beckstrom series continues, and the problems are just piling up for our plucky protagonist. She’s being targeted not only by a gangster and drug dealer specializing in twisted blood magic, but also magic-draining ghostly apparitions called the Veiled. And then there’s Dr. Frank Gordon, who appears in a single scene basically just to say “Hello, I will be your antagonist for this novel” and then disappears until the climax; where, in a shocking twist, it is revealed that he is indeed the antagonist who has been pulling the strings from behind the scenes. Who could have guessed?
Well, apart from the extreme unsubtlety of Dr. Gordon, the plot is basically decent. But there’s something about this series that’s increasingly rubbing me to wrong way: the way everyone is needlessly ambiguous and evasive when talking to Allie. In particular, I am so over Zayvion Jones. You can only do the mysterious and enigmatic thing for so long before you cross the line into just plain assholery, and Zayvion has reached that point. The breaking point for me was when he acted so shocked and concerned at the injuries Allie had sustained at the hands of the Veiled. Hey, Zayvion, you know what might have helped her avoid getting so badly injured? If someone who knew all about what the Veiled are and what they can do had deigned to share that information with her. Say, you know what might have been a good time to do that? After you had to do some weird super-magic chanting stuff to protect her from a massive attack by the Veiled. But no, you had to play your cards all close to the vest, dodging all her questions with excuses of having unspecified urgent business elsewhere and promises of explanation at some later date, and then just sauntered off and left her alone; as if the Veiled wouldn’t just come back the moment Allie didn’t have you there to protect her. Way to go, asshole.
It’s still the first third of the series, so I’m willing to give it a pass on this… for now. But by the end of this book, Allie has been accepted into the Authority. Now that she’s been accepted into the secret society, that means there isn’t any reason for her to be kept in the dark any more. So I’m going to expect her to actually get some straight answers to the questions that Zayvion has thus far been dodging. If he keeps jerking her around… well, I’m going to run out of patience real fast.
Final Rating: 3/5