Allie Beckstrom #1
by: Devon Monk
$6.99 mass market paperback
Released: November 2008
Thirty years ago magic was made available to the public, but it came with a heavy price. Every time you use magic, it uses you right back, most often in the form of pain. For some people, they don't want to pay the price themselves, so they Proxy the cost onto others. In rare cases, the Proxying is done illegally to innocents. That's when Allie steps in. Her job as Hound is to trace the unique magical signature back to the caster and have them arrested. Sure, she could have went into the family business, but since her father controls most of the town and has tried to control her for years, she figures she's better off on her own.
When she Hounds a hit on a sick boy, she's shocked to discover her father's signature all over it. She confronts him and tells him to make it right, only to find out later that day he's been murdered, and the cops think she did it. Knowing it's a misunderstanding, she goes to turn herself in, only to be stopped by a sexy mysterious stranger. He tells her there's more going on than she realizes, and suddenly she finds herself sucked into a world of shadowed societies and magic more potent than she ever thought possible. To survive it, it'll take all her considerable effort to navigate the twisted maze of lies and deception she's found herself in. But hey, nobody ever said being a Hound was easy.
Great start to a great series. It's a new take on magic that makes me believe if magic was real, this is how it would be. Allie is a solid character with solid morals and beliefs, and she's not afraid to fight for what she believes in. The book is detailed enough I could actually see, hear and smell things as they were being described, but it wasn't overdone. Great job, Devon Monk.
Carla gives this book a