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Devon Monk

Devon MonkDevon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. Surrounded by numerous colorful family members, she lives in Oregon. She has sold more than fifty short stories to fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, and young-adult magazines and anthologies. She has been published in five countries and included in a year’s best fantasy collection. Learn more at Devon Monk’s website.


Magic to the Bone: A breath of fresh air

Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Magic to the Bone is a breath of fresh air in the urban fantasy genre, in much the same way that Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series is a breath of fresh air. Instead of the same tired werewolf/vampire soap opera that so many novels perpetuate, Magic to the Bone is more concerned with the ramifications of adding magic to modern society and exploring the realistic consequences. Magic, in Devon Monk's universe, has been recently discovered, and along with it, the price of its use. Every time someone uses magic, there is a backlash of sorts: the caster might suffer a days-long migraine, lose memories, or gain a scar. Of course, the next thing humanity researched was how to Offload a spell's cost onto someone else. (There's a chilli... Read More

Magic in the Blood: Ouch!

Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk

I complain sometimes about urban fantasy heroines who keep racking up more and more improbable powers over the course of a series, eventually becoming such spectacular demigoddesses that it would take a small army to give them so much as a black eye.

That's one problem Allie Beckstrom doesn't have. I'm beginning to think Allie needs more powers to deal with everything Devon Monk is throwing at her. Monk is great — maybe a little too great — at describing the agony of trekking all over Portland in the rain with a blinding migraine, and by the time I'd followed Allie through this ordeal a couple of times, I found myself wishing she'd start trusting Zayvion again just so he could Ground her.

Magic in the Blood begins as Allie is recovering from the events that took place in Magic to the Bone. The reader remembers ... Read More

Magic in the Shadows: Fresh and funny urban fantasy

Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk

"All I had wanted was a frickin' cup of coffee. Couldn't a girl go downtown without having to deal with undead mutated murderers on the way?"

When that girl is Allie Beckstrom... no. As Magic in the Shadows begins, Allie is hoping for a nice, normal date with her boyfriend Zayvion. Unfortunately, her father's ghost has taken up residence in her head, and then there's that grisly crime scene she and Zayvion find on the way to the restaurant...

Things only get more complicated from there. And, fortunately, this time we don't have to suffer as much vicarious pain as we follow Allie through her adventures. There's a lot less focus on the physical after-effects of magic in Magic in the Shadows than there is in the two previous books, and there's no amnesia. In fact, Allie learns a chilling fact that just might ex... Read More

Magic at the Gate: Gets better the further you read

Magic at the Gate by Devon Monk

I haven’t read Magic on the Storm, the fourth book in the Allie Beckstrom series, but I gather it ended on a massive cliffhanger. The opening of book five, Magic at the Gate, finds Allie in the land of the dead. She has ventured into death to find the soul of her boyfriend, Zayvion, who is in a coma after the events of the previous book.

I normally love to read about underworld journeys, but this one falls a little flat. The problem, I think, is that Allie lacks agency during this sequence. Daniel Beckstrom, her dead father, is calling most of the shots and giving Allie a lecture about magic. When a difficult decision is placed in Allie’s hands, the story instantly becomes more vivid.

The scenes set in the death realm only occupy the early portion of Mag... Read More

Magic on the Hunt: Moves the series forward by leaps and bounds

Magic on the Hunt by Devon Monk

Magic on the Hunt begins with a cute domestic scene; Allie and Zayvion play rock-paper-scissors in bed. The loser has to get out of the nice warm bed and make breakfast for the other. It’s such a sweet moment, and the two characters are so constantly in crisis mode that we don’t get nearly enough of these.

Unsurprisingly, the idyll doesn’t last very long, and it’s business as usual for the embattled magic users of Portland. And by business as usual, I mean “mortal peril.”

Devon Monk moves the series forward by leaps and bounds in this installment. The amount of development in the overarching plot is fantastic. First we learn more about something that was hinted in Magic at the Gate: Allie’s memory losses aren’t just side effects of magic use, but something more deliberate and sinister. Then, ... Read More

Magic on the Line: A spine-tingling turning point

Magic on the Line by Devon Monk

I’ve got to hand it to Devon Monk: she scares the daylights out of me, in a really good way. Earlier this year she sent chills down my spine with the blood-and-steam magic of Dead Iron. The latest ALLIE BECKSTROM installment, Magic on the Line, is just as chilling, for at least three reasons:

One, something has gone terribly wrong with magic. Allie gets sick every time she tries to cast spells; and worse, one young acquaintance has died and another has become deathly ill from a mysterious ailment connected to the ghostly Veiled.

Secondly, the Authority is cracking down on the magical community of Portland after the chaos of the last few books. Monk creates a terrific vibe of paranoia and persecution as the new Portland overseer, Bartholomew Wray, begins a reign of terror.

Finally, th... Read More

Magic Without Mercy: Solid addition to the series

Magic Without Mercy  by Devon Monk

At the end of Magic on the Line, Allie Beckstrom killed the head of Portland’s Authority — who was ignoring a magical plague in the city for his own ends — and now she is a fugitive, along with her lover Zayvion and a handful of her closest friends who have now broken with the Authority as well. In Magic Without Mercy, Allie and her small band investigate the poisoning of Portland’s four magical wells and try to find a way to cleanse magic before the problem can go worldwide. But the Authority is against them now, led by the creepy Jingo Jingo, and a confrontation is inevitable.

It’s becoming difficult to review the ALLIE BECKSTROM books, what with Magic Without Mercy being the eighth installment in a series where the books are heavily linked rather than episodic. If you’ve been reading the... Read More

Dead Iron: A new voice for Devon Monk

Dead Iron by Devon Monk

Devon Monk, the author of Dead Iron, is also the author of the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, but you’d never know it if her name wasn’t on the cover. Monk pulls off the impressive feat of creating a wholly distinct voice for her new Age of Steam series.

Here, Monk paints a vivid picture of a gritty, grimy Old West. Like the Beckstrom books, this is set in Oregon, but it’s a very different Oregon. The writing invokes all of the senses, so you can almost smell the metal and oil and blood — and you may find yourself slipping into Old West speech patterns after reading.

Steampunk comes in a wide range of moods, from whimsy to horror. Dead Iron is closer to the horror end of the spectrum. Some scenes are skin-crawlingly disturbing, and you’ll have no trouble hating the cruel, smooth-talking villain.

Other than the... Read More

Tin Swift: All three of me loved it

Tin Swift by Devon Monk

Tin Swift is the second book in Devon Monk’s AGE OF STEAM series. The first, Dead Iron, introduced the characters we follow in this book: Cedar Hunt, honorable bounty hunter and werewolf; Wil Hunt, Cedar’s wolf brother; Mae Lindson, a widowed witch; Rose Small, a young orphaned woman with a magical ability to work metal; and the enigmatic Madder brothers. The three brothers have pressed Hunt into service on their quest to find and bind a magical artifact from another realm, the Holder. The Holder has broken into seven pieces. In the wrong hands, or even left unbound, the Holder can wreak great evil in this world.

It’s hard for me to review Tin Swift coherently because it pleases so many parts of me. Reader Me loved it; Writer Me loved it; Lecturer Me loved it, so I’m going to turn this par... Read More

Cold Copper: This steampunk series continues to thrill

Cold Copper by Devon Monk

Right now it’s about eighty-five degrees at my house, and there is a mockingbird singing somewhere outside, but the trek through the blizzard that opens Cold Copper, the third book in Devon Monk’s Age of Steam series, is so compelling that I feel like I’m walking through the snow with Cedar Hunt.

This series continues to thrill with the third installment.

Cedar Hunt is a bounty hunter. He was cursed by a Pawnee god; during the full moon he becomes a wolf. His brother Wil shares a similar curse, as a wolf who regains human form rarely. The god commanded them to hunt and eradicate the Strange, beings that travel here from another realm. We might call the Strange fairies.

Together with Mae Rowen, a witch; Rose Small, an orphan with strange abilities of her own; Sophie Dupius, a Strange-hunter; and the three enigmatic Madder brothers, Cedar searches for the ... Read More

Hell Bent: Realistic struggles with powerful magic

Hell Bent by Devon Monk

This is the first Devon Monk book I’ve ever read. After some digging, I discovered that the main characters in the BROKEN MAGIC series, Shame and Terric, were introduced as backburner characters in another book/series that Monk wrote, the Allie Beckstrom series. Never fear, you obviously don’t have to have read those other books to enjoy Hell Bent. I didn’t have a clue who the author or her characters were, and I still had a lot of fun. That being said, I’m sure if I’d read other books by this author (as they are set in the same world) I would probably understand some of the nuances more clearly. For example, I never really did figure out the ins and outs of the magic system, or why some people are able to “break” magic and make it more powerful, but most can’t.... Read More

Stone Cold: A duology ends with a bang

Stone Cold by Devon Monk

Stone Cold is the second book in a spinoff series by Monk (from her ALLIE BECKSTROM series/world). I have to admit, the first book in this BROKEN MAGIC series, Hell Bent, actually hooked me so hard it made me give the ALLIE BECKSTROM books a try, which I also enjoyed so much I am having a hard time making myself finish the series (which is the best compliment this bookworm can ever give any series).

BROKEN MAGIC is a two part spinoff series, and Stone Cold ends impressively. This is important for readers because it gives a nice, round conclusion for both Shame, and Allie, in her own way. It’s nice to have a definitive ending to things, and what an ending this is. That being said, the jo... Read More

Chapter 6 of Hang Fire by Devon Monk

Today we're featuring Chapter 6 of Devon Monk's story Hang Fire, which is an internet-only steampunk short story set in late 1800's America. It takes place between Devon Monk's AGE OF STEAM books Dead Iron and Tin Swift (which will be released on July 3). Hang Fire is broken into 20 "chapters" and posted, one chapter at a time, on 20 blogs. Start at chapter 1 at Candace's Book Blog and follow the "read the next chapter" links at the end of each post.

One commenter at Fantasy Literature will be entered to win this giveaway:

A copy of Tin Swift
Tin Swift magnet Read More