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Book Review of Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1)

Magic to the Bone (Allie Beckstrom, Bk 1)
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Allie Beckstrom is a very powerful magic user with unique talents. She is what they call a Hound. She sniffs out the magical signature of criminals and hunts them down. When investigating a severely magically injured boy, she recognizes the signature and immediately confronts the user. This person soon turns up dead and now the police are hunting her. Enter Zayvion Jones, a "drifter" who appears time and again to rescue Allie. She's intrigued by him but skeptical of his intentions especially when she finds out her hated father has hired him to follow her. Allie spends most of the book running from the police and from Bonnie, a magic bounty hunter. She is not a very good magic user since she cannot think on her feet and freezes when in danger and cannot remember the necessary spells.

The uniqueness of this series is that everyone has magic but the use of magic imparts a kickback which you can control (if you remember, Allie rarely does). You can "bargain" with it to say give you a delayed kickback and then have 2 days of flu-like symptoms or you can take the hit immediately and just live with it. The Hound comes into play when a magic user illegally offloads his magic onto the unsuspecting public thereby making someone else pay for their magic use. This is what happened with the injured boy. They also have the Hand which is someone who can forge the magical signature of someone else thereby pushing the blame for their magical crimes onto someone else.

I thoroughly enjoyed Allie and Zay's adventures and though she isn't the kick-ass heroine I expected, she got the job done. The cliffhanger ending has me wanting to dive right into book two.

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