Magic in the Blood by Devon Monk is the second in the Allie Beckstrom series. Having read and enjoyed the first book in the series, I was happy to read this second novel. The title of the book relates to the plot in that much blood magic is being tossed around by a whole pile of villains.
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 story continues, more or less, where the previous novel had finished. Characters from the first book, such as Zayvion, Violet, and Kevin feature in this book as well. One of the things that I liked about the previous novel was the concept of magic that Monk created. Magic is a really common element in urban fantasy, so if an author wants to keep my interest, they had better come up with an interesting take on it. I liked how it is something akin to a municipal utility. Some of that seems to change in this book, as we meet several characters who are able to operate using magic without it acting in the typical municipal utility sort of way.
Ghosts appear in this book. They are not actually ghosts, though – which I found to be a relief. The last thing urban fantasy needs is some hackneyed, silly ghosts running around. However, what Monk really does well in this book is to write the parts involving Allie’s father. The scenes involving him are really creepy. Again, at the end – was Mr. Beckstrom a good guy or a bad guy? I’m okay with the developments of this plotline. By that I mean, we learn that Mr. Beckstrom was a member of the secret, powerful society called the Authority and Allie finds out that her father’s widowed girlfriend is pregnant.
Overall, I was satisfied with the book. There are times when Allie gets repetitive, though. I mean, I know it’s important for the reader to recall key details – but the reader does not even get the chance to forget. I think Monk needs to relax a little bit – readers are not complete idiots – we can handle remembering a few key points for a few chapters. Also, I really hate how Allie just swoons and gets ridiculous whenever Zayvion is in the room. I dunno if women really act like that or not, but it does serve to reinforce the notion that women are silly, emotive airheads. On a positive note, I absolutely love Allie’s addiction to coffee!