Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Magic In The Shadows Magic In The Shadows
by Devon Monk
Harper Voyager

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Magic in the Shadows is the third book in Devon Monk’s series about Portland, Oregon magic user Allison Beckstrom.

I had reviewed Monk’s immediate prequel, Magic in the Blood, to this work and was not looking forward to reading this volume. To my immense surprise it is as though the book has been written by a different author. Yes, Allison Beckstrom is still a stupid cow who doesn’t learn from her mistakes, but at least the author didn’t make Allison go out of her way to be irritating and foolish; and she got her comeuppance when she was stupid. Further, the author’s style had markedly improved: the rules and history of the magic were explained, in a way that fitted with the story; the over use of place and character names had disappeared; and there were even moments of humour in the action and drama. And this time around there were characters I actually cared about, something the author failed to achieve in Magic in the Blood. I had to check that it was the same author credited with writing both books that is how different the styles were. Devon Monk has learnt and grown as an author – and that is no mean feat in itself and deserves to be encouraged.

My last review I damned Devon Monk with faint praise, this time I am prepared to be more generous: if you enjoy fast-paced, urban fantasy, with characters that are more than just two-dimensional puppets then Magic in the Shadows is a book for you.

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