Review: Magic at the Gate by Devon Monk

magic at the gateReviewed by Jen

This is probably the first time I have finished a book in this series without the burning desire to rip into the next one. Not that it was a bad book. It wasn’t. But I didn’t connect with it as much as with some previous installments. And I think that had a lot to do with the gaping hole in the story where Zayvion Jones usually lives.

Though Zay is a driving force in the story, his absence is a bigger factor than anything else.  The story begins with Allie, her father, and her gargoyle Stone entering the realm of Death to rescue Zayvion. It wasn’t nearly as dark as I would have expected. Generally, this is a series that’s not afraid to “go there,” but I thought this world’s version of death was kind of weak.  What really made an impact on me, however, was the continued insight we get into Allie’s dad.  I am very intrigued by the way he was presented in this plane and while I still hate him with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, I want to know more about how he got this way.

I expected the rescue to take up a large part of the story, but it didn’t really.  It’s much more about the fallout from the split in the Authority that happened during the climax of the last book.  The other side is making use of those magic discs in new and frightening ways. And the big prize appears to be mastery over life and death… which brings us back around to Allie’s dad, who has wanted that all along.

There are some interesting clues about the holes in Allie’s memories that intrigued me. The glimpses she had of her mother and her childhood made me get misty. Shane and Terric continue to score points with their weird relationship. But otherwise, I was a little underwhelmed.  The climax was only so-so. I missed my Zayvion time. And I was frustrated by Allie’s inability to prioritize the value of a life over keeping someone’s memories intact. I feel like she needs to work on choosing her battles.

Overall, I felt this was more of a bridge from one story to the next than a kick-ass installment.  I am ready, though, to stay on this ride for a bit longer.

Rating: B/B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Magic at the Gate
by Devon Monk
Release Date: September 29, 2010
Publisher: Roc


  1. It’s such a shame when that happens!
    I’ve been disappointed by a series that was going well, and then it has that one book that just seems like filler. It makes it seem tedious to get through, even if it’s a good book. It dampens the enjoyment factor, which is a shame when it’s a good series.

    • Jen at Red Hot Books says:

      I think the things that happened in this book were necessary and the rest of the series ended up kicking butt. So it was definitely worth reading and sticking with the books. I am glad I read them. 🙂

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