Review: Magic for a Price by Devon Monk

magic for a priceReviewed by Jen

I can’t believe it’s over. I’m very sad to see the Allie Beckstrom series draw to a close, but I have to give Devon Monk credit where credit is due. The lady clearly had a plan. That may sound like it should be a given in a series like this, but I can tell you that when you get past book 3 or book 5 in an ongoing arc, many (if not most) stories start to lose their way. Threads get lost. The focus changes.  But in this series, it feels like everything was done for a reason… to get us to this place. And I think that’s pretty fantastic.

This is the book where Allie and her gang must finally face off with the Big Bad, Soul Compliments Isabelle and Leander. They have possessed the highest member of the international Authority and now all of the magical heavyweights from around the world are being turned against Portland. This, as our band of good guys are already worn to the bone from the magical wars they have barely survived over the last few days. They must pull on every last reserve to just keep moving forward. And it’s Allie who has to lead them.

As with the last few books in the series, there is absolutely no rest for these characters. That keeps the pace of the story barreling forward. But what really keeps you invested is the continued growth of –and revelations about– Allie, Zay, Shame, Terric, and so many others who make up the true heart of the books. Monk takes Shame and Terric to an entirely new level in preparation for their spinoff series. And I am definitely interested in seeing what she does with that.

Monk gave me the kind of ending I needed.  The characters ended up in places I could live with. Most of my questions are answered. And she did not end the book immediately after the climax, which let me leave on an emotional note, rather than an adrenaline rush. I even sort of understand Allie’s dad.

But I’m left with a few niggles. I didn’t like the way Allie’s dad’s behavior was explained. It was too dry and a missed opportunity for greater impact. I would have like to see this explored with him there, to allow some interaction over it. I was also very unsatisfied with the lackluster explanation of what caused Allie’s massive memory losses.  This was a huge deal in her life that amounted to very little in the end. Another problem: I felt like Collins was an odd thread. Yes, his connection to Allie was explained, but why create the connection at all, if it only amounted to a tiny scene with very little context?  And finally, what is the deal with Zayvion’s magic? A fine point was made about its state after the big battle, so where is it now?

Maybe the last thing will be addressed in the spinoff. Maybe these things were a conscious decision to keep the ending from being “too perfect.” But they kept this otherwise awesome book from being an A-read for me. Don’t get me wrong. Like I said at the beginning, Monk impressed me with her story planning. I was largely satisfied. I definitely ended this series, a fan. And I will continue on with the Broken Magic spinoff.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Magic For a Price
by Devon Monk
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Roc

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