Title: Magic to the Bone
Author: Devon Monk
Genre: urban fantasy
Length: ~350 pages
Plot Basics: Allie Beckstrom could have all the riches in the world if she went to work for her magic-mogul father, Daniel Beckstrom. But Allie wants nothing to do with that life, preferring to Hound (literally sniffing out magical crimes) for those without the same kind of influence as her father. But when he turns up dead after a heated argument with her, Allie becomes the top suspect in his murder. But she's fairly sure that someone else is behind his death (magic use sometimes causes her memory loss) and in proving that she's innocent, Allie discovers that her abilities with magic are far more powerful than she ever thought.
Banter Points: Word Nerd read this on the recommendation of one of her long-time blog readers (hi Rox!) and is glad she listened. For an urban fantasy, the world that Devon Monk created is pretty nifty -- magic is used as an everyday commodity, but like the current technological divide, not everyone has the same access to magic. The price of using magic (physical pain or memory loss) is a neat twist, an often-missing actions-have-direct-consequences piece to some plot lines.
Bummer Points: So, this is a first novel and in some places it shows. A few times, Monk goes over the world-building stuff too much (repeating key info), but it's not such a detractor to make the book unreadable.
Word Nerd Recommendation: This book has the same sort of feel as the first couple early Dresden Files books -- like the author has a killer idea and it's just a matter of time before it takes off. Word Nerd checked and Monk's got book 2 out and 3 on the way. Word Nerd will definitely read more.