Review: Magic for a Price by Devon Monk

Posted December 11, 2012 by Una in 5 stars, Rating A, Reviews, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Magic for a Price
Author: Devon Monk 
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Publisher: ROC
Allie Beckstrom #9
ISBN: #978-0451464866
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

About the book:

      For most of her life, Allison Beckstrom has used magic and accepted the heavy price it exacts. But now that all magic is poisoned, it’s no longer just using people—it’s killing them.
      With Portland about to descend into chaos, Allie needs to find a way to purify the wells of tainted magic beneath the city. But the only options left to her are grim: attempt to close down magic forever, or follow her father’s plan to set magic into the right hands—even though she’s learned to never trust his word. 
      Now, Allie will have to make a choice and face the darkness of her own deepest fears, before time runs out for them all…

What Una is talking about:

      How do you write the review for a final book in a series?  How do you sum up nine novels worth of mystery, challenge and sacrifice?  Without giving anything away, without ruining the first-time reader experience, while trying to convey how awesome it is?
      I know beginnings are new and exciting while endings tend to be sad.  However, with this last installment in the Allie Beckstrom series, I am not sad.  Ms. Monk has delivered the final novel in Allie’s story arc befitting the type of woman Allie is – with all the rewards due and sacrifices accepted. With Magic for a Price we have come full circle with Allie, and in the future we will look to the series continuing through a different set of main characters (but they aren’t “new”).
      I know I have mentioned it a few times in reviewing this series, but I will repeat myself, I apologize.  The Allie Beckstrom series I discovered quite by accident.  While glancing (gleaning every word on blog pages – searching for snippets) at another author’s webpage –cough-Ilona Andrews-cough– I saw a blog post for a book giveaway.  Who doesn’t want a free book from an author they like…  Well, I start looking at the blog post that was a cartoon sketch of the upcoming plot of a book.  To this day I still am not sure if it was Ms. Andrews or Ms. Monk (although I do believe the sketch was Ms. Monk’s work), but the humor of the post between these two authors struck me.  So I went over to look at Ms. Monk’s webpage and saw this series.  Got the first book from the library and then proceeded to get every single one that was out (I think only four were out at the time).  I was hooked.  The world was fresh and new; hopeful but with an iron spine of reality – lessons we know well: nothing worth having is free, sacrifice is sometimes a necessity, and we all must live with our choices.  It is fitting that the final book in this series is titled: Magic for a Price.
      By the way, how can you not be tempted to read a series where the first paragraph in the last book is?

I never expected cookies at the end of the world.  Some other more violent dessert perhaps, like volcano cake or devil’s food or heck, maybe even zucchini muffins, since everyone knows zucchini is evil.  But cookies?  Those are happy, life-goes-on desserts.

      I just love this series, and that quote is a great example why.  The banter, even in the midst of such pain and anguish help to ground us, keeping the reader absolutely glued to the page.  Magic for a Price was no different in the previous novels in that it was a nail-biting, witty and absolutely gripping read.  Also, I would do you all a disservice by not telling you that I did indeed cry while reading the last 100 pages or so.  They did end up as more happy tears…but you have been forewarned.
      This series works because Allie is characterized so well, so realistically.  Even amidst all this magic, evil plots and strife, she rings true to me.  For all her strength and mettle, she is caring and compassionate.  She is stubborn yet loyal.  She is not infallible and does accept the punishments that come with making those hard decisions.  However, she doesn’t back down, even when deep inside she wants to.  Allie finds what she needs and rises to meet the challenge.  What makes the series richer, besides the wry humor, is that Allie finds and creates the family she wants (not always) but does need.  These are the people who help her, care for her, look out for her while she is trying to look out for everyone else but herself.  The supporting characters are just as real as Allie is.  Ms. Monk enables me to walk in this world and be a part of the group.
      All those questions that I would have in each previous review are finally answered.  This is the final book in the series and Magic for a Price leaves us with a most satisfying conclusion to the Allie Beckstrom series.  I am still reeling from the secrets that were revealed.  How some sacrifices were rewarded while others will be scars to remind what was lost.  Amidst so much action there was such a sense of unveiling of dark truths and bittersweet justifications.  That all choices have consequences, that no matter the choices we make, we ultimately pay the price.  Magic for a Price is a gritty, gripping and emotionally charged ride.  But do yourself a favor, start at the beginning.  Because if you don’t, without the beginning, you will never know the whole course of the journey that led to Magic for a Price….and it is the journey that makes the series and ultimately, this novel.
      The next series in this world is called the Breaker series, and it will follow Shamus and Terric, Allie and Zavion’s friends.  I am overjoyed that this is not the last we will see of Allie and Zay.  This gives all of us who have rooted and cheered for Allie and Zay a chance to follow up and see how they are – to the happiness and joy they deserve.  Well…until Shame and Terric find some trouble to get them mixed into.

Unas Rating:

Personal favorite – a must read (A+)
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Reviews in the Series: