Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

With the recent discovery that magic actually does exist technology has advanced so that it’s available to everyone for whatever – green lawn, less wrinkles - presto it’s done. But magic isn’t all pixie dust and faeries, oh no, it’s available to everyone but it comes with a price: each time inflicting bruises, sore throats or even headaches depending on how much magic you used. Consequently, there are lots of folks taking advantage of the system (and others around them) by offloading their magical kickback onto unsuspecting victims. Allison Beckstrom is a Hound, someone who uses magic to track down magical offenders and turns them over to the law to make sure they pay for their crimes. Only Allie gets an additional bonus every time she uses magic – she not only gets the nasty side effects but she also looses portions of her memory.

When Allie discovers her estranged father has offloaded his magic onto a little boy (illegally of course) who is now on the brink of death she gets fightin’ mad and wants to see justice done. But her father swears he didn’t do it and Allie doesn’t exactly believe him. So naturally when her father winds up murdered everyone is pointing the finger at her and Allie can’t seem to remember if she did or didn’t do it. Her only option is to trust the shady Zayvion Jones who has some very interesting talents himself to help her discover who is the real murderer and get her off the hook. Good, solid read with an interesting twist on the general conception of magic as a whole. I’m looking forward to see where Allie goes next (and can I just say I hope it’s with Zay?).

I’d like to give a special thank you to the cover artist on this one. Usually, UF covers sort of turn me off and tend to not look anything at all like the characters. To tell you the truth I was not terribly excited about this one either – tattooed girl shown from behind – can we get any more unoriginal? But after reading it, this cover gets it right, I mean, *gasp* the artist might have actually read the book or at least listened to someone who knew the characters. I mean she’s Allie: funky tattoos (sort of), black tank top and short hair. So thank you, thank you for giving me a cover that doesn’t make me want to tear the cover off every time I look at it.

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