Thursday, October 6, 2011


By: Devon Monk
Published By: ROC BOOKS
Released : Available now
Details: Paperback from library, 355 Pages


Book Blurb : Taken From Goodreads

Using magic meant it used you back. Forget the fairy-tale, hocus-pocus, wave a wand and bling-o, sparkles and pixie dust crap. Magic, like booze, sex, and drugs, gave as good as it got.

Everything has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user - maybe a two-day migraine, or losing the memory of your first kiss. But some people want to use magic without paying, and they Offload the cost onto innocents. When that happens, it falls to a Hound to identify the spell's caster - and Allison Beckstrom's the best there is.

Daughter of a prominent Portland businessman, Allie would rather moonlight as a Hound than accept the family fortune - and the strings that come with it. But when she discovers a little boy dying from a magic Offload that has her father's signature all over it, Allie is thrown into the high-stakes world of corporate espionage and black magic.

Now Allie's out for the truth - and must call upon forces that will challenge everything she knows, change her in ways she could never imagine ... and make her capable of things that powerful people will do anything to control.

This is a most awesome, refreshing, original, Urban Fantasy series.

Allie Beckstrom is a 25 yr old Hound. No, she doesn’t turn into a dog, she is all woman . Magic has apparently only been around for thirty years, or has it? Everybody can use magic, some better than others. There are rules, there are politics and there are murders. Hounds are needed to use their magic to help put away the rule breakers.

A world where anybody can use magic is bound to have its problems, well lots of problems. Hounds can use magic to find the signature of the spell caster. They work with the police.

Allie is a lone Hound for hire, who hates elevators,and confined spaces. She trusts nobody. She hasn’t had any reason, ever, to feel like she can trust in somebody other than herself. Her mother is on the other side of the world, no contact. Her father, Daniel Beckstrom, is the patent owner of the Beckstrom Storm Rod that sits atop his building. He is a powerful magic user, wealthy, with a lot of secrets. She has 5 more mums, well stepmums, and she is uber stubborn.

Allie wants nothing to do with her father or his money. He just wants her back, working for his company.

Allie hasn’t seen her father in 7 years. An Offloading spell is cast on Mama’s boy, a little 5 year old, and the signature is her father’s. Well, hell, that’s enough to storm up to daddy and confront him after 7 years. Offloading magic is illegal, THAT much magic . Sure some people get paid to be proxies, not a five year old boy.

If you use magic, it will demand something in return. Cast a disbursement spell and you can request the type of payment. Be it a migraine, fever etc. Forget to cast a disbursement spell and you will be in for the mystery, long, drawn out pain of payment.

Allie carries her leather journal around with her, noting her day’s events. Memory loss is another downside to using magic. She can have a bad case of , ‘have we met before?’

Enter Zayvion Jones, mystery man. What is his deal? Zayvion is one big question mark.

Zayvion is just gorgeous. He is there and knows how to save her when she gets in too deep. She is playing in the big kids sand box, a league she thinks she knows the rules, but does she?

There is a relationship that at first thought was quick, but having read more in the series, going in hard and fast, doesn’t always make for an easy relationship.

Devon Monk has such a brilliant idea with Hounding, without going that whole wolf/dog thing. Rain, cold and darkness are her mood setters. Allie isn’t a karate kid, she uses magic to get herself out of situations, and unfortunately then into situations. It’s all about the magic. Devon doesn’t hold back on giving Allie a beating.

I thought this was a great start to a series. Devon has to take the time to world build for the reader as she has something here that is original, to me anyway. I did have some questions, but, I gather the answers will unfold as the series continues. Devon likes to keep a bit of mystery lingering for the reader. I am up to book 3, so I know that my questions are being answered.

This is only the beginning....Devon Monk possesses a wonderful imagination, that keeps on surprising me.


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