I recently found myself in Portland Oregon at the Public Library Association conference and like most folks, I fell in love with the culture and vibe of the city. Anyone hiring? So, when I happened across an enthusiastic patron who went on and on about this series of urban fantasy books set in Portland I decided to give them a go.
Magic to the Bone is the first title in the Allie Beckstrom series. In Allie’s world, magic has been discovered for the last 30 years and the city has responded with magic grids under the city, buildings rebuilt with magical elements and as with anything in demand there is an entire counter-culture devoted to the dark side of magic. Allie is a Hound, a person that can trace the source of magic used on a person. Using magic takes a toll on its user and people have found a way to offload this toll onto other people. When an offload almost kills a five-year old boy and Allie traces the source back to her father the magical world Allie thinks she knows well is turned on end.
This alternate fantasy presents as an action packed urban read but as you go along what you find is much more delving into the character Allie and her internal and external dialogue. In fact, they are what make this book more than average. The storyline is intense and interspersed with both humor and great pain and sorrow. 2008, 355 pages.
I hate to bring it up again, but really, anyone in Portland hiring? Librarian, readers’ advisor, book freak and musician interested in what makes this world tick. I love rain and don’t carry an umbrella!