Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Another birthday book! This one I added to my wishlist based a review I read, but I can’t actually remember where I read it, curses. Also I’m adding a new line to the synopsis section: Genre-ish. I find it helpful in reviews I’m reading to get a sense for what genre the book is in, but I’m not good at settling on just one genre, hence the approximately part.

Title: Magic to the bone
Author: Devon Monk
Pages: 355 paperback
Genre-ish: Urban Fantasy with more Romance than average
Setting: Alternate universe Portland, Oregon where magic is accessible in most cities but exacts a toll for its use which is pain for someone, usually the user, but the user can also Offload the pain to someone else (often illegally, though everyone has a price).
Premise: Allie Beckstrom’s job is to figure out who does the illegal type of Offloading. Things get a bit complicated for her life though when she finds an Offload that she swears her estranged father did (a very wealth business man who doesn’t seem to have much of a soul), but under a truth spell he says he didn’t. Things just get worse from there with a really badly timed murder and a lot of running for her life. But good thing a handsome stalker shows up just when she needs him and she finds out she is more powerful than she thought.


  • Magic systems with a cost are always more realistic
  • Nola, Allie’s best friend, is awesome and has an awesome dog
  • Mystery is built up well with a couple of interspersed Cody chapters, before you know who that even is
  • Kittens!
  • By the end of the book I was convinced that a whole lot more was going on than what the general populace knows about, and that is always fruit for a good series


  • I found the book fairly difficult to get into, and it wasn’t until the end that I thought I might actually enjoy where the series was going
  • The romance is a little prominent and fast for a first book
  • I’m certainly not a prude who detests sex scenes, but they were honestly kind of awkward and out of place so early in the series in my opinion
  • I’m not normally someone who cares much about cover art, but the cover that I linked above is a bit misleading, and I don’t like misleading art when it deals with cool tattoos…. The tattoos she gets are actually so much cooler than that cover and could have been drawn much more beautifully.

I found this book to be a bit of a push until the end, which is disappointing. I think if the romantic relationship had been slowed down and the “not everything is as it seems, come join our secret order” had been sped up, this could have been a fantastic first book. I think that there is potential and might pick up the second book when I have a budget for books again, but for now I’m not planning on reading the next one. I will say though that the review I read about this book that got me to purchase it was quite positive, so I’m probably just not quite the right audience for it. Anyone else read it and have opinions they’d like to share? Anyone read the second book and can help guide my reading decisions?


About Anya

Book blogger at who loves Sci-fi and Fantasy!
This entry was posted in What A Story - Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

  1. Pingback: Four Stars: Anathema by Megg Jensen | About The Story

  2. Pingback: Four Stars: Anathema by Megg JensenOn Starships and Dragonwings

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