An Introduction to Devon Monk’s Magic on the Line
By Penguin (Ace/Roc) SFF editor Anne Sowards
Allison Beckstrom lives in a world where magic is used every day, for reasons both legitimate and nefarious. In her Portland, Oregon, magic is another energy source, like electricity — except the price you pay for using it doesn’t come from your checking account, but your body and soul. Casting a spell might give you a three-day migraine, or take away the memory of your first kiss.
I first encountered Allie when I was considering acquiring Magic to the Bone for our list, and I was immediately captivated by her distinct voice and drawn into her world. Over the course of the series (seven books so far), Allie has evolved as a character. She’s gone from a relative loner whose best friend doesn’t even live inside city limits to a reluctant member of the Authority (the secret organization that governs magic use) with a circle of friends and a lover. Her always conflicted relationship with her father has gotten even more interesting since his death (I won’t explain more because — SPOILERS). And in Magic on the Line, Allie finds herself in the position of choosing whether to continue to follow the Authority’s rules, or to turn against the very people for whom she’s risked her life.