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Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman

Hard Magic (Luna Books)Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman
Review copy provided by

Publisher: Luna (May 1, 2010)
Genre: Urban Fantasy

PJVs QUICKIE POV: An understated, investigative Urban Fantasy, with not as much bite as I would have liked, but with enough interesting tid-bits to keep me wanting more. Hard Magic is an original little gem in the Urban Fantasy genre. Set in the same world as Gilman's Retriever novels, it is a world rich with magic, paranormal creatures and political intrigue. If you are a fan of the genre you won't be disappointed in Gilman's books, whether it is this one or the Retriever series.

REVIEW: Bonita "Bonnie" Torres is a recent college graduate with no future from what she can tell. A million interviews and no job to show for it, she is at the end of her rope when an anonymous call summons her to a nondescript office building, a shabby waiting room and an office with a dead body on the floor.  So begins Bonnie's career with PUPI - Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations.

Intense training and long hours follows, until finally the team land their first case - and it is a doozy. An elderly couple, deeply involved with Council and very well-off are found dead from carbon-monoxide poisoning. The police and Council have written it off as suicide, but the deceased daughter is not convinced, so she hires PUPI.

The novel follows the investigation and goes into the finer details of how the team pairs their magical ability and CSI techniques. Dry at times, it does at points read like a technical manual, but the step by step processes of the investigation are very logical and it is hard imagining that this isn't possible.

The heroine is spunky and smart, but she doesn't have a death wish like a lot of UF heroines seem to have, and her sarcasm and wit aren't overpowering. She, like the novel are understated and a bit refined. Even the romantic entanglements were a bit understated, Bonnie seemed to lust after both the male and female cast of the novel, but nothing was really cinched down.  Once I thought it was going to lead romantically in one way, a new character stepped in and threw my romantic meter off completely.  But, this is how Gilaman's retriever novels are also.  If I remember correctly in those, the heroine doesn't "hook up" until almost 3 or 4 books into the series.

In essence a good novel, not the best I've read, but worth picking up. Especially if you like your UF with no romance and a lot of world building.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Adult fiction, but there is really nothing within the pages that would be something teens couldn't handle. Urban Fantasy fans will enjoy.  Fans of C.E. Murphy, Harry Dresden series, Rachel Morgan series, etc. should like this novel.


My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

haven't heard of this author til now..must add to reading pile.

E.J. Stevens said...

I can't wait to read this one. I love the Dresden and Rachel Morgan UF series.

Great review! :)

From the Shadows

Blueicegal ♥ said...

sounds like a great read! :)

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