Allison Beckstrom knows better than most that when magic's involved, nothing is free. She's had to pay its price of migraines and forgetfulness while working as a Hound, tracing illegal spells back to their casters. And even though magic has stolen her recent memory--including her history with the man she supposedly fell in love with--Allie isn't about to give up on Hounding or the city she cares about.
Then the police's magic enforcement division asks her to consult on what seems to be a straightforward missing-persons case. What begins as a way to make rent leads Allie into grave danger when the trail she's following draws her into the dark underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic. There, Allie discovers it will take more than just magic to survive...."
Magic in the Blood is the second Allie Beckstrom book from Devon Monk. It picks up a couple of weeks after the events of book 1, Magic to the Bone, which left Allie missing several weeks worth of memories, her father dead, her body marked by a massive amount of magic and her not knowing the man she apparently fell in love with, the very mysterious Zayvion Jones. But despite being scared by the amount of memories missing, Allie isn't about to give up magic or Hounding. She's working this new case for the police, for a supposedly cursed cop, but she's suddenly started seeing ghosts as well. And they're demanding as much of her attention as the case is, without being polite about it.
I really loved the first book in this series and was really looking forward to this second installment. But I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It's not bad, by any stretch, and not even a let down exactly. It's got a good plot and doesn't ignore things from the previous book, but in many ways it felt more like a set up for the next book or two more than anything else. It is still a good read, but I wasn't as gripped by it as book one. I'd been warned that the ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but I saw the ending coming from a chapter or two previous so it didn't have the impact I think was intended. It did leave me hanging, but not so badly that I needed to pick up the next book instantly. I did like this book, I just preferred book 1.
There are some great moments in this book and we get to see more of what Hounding work, and it's cost, is like. We get to know Allie a little better, and meet some very interesting new side characters as well, who I'm hoping we see more of in the next book. One of my favourite things about this series, is the cost of using magic. How it works and works the user. Nothing like that should come without a cost, and it has a huge cost in this series. Seeing the different ways people deal with that cost was intriguing. The build up to the end was good, and it got pretty tense, but I think there was more power in the ending of book one. Still a good read, but this isn't going to be my favourite of the series. Hoping for a little more from the next book. 7/10