26 fevereiro 2013

Review: Magic on the Storm (Devon Monk)

Magic on the Storm by Devon Monk
Publisher: Roc (2010)
Format: Mass Market Paperback | 344 pages
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy
Description (GR): "Allison Beckstrom is committed to her work tracing illegal spells. Now, there's an apocalyptic storm bearing down on Portland, and when it hits, all the magic in the area will turn unstable and destructive. To stop it from taking out the entire city, Allie and her lover, the mysterious Zayvion Jones, must work with the Authority-the enigmatic arbiters of all things magic-and take a stand against a magical wildstorm that will obliterate all in its path..."
I've been meaning to post my rant (ahem) review about this book/series for a while now. I've written a bit in my book journal (I was that frustrated) about the chosen direction of this series and what I like and dislike about it. Since the series is complete at nine books I guess there is no changing its direction (not that I think I could change anything, since I am not the author, ahah), but still, these books have so much potencial that it is frustrating (here's that word again) to see it wasted (in my opinion).

I was thinking of buying the 3 books I still don't own, but after book 4 I reckon I won't. I cannot muster enough interest in the characters even though the world is interesting enough.

Allie is "tolerable I suppose" in the famous words of Mr Darcy, but she has yet to reach her full potential as a character. As for the rest of the characters, they are not good "enough to tempt me" to keep reading. Let's hope I am not making a big mistake, as Mr Darcy did with Elizabeth Bennet at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice, but considering this is book 4, I doubt it. I doubt Zayvion will get more interesting (and stop being a stereotype for tall, dark and handsome) or that Allie will stop being uber-special and possibly a bit Mary-Sue-ish. I doubt the "Autority" will stop being far-fetched.

My problem here is that the thing that interested me in these books - the magic system and the world building - has taken a turn I don't much like. That is, of course, a personal issue. It just sounds all too far-fetched and very "cloak and dagger". Magic stopped being dangerous and unknown, almost alive... humans have regained control of it by dividing it into disciplines/types that are never fully explained.

Zayvion continues to be the most boring male lead ever. His presence is barely "felt" during the books (ok, so he was in a coma for most of books 3 and 4, but even if he wasn't... I wouldn't miss him) and he was revealed to be a boring super human (I was hoping for sexy Sumerian god or something, but alas, no. The characters with the most potential (Stone and Stotts) don't get nearly enough airtime.

Overall, the elements that made me like this series seem to have disappeared. I never warmed up to the characters, the romance always felt flat and even the magic system got boring. I still have book 5 on my shelves but unless there is a gigantic twist, I'm not that interested in reading more. A pity, since the concept was pretty cool.

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