Magic Without Mercy (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Magic Without Mercy by Devon Monk 
Allie Beckstom #8

Allison Beckstrom’s talent for tracking spells has put her up against some of the darkest elements in the world of magic. But she’s never faced anything like this.

Magic itself has been poisoned, and Allie’s undead father may have left the only cure in the hands of a madman. Hunted by the Authority—the secret council who enforces the laws–wanted by the police, and unable to use magic, she’s got to find the cure before the sickness spreads beyond any power to stop it.

But when a death magic user seeks to destroy the only thing that can heal magic, Allie and her fellow renegades must stand and fight to defend the innocent and save all magic…

With Magic unusable to Allie, and everyone under the sun out hunting for her, including the magic council called the Authority, Allie's own freedom is a ticking time bomb. Of course more than just her freedom is at stake because capture would mean losing her mind, literally. Stripping minds is the Authority's standard procedure for renegades.  Unfortunately, she cannot lay low until the tide changes as Magic has been poisoned. Allie and her friends are the only ones who are willing and hopefully able to fix things before more lives are lost.  But more stands in her way than just the police and the Authority as a nasty death magic user has set his sights on consuming the only thing that can heal magic, and she'll have to stop him before it's too late. 

It will never cease to amaze me just how much of a whirlwind Allie is. She draws people to her like a moth to a flame, but cannot be corrupted. In fact, she seems to be the only person the corrupted sections of the Authority cannot seem to put down. Of course she wouldn't have made it this far without her friends, but their utter loyalty to her only further shows her strength and fortitude. Yet despite all this, Allie still cannot quite grasp her true worth. Yes she has her own inner confidence in her skill as a magic user, but as a leader, not so much. However, I think a lot of the events in Magic Without Mercy may have started to open up her eyes, and once she fully believes in herself, she will only be that much stronger.

It completely baffles me that with such a far reaching organization as the Authority, there wouldn't be more checks and balances in place to help stem some of the corruption. Of course the saying goes that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that is what these people hold. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem like they are corrupted as a whole, but in many different factions with their own agendas are in the mix. Perhaps that could be explained arrogance, in that these people are so full of themselves that they couldn't possibly believe that they could be fooled or ruined by another. Ironically, their downfall will probably be the very thing that got them into power in the first place.

One of the most impressive things about Magic Without Mercy was Devon Monk's ability to keep a perfect balance between action and character development. In a lot of series after the first few books the focus on the characters seems to drastically drop in favor of plot or series momentum, which can be a shame as it is easy to become detached from characters when you don't see them grow. The fact that this series doesn't, pretty much guarantees me a fantastic read with each new installment. In Magic without Mercy we see lots of character development; From Allie's overwhelming need to be the protector despite a certain lack of confidence in her leadership skills as well as her acceptance of her father's haunting, to Shame and Terric's strange love hate relationship, and even to some of the older members of the group learning to hand over the reins. Each character goes through changes, be they forward or backwards in progress, keeping me fully attached to each of them, and this series overall. As for this installment, from start to finish, Magic Without Mercy was a roller coaster ride. I simply could not put it down!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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