Monday, July 2, 2012

Magic Without Mercy by Devon Monk

It's odd how my first impression of this book, upon reading its final passages last night, was that events were just stalled out. At the risk of giving away some spoilers, first, the magic plague that is killing people in Portland does not yet get cured, second, Allie's inability to use magic without becoming horribly ill is not solved, third, Isabel and Leander remain at large, trying for world domination. So, nothing happens, right?


While Allie and her friends are hiding out from the Authority, which has been taken over by the death magic user (and possible murderer of children) Jingo Jingo, they acquire one powerful ally in Roman, former keeper of the Gates, who trained Zayvion. He undertakes a mission to contact the Overseer (leader of the world's version of the Authority) to let her know what's happening in Portland, and tell her the truth about the plague. They also come up with a plan to take samples of all four types of magic from the wells, and have Dr. Collins (think of Hannibal Lecter with some of his figurative teeth pulled) analyze them to find out what's causing the infection and how to cure it.

They find that Davy, who has been suffering from the plague since its early days, has been changed somehow by Collins, into a being that is corporeal at some times, and ghostly at others, which isn't exactly a cure, but beats dying, perhaps. They are able to finally bring detective Paul Stotts aboard as their ally, and Zayvion and Victor restore some of his memories so that he'll believe what's going on in the city. Allie finds out that Stone, her pet gargoyle, is more important than she thought. Cody gets his memories restored, and his ghost is reunited with his body, giving him vast magical powers once again.

There are a number of other things that happen that would definitely be spoilers, so I won't relate them here. So, while the major plot elements and conflicts aren't resolved, and perhaps even escalate to the next level, lots of smaller events change the playing field quite a bit. Definitely looking forward to Monk's next book.

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