Monk, Devon -- Magic to the Bone
Very few books cut to what should be the most immediate metaphor of
magic: magic costs. Oh, sure, we get lots of aesthetically pleasing
fatigue and maybe even fainting, but that's it. Not in this one. Magic
costs, and while the cost is temporary, it gets you by the short
hairs: blindness, stomach cramps, fever, bruising. The best you can do
is cast a secondary spell to pick your poison. The worst you can do
is cast a spell to dump your side effects on somebody else, and that's
seriously illegal without notarized consent documents. Our hero is the
kind of lowlife PI who goes after the kind of lowlife who does that.
It's a nice setup, commendably forthright about magic as a valued
energy source with toxic waste products. Unfortunately, by the end
we're off in the land of soul-balanced lovers who are so perfectly
matched that the cost evaporates. Sigh.
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