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Crimson Romance
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hard Magic, Book One: Paranormal Scene Investigations by Laura Anne Gilman

Publisher:  Luna, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages:  336

From the Cover:

Welcome to P.U.P.I.—Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations
A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can't touch—crimes of magic.

My name's Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn't applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work—so off I went.

Two days later I'm a PUPI—me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.

The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We're sniffing out things they'd rather keep buried.

Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we're making it up as we go along….

Bonita Torres is Council, well, so sort.  Her mentor, J, is council. He father, Zaki, was Lonejack, that is before someone killed him. She's a Talent and a recent college grad.  Now, after college, J is still providing her money, a place to live, even her clothes.  She needs a job in the worst way.

When she gets an odd message suggesting she come to an address somewhere in the middle of New York City, at an address she didn't send a resume, it peaks her curiosity.  When J suggests she not go, that seals the deal, she has to see what's going on.

The Guys introduce the kiddies to forensic magic, to go where Council and Lonejack won't, to solve crimes that until now were unsolvable.  When Ms. Reybeorn comes into their offices, hoping to solve the death of her parents, PUPI is ready for it's first client.

Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman is urban fantasy that provides excitement, plenty of action, and a whole new way to use magic.  Bonnie, Nick, Pietr, Nifty, and Sharon arrive at a mysterious address to find a dead body.  Only the body isn't as dead as it appears to be.  With their abilities, and with Ian Stosser and Ben Venec as their teachers, PUPI is born.  Forensic magic investigations, crimes committed by and with the use of magic, Talents killing Talents.  Which is what they'll investigate with their first client, Ms. Reybeorn.  Everyone assumes her parents committed suicide, but it's just too neat, too easy.  When PUPI looks into the suspicious case, more is revealed than they ever thought to find.

Hard Magic was exciting, fun, interesting, and the characters were appealing.  Each of the twentysomethings have problems that single them out of the other Talents, they're different for some reason.  Nifty is a jock, but he doesn't want to end up with a broken body and no future.  Pietr is hardly ever noticed, because he tends to vanish.  Nick is a computer geek, but magic and electronics don't go well together.  Sharon can read people, from the inside out.  And Bonnie, she's detail oriented, like, she can remember every detail, the perfect investigator.  This book was just good fun.  I enjoyed it immensely.  The only niggle I could possibly find is the lack of a satisfying romance.  Bonnie talks about romantic involvements, even suggests romance, but it's left to the readers imagination, and I wanted more.  But maybe that something for the next book, after all the series is just starting.  I enjoyed this book so much, and if you don't mind the lack of romance, it's an excellent urban fantasy thriller, I highly recommend it.  Laura Anne Gilman is a new author for me, but I will be reading the next book in the series, Pack of Lies (available February 2011), and looking into her backlist.

I received this book for review for the publisher, Harlequin Enterprises, and Net Galley.  All opinions expressed are my own.


Lea said...

Nice review Dottie!

Glad you enjoyed. It does sound like a fun story.

Hope your weekend is good. ;)

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Hey Sweetie...good review, sounds light and a fun read...BTW, I love your blogs looks....the colors are awesome!

Big hugs

Ladytink_534 said...

I know I've read something similar to this but I'll be darned if I can remember what it was. Sounds like a good story though!

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