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Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia

I got this book from audible after someone at DragonCon recommended it to me; I think. Actually it may have been on sale and recommended to me by Audible. I am not sure. Either way it was a good recommendation.

This is the first book in a new series of books by Larry Correia.

Narrated wonderfully by Bronson Pinchot, yes Balki Bartokomous from Perfect Strangers, narrates this book bringing the characters to life, it is a wonderful performance.

I am not usually into books about magic, when I was a kid there were a couple that I really enjoyed because of their humor, but as a rule I did not get into many magic or fantasy books. But this book is very different from anything I had read before with the exception of Mike Resnick’s "Stalking the Unicorn."

The publisher’s summary confuses me, I think it is written by someone who did not read the book, Jake is not a private eye, in fact he is a convict that is blackmailed by J. Edgar Hoover to hunt down people who are using magic in ways that the FBI does not like. Anyway…

What makes this book great for me is that even though magic is the main focus of the book it is written more in the fashion of a science fiction book than a fantasy one. It also includes many elements of a pulp-fiction mystery from the 50’s. Doesn’t that sound great?

Adding to that there is a delicate balance struck between explaining how the magic works, day-to-day living, and personal relationships that give the reader deep insight into the characters that many stories completely miss. Even though Jake Sullivan may be the "hero" of the story the other character all get moments to shine, I believe some reader will pick characters other than Jake to be their "hero."

Fighting is a regular feature of this book, there are long sections of the story that are detailing the battles between the characters. He does a good job with these but every now and then they do get a little tedious, but overall I do not think they hurt the story more than they add a feeling of action.

From the publisher:

Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It’s no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someone to go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

Problems arise when Jake discovers the bad girl behind the robberies is an old friend, and he happens to know her magic is just as powerful as his. And the Feds have plunged Jake into a secret battle between powerful cartels of magic-users – a cartel whose ruthless leaders have decided that Jake is far too dangerous to live.

©2011 Larry Correia (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

I rate this book an 8 out of 10 and recommend it to anyone who likes pulp-fiction and action/adventure books.

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