Book Review: Hard Magic – Laura Anne Gilman

Title: Hard Magic
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
ISBN: 9780373803132
Pages: 336
Release Date: May 1, 2010
Publisher: Luna Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Summary:

Bonita Torres has just graduated from college and is unemployed.  She’s currently living in a hotel in New York City, courtesy of her wealthy mentor.  Bonnie is Talented, which means she has the ability to use magic, but so far that hasn’t helped her to find a job.  One day, Bonnie receives a cryptic phone call instructing her to be somewhere at a certain time and place, and she decides to go along, not realizing her life is about to be changed forever.

Review:

One of my goals for 2011 was to read more urban fantasy, since I really enjoyed what little paranormal fantasy fiction I read in 2010.  Hard Magic was a book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile, especially since the next book in the series Pack of Lies was released in January.  I picked it up, eager to immerse myself in a new fantasy version of the world we live in.

Laura Anne Gilman’s worldbuilding was definitely solid in Hard Magic.  I’m still left with many questions, but she did a great job setting up the basics of the world – how magic works, how it can be manipulated, and whether there is any governing body setting the rules of magic.  I appreciated her vivid descriptions of the processes of using magic; I could close my eyes and picture exactly what Bonnie was doing when she was practicing.

Bonnie was an interesting character, though I have to admit she bothered me at times.  Gilman spent a lot of the story setting up her character and personality, so I have a feeling those rough edges will be smoothed over in coming novels.  The entire book actually suffers from the “first book in a series” problem – there isn’t a lot going on over the course of the novel.  It’s clear that Gilman intended this to be a series from the beginning, so the majority of this book is devoted to setting up the characters, relationships, and organizations that will be put into action in future books.  As a result, I think I’ll probably enjoy the next book more than this one.

Despite my mixed feelings about Hard Magic, I do recommend it for those interested in urban fantasy.  I think that the next books in the series will be great, now that everything has been set up with this book.  I’m sure I’ll be picking up Pack of Lies soon.

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Comments

  1. This sounds good, but on the other hand I am not sure it sounds good enough to be a priority read.

    (BTW, I love fantasy, so if you ever need a recommendation feel free to ask!)

  2. This sounds good, but on the other hand I am not sure it sounds good enough to be a priority read.

    (BTW, I love fantasy, so if you ever need a recommendation feel free to ask!)

  3. I haven’t dabbled in urban fantasy yet and ti doesn’t sound like this is the book to start with.

  4. I haven’t dabbled in urban fantasy yet and ti doesn’t sound like this is the book to start with.

  5. I’m not sure about this one. I’m just reading one by her, Flesh & Fire, that I’m having a hard time getting into. I think I’ll see how I like that one first before trying any others of hers.

  6. I’m not sure about this one. I’m just reading one by her, Flesh & Fire, that I’m having a hard time getting into. I think I’ll see how I like that one first before trying any others of hers.

  7. I still haven’t tried any urban fantasy, though there are quite a few titles on my wish list. This one sounds a little uneven with all the set-up, but basically good. I am going to have to add this one to my list and see what I think of it!

  8. I still haven’t tried any urban fantasy, though there are quite a few titles on my wish list. This one sounds a little uneven with all the set-up, but basically good. I am going to have to add this one to my list and see what I think of it!

  9. At first this book sounded good but then it did not sound good enough…with so many other amazing choices out there.

  10. At first this book sounded good but then it did not sound good enough…with so many other amazing choices out there.

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