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Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman
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2631743,510 (3.64)24
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First book in a new series in the same world as Gilman's Retriever's series.

Nice little mystery (who killed the elderly couple and why.) Suffered from a little too much "I'm the setup for a new series and here are the characters" which lost it a star, but I really liked the heroine a LOT. She actually seemed like a real contemporary twentysomething.

There are a couple of nice throwaways in that direction (she mentions a previous girlfriend as well as boyfriends) and some subtle attitudes about race that are just nice because they are not heavyhanded.

Some hardcore romance readers may not approve of aspects of her sex life but I thought she rocked!

( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Recent college grad Bonnie Torres joins an upstart investigative firm specializing in crimes committed by Talents. It took me a while to get into it, but the characters are compelling enough that I put another one in the series on hold. ( )
  jholcomb | Apr 2, 2013 |
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Style: 3 stars
Pace: 3 stars

It started slow, but got better as it went. It really is a catch-22 with a spin off series though; You have to put enough info in so those who start with this one aren't lost, but all that info's redundant to those who have read the previous series. Once it got past the first half, it sped up enough to be enjoyable. Rounding up, because it did leave me entertained, which is all I really ask on urban fantasies. ( )
  Jami_Leigh | Mar 31, 2013 |
Not only is it great to learn some of Bonnie's backstory, I am looking forward to getting to know her better in future books. ( )
  Jammies | Mar 31, 2013 |
I suppose it must be obvious to anyone who reads my reviews that I enjoy Laura Anne Gilman's writing. I've only read every one of her Retrievers series as well as every one of her short stories sold via Fictionwise (including some that I'd already read in various anthologies, but I didn't want to miss anything). I've been waiting anxiously for Hard Magic, the first in the new Paranormal Scene Investigations series, and it did not disappoint me in the least.If you've read the Retrievers books, you'll recognize the main character, Bonnie Torres, immediately as Wren Valere's neighbor. If you haven't read that series, don't worry - they aren't required to enjoy this book. I do, however, recommend hunting down the short story "Illumination," which is referred to several times during the novel. It's in the anthology [b:Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy|3395318|Unusual Suspects Stories of Mystery & Fantasy|Dana Stabenow|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1243223215s/3395318.jpg|3435306]. It isn't strictly required, but I think it would help.If you've ever enjoyed CSI or any similar show, I think you'll really enjoy Hard Magic even more than others will. Bonnie and her coworkers are trying to reinvent all of the forensic science that those shows take for granted from scratch, from a magical perspective. It's fascinating to me, and I would have been happier with more geeking.I'm really looking forward to book two! ( )
  BellaMiaow | May 29, 2012 |
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A recent college graduate and magic user, Bonnie Torres, is hired on with PUPI (Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations) in a groundbreaking career of forensic magic.

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