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Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman
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2862039,411 (3.64)24

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This read like episode 1 of CSI: Magic. You're introduced to the characters, they're only new to the job and the job has only been set up, you're watching it mostly through one character's eyes, who only sees parts of the investigation, they're at the cutting edge of their magical science and they make mistakes as well as having some successes but you can see a future for them as a team.

I want more from this series. I like it. I would love to see it filmed... ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jul 27, 2015 |
This is kind of fun, but nothing momentous. It might help if I'd read Gilman's other, linked series, I don't know. I don't know that this was good enough to encourage me to keep going when there's so much of this sort of urban fantasy out there. There were a couple of points in its favour, though: a diverse cast (one bi, one poly, one a PoC...) being the main one, for me. Though it'd have read better if we actually saw Bonnie being interested in women more: obviously not everyone who identifies as bi is slap bang in the middle of the Kinsey scale (though I am, which might colour my views on this), but still, it takes more than an odd thought about an ex or how women are easier but more full of drama. (In fact, that last one is why straight girls are always telling me that I must have a hard time of it: it's a straight girl view that two women equals twice the bitchiness and drama.)

Story wise, the focus is really more on the formation of the team than on the actual mystery, I think. The mystery is kinda eh: the team-building, the scientific approach to creating forensic magic, all of that is more important. And yet... I don't feel much of a connection to the characters. Overall, I'm left feeling pretty lukewarm. ( )
  shanaqui | Aug 25, 2013 |
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 |
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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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