Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir…

Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles: 01 (Grimnoir Chronicles… (edition 2011)

by Larry Correia (Author)

Series: Grimnoir Chronicles (book 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6544427,076 (3.97)35
In an alternate world during the 1920s and 1930s where magic is as powerful as technology, Jake, an ex-convict with the power to manipulate gravity, becomes involved in a war between secret societies over one of Nicholas Tesla's devices.
Title:Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles: 01 (Grimnoir Chronicles (Quality))
Authors:Larry Correia (Author)
Info:BAEN BOOKS (2011), Edition: Illustrated, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Hard Magic by Larry Correia

Recently added byprivate library, dirtfarmer, jamestomasino, ccardwell, harvrabb, Mahnogard, denzien, Bingram85

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Really solid pulp steampunk/fantasy. Audible version is excellent. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |

One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die. The appearance of esoteric and etheral abiliites, magical fires and feats of strength, in recent decades are the purest demonstration of natural selection. Surely, in time, that general law will require the extinction of traditional man.

—Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Man and Selection of Human Magical Abilities, 1879

Hard Magic is Great Depression / early 1930's era detective noir piece set in an alternate history where a few decades before magical abilities had suddenly popped up throughout the population and made everything just a bit more interesting.

You have all sorts of abilities, mostly grouped into a single power set per person. Torches start fires. Brutes hit really hard (which is particularly interesting when the main example we see is a woman). Heavies that can mess around with gravity. Healers that put people back together and Pale Horses that tear them apart. Lazaruses raise zombies. Travelers can teleport. Cogs are basically mad scientists.

It's an interesting world, especially part of the way through when you start getting a bit deeper into exactly why there are powers in the world (definite [b:Worm|18713259|Worm|Wildbow|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1519662877s/18713259.jpg|26574170] vibes there), although that's mostly a side plot for this book--I'm sure it will become more critical in the sequels.

“Hey!” he shouted. “Can you clamp it down from here?”

“Are you crazy? You want them to stay?” an older man in a blue UBF captain’s uniform shouted. “That’s my bird they’re glauming out there, and even I don’t want to mess with those freaks! He bent the door with his brain, son!”

There is just enough 20s/30s jargon to make the world feel real enough to me--although I'd admit that some of that might be that I just don't consume much media from that era / know terribly much about how it really was. It makes for a fun read though, you can say that again. There are more than a few points in the book that are somewhat jarring (slang and word choices that would not be acceptable in modern conversations) but at least they feel true to the times?

Characterwise, I really like both Jake Sullivan (an ex-con / less-than-completely-willing-Gman Heavy) and Faye Vierra (a Traveller with quite the tragic backstory who's more street savvy than book smart and got moxie to spare). They're both a lot of fun to read and although they don't directly interact that much until the end of the story, I love watching them act off one another. The supporting cast are really interesting as well. Delilah the woman Brute who can kick just about anyone's ass. Lance who we meet as a talking squirrel. The Grimnoir Society. Blackjack Pershing.

Storywise, the action scenes are amazing. When gravity gets twisted all out of shapes by a Heavy, things go sideways. When someone gets punched through a wall, you can feel it. When someone gets thrown out of a blimp... well...

He’d fallen two thousand feet, blasted through a train car, dug an impact crater, and still nothing felt broken. Somehow he’d used up the last of his Power unconsciously before impact. He must have gone real dense. He hadn’t known he could do that, but then again, he didn’t routinely fall off blimps.

Pretty much like that.

All in all, I liked this book far more than I expected to. I'm really looking forward to where it all goes from here...

( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Correia's Hard Magic is a genre-crossing novel: epic, urban fantasy, alternative history, steampunk, noir-detective thriller all rolled into a single story. The story is set in the 1920s and 1930s, with the Japanese seeking supremacy after Germany has been subdued. At the heart are two complex, but well-developed characters in the classic good vs. evil battle. First, Jake Sullivan can alter his personal gravity (a "Heavy.") He has been recently paroled to assist the Feds in capturing criminals, and is assigned to capture a former girlfriend. Well read and thoughtful, he and his brothers served his country in war with distinction. Second is Faye, whose rare magical gift is teleportation (a "Traveler.") Faye suffers through traumatic events early in the novel, but grows in strength and character, seeking vengeance for the senseless murder of his adoptive grandfather. The book's magic system and world-building was a bit slow for my taste, and I found one of the storylines superfluous, but enjoyed the novel, and look forward to reading more of the Grimnoir Chronicles. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
Surprisingly good book. The cover art actually confused me; made it seem like a mob story. It sort of starts like a Noir film, but quickly departs from the basic format. Good read and quick once you get started. ( )
  youngheart80 | Jun 15, 2021 |
The story is good. Interesting noirish magic alternate reality story. Well written, with good characters. But the NARRATION! is the really the best. ( )
  frfeni | Jan 31, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Larry Correiaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pinchot, BronsonNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

In an alternate world during the 1920s and 1930s where magic is as powerful as technology, Jake, an ex-convict with the power to manipulate gravity, becomes involved in a war between secret societies over one of Nicholas Tesla's devices.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.97)
0.5 1
1 1
2 7
2.5 5
3 38
3.5 8
4 93
4.5 5
5 61

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 162,155,417 books! | Top bar: Always visible