An Allie Beckstrom Novel
ISBN: 978-0-451-46428-6
November 2011
Paranormal Romance

Portland , Oregon - Present Day

For those of you who have not read any of the Allie Beckstrom novels, this is not the one with which to start.  The series follows Allie and a group of friends and magic users living in Portland , battling it out with rogue magic users.  Allie is a Hound (someone who can be hired to track magic and spells), but when her father died, she learned of the Authority (a group that is much more knowledgeable about magic than most humans, who are tasked with protecting the innocent and are a sort-of governing body for those capable of greater magic).  Allie has reluctantly started working for them, but there is much more going on in Portland than any of them had originally thought.  Throughout the series, things get more complex, and the fight continues from one book to the next, with very little if no time elapsing between novels.

If you do follow the series, MAGIC ON THE LINE begins with Allie being called in for questioning by Bartholomew Wray, the Ward of the Portland Authority.  A very nasty Truth spell has left her weak and shaky, so she isn't very effective when someone punches her and grabs her backpack.  Worse, when Allie tries to use magic, it backfires on her, leaving her nauseous and without answers.  When a young man wanting to join her Hounds injures Davy (a Hound and very close friend of Allie's) it sets off a series of events that will turn the local Authority upside down, and leave Allie and her team on their own.

Allie's life has always been a bit unusual, but in MAGIC ON THE LINE, things go beyond that to downright wrong.  Her day was already going to be tough because of the memorial service for Chase, a magic-user who was once involved with Zayvion Jones, Allie's boyfriend and Soul-Complement.  To be interrogated by the Ward of the Authority with a harsh spell that shouldn't cause Allie as much pain as it does just makes things worse, and then the night goes straight to hell when Davy is injured.  The next day things continue along the same path when Bartholomew Wray announces the punishment to the Voices of Authority in Portland (Allie's friends and mentors, Maeve and Victor) along with the people he is choosing to as the new Voices in Portland .  As if this isn't enough, Allie's own magic is backfiring on her, and magic in general seems to be infected.

As Allie deals with these problems, she also has to face some emotional issues.  She's always been aware of the fact that one of Zayvion's duties is to Close anyone who knows too much about magic—meaning to wipe out their memories of whatever they shouldn't know.  As Allie herself is missing huge chunks of her past, she understands what this feels like, but now this aspect of Zay's job is something she'll have to deal with.

Again, I wouldn't recommend starting with this book, but this is a fascinating series, that grabs readers right from the beginning and is almost impossible to put down.  Allie and her friends once again face a dangerous enemy, and this time even magic can't help them in the captivating MAGIC ON THE LINE.

Jennifer Bishop