Review of Hard Magic by Larry Correia

SFFaudio Review

Hard Magic by Larry CorreiaHard Magic (Grimnoir Chronicles #1)
By Larry Correia; Performed by Bronson Pinchot
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
[UNABRIDGED] 16 hrs on 14 CDs
ISBN: 978-1469280493

Themes: / 1930’s / guns / secret organizations / magic / urban fantasy /

Publisher summary:

Jake Sullivan is a war hero, a private eye — and an ex-con. He’s free because he has a magical talent and the Feds need his help in apprehending criminals with their own magical abilities. But the last operation Jake was sent on went completely wrong, and Delilah Jones, an old friend in happier times, had too much magical muscle with her for the Feds to handle, even with Jake’s help. It got worse. Jake found out that not only have the Feds been lying to him, but there was a secret war being waged by opposing forces of magic-users. Worse still, he had attracted the attention of one side’s ruthless leaders — who were of the opinion that Jake was far too dangerous to be permitted to live .

Hard Magic reeks of cool in the best possible way, especially when read by Bronson Pinchot. Yup, the Perfect Strangers actor is one of the coolest narrators I’ve ever listened to.

Speaking of cool. Jake Sullivan. Jake freaking Sullivan. He’s easily the coolest character I’ve ever read. He’s a slow-witted meathead, at least it would appear on the surface, and you would think I would hate him, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only is he actually a very smart guy, but he works hard and keeps his word. And you probably don’t want him to keep his word, it usually doesn’t bode well for people.

This brings me to something I really enjoyed about this book. Correia’s magic system in this book is excellent. It’s extremely well thought out, but even better is that people can also use it in more ways than it appears. Jake is one of those who has figured out a way to use his magic differently, he’s figured out that manipulating things so that he can easily lift them or move them is just a small portion of what his magic can do. It allows him to manipulate gravity much the same as a certain character in The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

I’ve heard a lot about Larry Correia and never anything less than positive. Already he was on my list of authors to read, but I’ve obviously taken my sweet time getting there. Let me tell you, I waited far too long.

Hard Magic takes place around the time of the Great Depression. It’s the early 1930’s and things are not going well for people. However, there are oakies, gangsters, pin stripes, and everything cool about this time period. There are also secret organizations, some good and some bad, and there’s more to the magic than it first appears.

I won’t waste your time anymore. This was such a great read, with great characters and a great narrator in Bronson Pinchot, even though it did take some time to warm up to him. His slow drawl for Jake Sullivan was just pure genius. But beware, this may just make you cooler.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (very highly recommended)

Posted by Bryce L.