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Hard Magic [Anglais] [Poche]

Larry Correia
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

24 avril 2012
#1 in the hard-hitting Grimnoir Chronicles by the New York Times best-selling creator of Monster Hunter International. Jake Sullivan is hardboiled private eye at war with evil magical powers in a dark and gritty urban fantasy that’s a cross between the The Maltese Falcon and Twilight.

Twilight meets The Maltese Falcon  in the first entry of the hard-hitting Grimnoir Chronicles urban fantasy saga by the New York Times best-selling creator of Monster Hunter International.

Magical creeps dispatched in heaps!  Jake Sullivan is a war vet, a licensed private eye, and the possessor of a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also happens to have the magical ability to make anything in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium. While a range of enemies natural and supernatural wants him deep-sixed, Jake likes living, and his days in the trenches and his stint in the stir for manslaughter have only made him harder, leaner and meaner. 

The first entry in the new, hard-hitting Grimnoir Chronicles by the Larry Corriea, breakout best-selling author of Monster Hunter International

About Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter series
“[A] no-holds-barred all-out page turner that is part science fiction, part horror, and an absolute blast to read.” –Bookreporter.com 

 “If you love monsters and action, you’ll love this book.  If you love guns, you’ll love this book.  If you love fantasy, and especially horror fantasy, you’ll love this book.” –Knotclan.com

“A gun person who likes science fiction—or, heck, anyone who likes science fiction—will enjoy [these books]…The plotting is excellent, and Correia makes you care about the characters…I read both books without putting them down except for work…so whaddaya waitin’ for?  Go and buy some…for yourself and for stocking stuffers.” –Massad Ayoob

About Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter Vendetta:
 “This lighthearted, testosterone-soaked sequel to 2009's Monster Hunter International will delight fans of action horror with elaborate weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, disgusting monsters, and an endless stream of blood and body parts.” –Publishers Weekly

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Descriptions du produit

Biographie de l'auteur

Larry Correia is an award-winning competitive shooter, a movie-prop-gun master and, yes, an accountant by day–but an urban noir adventure master by night. He is the creator of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling Monster Hunter series as well as urban fantasy hardboiled blockbuster saga, the Grimnoir Chronicles. Correia is very tall, very bald, and lives in Utah with his wife and family.

Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 624 pages
  • Editeur : Baen; Édition : Reprint (24 avril 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1451638248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451638240
  • Dimensions du produit: 17 x 10,4 x 3,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 109.133 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Format:Broché
La première chose qui me vienne à l'esprit pour commenter ce livre est l'inadéquation de l'illustration de couverture. Celle-ci donne l'idée d'un polar un peu vulgaire (gouailleur au moins) alors que l'action est d'un tout ordre, et que le ton, quoique fréquemment jubilatoire, ne sombre jamais dans la caricature. De plus, contrairement à ce que laisse entendre ce double portrait (ainsi que le texte d'accroche au dos du livre, d'ailleurs) l'histoire fait suivre au lecteur une poignée de personnages, et pas seulement deux, même si Jake Sullivan est le pivot du récit.
D'autres illustrations émaillent le texte, dont un glossaire traitant des différents types de manifestations magiques, et le tout est très réussi, fidèle à l'ambiance, agréable à regarder et à consulter.

Le récit se déroule après la première guerre mondiale, aux EU, dans le contexte d'une uchronie : la magie est apparue depuis près d'un siècle, s'exprimant à travers certains humains, leur conférant des capacités surhumaines de genres variés, très spectaculaires - mais jamais plus d'une à la fois.
Les personnages sont plutôt nombreux et le récit alterne les points de vue en passant de l'un à l'autre mais, une fois n'est pas coutume, je n'en ai jamais été frustrée : la narration est habilement construite et ne ralentit en rien le rythme de lecture. Chaque personnage offre une personnalité bien construite, crédible et attachante (ou non !) tout en restant dans le ton allègre du récit - dans un équilibre parfait.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un récit cinématographique sur des super héros 19 juillet 2011
Par Lady Lama TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Broché
L'histoire raconte l'affrontement dans les années 30 entre deux organisations secrètes, l'Imperium, basé au Japon, et le Grimnoire, basé en Occident. Ces deux organisations secrètes sont composées de membres aux pouvoirs exceptionnels: certains peuvent se télétransporter, d'autres peuvent manipuler des objets, lire dans les pensées, etc. Cela vous rappelle furieusement les X-Men?

Vous n'avez pas tort. Comme dans X-Men vous avez quelques élus dotés de pouvoirs particuliers, à des degrés divers, et certains rejetés par la population "normale". Comme dans X-Men, vous avez une jeune fille impulsive et très douée mais maîtrisant mal ses pouvoirs. Comme dans X-Men, vous avez le héros un peu brut de décoffrage, tirant visiblement l'essentiel de ses pouvoirs de sa force physique. Comme dans X-Men, les a priori "gentils" (le Grimnoire) vivent dans une superbe propriété isolée où ils apprennent à développer leurs capacités. Et comme dans Watchmen (si ma mémoire ne me fait pas défaut), les héros ont influé sur l'Histoire, ce qui donne un monde des années 30 un peu différent de celui qu'on connaît. L'auteur utilise les grands courants historiques et quelques personnages américains marquants pour les mettre au service de son histoire.

Malgré tout, même si les scènes ont déjà été vues dans tel ou tel film/livre de super héros, on ne s'ennuie pas un instant.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Format:Poche
-
La première chose qui me vienne à l'esprit pour commenter ce livre est l'inadéquation de l'illustration de couverture. Celle-ci donne l'idée d'un polar un peu vulgaire (gouailleur au moins) alors que l'action est d'un tout ordre, et que le ton, quoique fréquemment jubilatoire, ne sombre jamais dans la caricature. De plus, contrairement à ce que laisse entendre ce double portrait (ainsi que le texte d'accroche au dos du livre, d'ailleurs) l'histoire fait suivre au lecteur une poignée de personnages, et pas seulement deux, même si Jake Sullivan est le pivot du récit.
D'autres illustrations émaillent le texte, dont un glossaire traitant des différents types de manifestations magiques, et le tout est très réussi, fidèle à l'ambiance, agréable à regarder et à consulter.

Le récit se déroule après la première guerre mondiale, aux EU, dans le contexte d'une uchronie : la magie est apparue depuis près d'un siècle, s'exprimant à travers certains humains, leur conférant des capacités surhumaines de genres variés, très spectaculaires - mais jamais plus d'une à la fois.
Les personnages sont plutôt nombreux et le récit alterne les points de vue en passant de l'un à l'autre mais, une fois n'est pas coutume, je n'en ai jamais été frustrée : la narration est habilement construite et ne ralentit en rien le rythme de lecture. Chaque personnage offre une personnalité bien construite, crédible et attachante (ou non !) tout en restant dans le ton allègre du récit - dans un équilibre parfait.
Lire la suite ›
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  183 commentaires
86 internautes sur 90 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Perfect Novel 3 mai 2011
Par Nickolas X. P. Sharps - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Hard Magic is Larry Correia's third novel and already he is writing better than authors who have been on the scene for years. Having read both Monster Hunter novels I was well aware of Correia's skill going into Hard Magic but I never expected a masterpiece of this caliber. Reviews have been going around for some time now, Baen published an electronic-Advanced Read Copy a couple months ago and the reviews have been flattering. Some critics had even stated that this is Correia's best book yet. Having finished the novel I can honestly say that such praise is well deserved.

Hard Magic can be summed up as epic-urban fantasy-steampunk-noir-detective thriller-alternative historical-fiction. Correia juggles so many genres and "Big Ideas" that a lesser author would fumble in an instant and mangle into some Frankenstein monster of failed literature. Not only does Correia manage to keep the story uncluttered but he does it with some serious style. The Monster Hunter novels are packed with hardcore action, huge set pieces ,deep characters, and involving plots and yet Hard Magic is able to transcend them and create a whole new level of awesome.

First, the universe Correia has created. Not only does Hard Magic feature a fully functioning, well planned out system of magic but it also gives explanation behind the appearance of this magic. The magical abilities of "Actives" are very cool but at the same time they are explained. There are rules and dangers that come with each form of magic, and the magics themselves are firmly grounded in the universe they inhabit. Correia's alternative version of the 1930's is also a very cool world on its own, and quotes by notable historical figures involving the emergence and use of magic only help to flesh it out. Oh and for any of you steampunk fans out there I should mention there are some serious awesome zeppelins.

Next, the characters. Some critics are bound to draw similarities between Jake Sullivan, the main protagonist of Hard Magic, and Owen Pitt the lead of Monster Hunter. These similarities are fewer than some might imagine. Both are very tough, duty bound characters but I actually found myself liking Jake Sullivan a good bit more. Sullivan is a much darker character than Pitt. He is a damaged man with a tragic past. At the same time he is also very intelligent, having discovered things about magic that other characters within the novel never would have guessed. Sullivan also has some of the coolest powers of any magic "Active." The other notable character here is Faye, a young girl who can teleport and suffers some tragedy of her own. I rarely enjoy female characters written by male authors but to me Faye rings true. Her peppy attitude is a wonderful foil to the more solemn Sullivan and she always seems believable. There are some other colorful characters as well as a very well written villain but it's best for the reader to meet them on their own.

And now for the action. If you have ever wanted to read about a teleporting ninja battle being carried on across a super zeppelin in the midst of a pirate attack while samurai and zombies engage magical super heroes trying to prevent a super weapon from being activated this is the book for you. The fight scenes in Hard Magic are top notch, white knuckle, block buster, thrill rides that will satisfy even the biggest adrenaline junkies. Not only are these fights brutal and explosive but they are also rather intelligent. It can't be easy to write a multi-layered battle featuring combatants with different magical skills but Correia weaves seamless fight scenes that couldn't possibly be choreographed any better. The last 50 pages make for one of the most epic final confrontations I have ever read. Be warned.

Lastly the plot. With enough action and explosions to trump a Michael Bay film and plenty of original ideas whirling around it would almost be forgivable for the plot to suffer. This, fortunately, is not the case in the least. From the beginning to the end Hard Magic features perfect pacing. There are completely unexpected twists, betrayals, surprises, intrigue, build up, and a very satisfying conclusion. The Monster Hunter novels have great plots as well as a very successful over arcing story but Hard Magic achieves far more. My only concern is that it will be nigh impossible for Correia to out-do himself when Spellbound, Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles comes out this fall.

Overall if you are looking for a book to rock your world, make you do some fist pumps, and demand a sequel then buy this book. The only regret I have is that I cannot give Hard Magic a rating higher than 5 measly stars. It deserves much more.
40 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Novels don't get much more fun than this! 27 avril 2011
Par Steven Diamond - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat authentifié par Amazon
This review was posted on Elitist Book Reviews. For more reviews and interviews stop by our blog.

***The Review***

There are very few authors whose body of work makes us cackle with boyish glee. Chris Wooding is one. Jonathan Maberry another. Recently Sarah Pinborough has joined those ranks. For those of you keeping score, when Larry Correia writes something new we drop everything. You can then find us camped out with a flashlight in the living room under a tent made of sheets and blankets. Never mind we own our own homes.

We are just going to come out and say it: Larry Correia's HARD MAGIC, book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles, is completely fun and awesome. Everyone knows how much we like his Monster Hunter series. We like this one more. Much more. Everything about HARD MAGIC is positively saturated with style...

...well, and explosions of course.

HARD MAGIC takes place during an alternate USA of the 20' and 30's. Magic has been reintroduced into the world which has obviously changed it dramatically. There is some detective story stuff here and some magic. But apart from those automatic "win buttons" the main thing that Larry's novel has going for it is its epic foundation. This is Epic Alternate Historical Urban Fantasy...with superheroes...kinda. Yeah. Tell us that doesn't sound completely fun and awesome if executed right. And yes, Larry does it right.

You may be tempted to dismiss Larry as a pure action author. The style (and `splosions) over substance type. The explosions and violence are there, and they are GLORIOUS! But we've said it before, and we'll say it again. Larry's work is deceptive. No doubt we read his work for the gunplay (one of the best out there) and the B-movie feeling it all invokes. But if we are honest with ourselves--and you readers of course--we would have to admit we read Larry's work for the characters. HARD MAGIC, in our opinion, has the best character work of all Larry's novels so far.

To understand the characters, we should probably talk a bit about the main magic system of the novel. Rare individuals have the ability to perform a certain type of magic. Some can alter their own personal gravity. Some can teleport. Some use animals in a borderline possession way. Others can perform miraculous healing feats while their opposites can cause plagues. In the back of the novel you'll find a list and description of them all. They sound a bit like superheroes. You readers of MISTBORN will feel very comfortable picking up the magic of this created world.

One of the main characters of the novel is Jake Sullivan. He is one of those individuals that can alter his personal gravity--a Heavy. He's been in wars (we get some awesome history here), he's been a P.I., and he's been in prison. Now he's on loan to the Feds. Simply put, Sullivan is terrific. He is very reminiscent of the Owen Pitt character from the Monster Hunter universe (some would say a tad too similar), but has enough differences to make him his own character. For starters, Sullivan is more intelligent. The sequences in the novel that show the research Sullivan is doing on magic are fantastic and are VERY character building.

While there are a ton of characters in the novel--none of with we can point at with dislike--the other main character we want to mention is Faye--a Traveler (aka teleporter). We want to mention this character specifically because Larry does such a great job of keeping her, well, female-ish. So many male authors have such a hard time writing female PoVs (just as female authors have trouble writing male PoVs). Faye goes through some traumatic events early in the novel, and there is a need to balance this "lost youth" and innocence with the incredible power he grows into as the novel progresses...not to mention all from a female's PoV. Tough stuff, yet Larry pulls it off. We don't mean to snub the female characters from his other novels, but Faye is not only the best female character Larry has put on paper, but she is one of his best overall characters, period.

We couldn't wrap us this review without mentioning the world-building. It may seem hardly worth mentioning since this takes place in a familiar-ish 1930s USA, but Larry did an amazing job here. Information is never just dumped on you during the course of the story. Rather than killing the pacing, Larry puts all the historical changes and details in the chapter bumps. The chapter bumps (or leads, if you will) in HARD MAGIC are easily on the same level as those in Brandon Sanderson's novels. We've mentioned before that we think Sanderson's chapter leads are some of best in the business (if not THE best). Larry's are THAT good. As you read through the novel, the attention to detail is noticeable. You can tell that a ton of research was done, and then effectively spun into the text.

When all is said and done, Larry Correia's HARD MAGIC is one of them most entertaining, fun novels we have read. What's more is that it has all the qualities that make us love Epic Fantasy, only in a Raymond Chandler, noir setting. No one type of reader will enjoy this novel more than another. This is one of the few novels that will capture every reader's imagination and leave them--like us--begging for more.

Recommended Age: 16 and up.
Language: Yep. It can be strong, but never feels thrown in for shock-value.
Violence: It's a Larry Correia novel, of course there is violence. The gun-play is perfect, and the set-piece action sequences are completely over-the-top and awesome.
Sex: Nope.
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 New Book, New World, Still Great Storytelling 27 avril 2011
Par Jason Cordova - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The "cool" factor of a book must have, for me, three things.

First, it must have an original feature about it. Secondly, the setting must be believable as well as easy to pronounce. Lastly, it must have very compelling characters and a very intriguing plot. Thankfully, author Larry Correia accomplishes all of these in his latest offering, Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles.

Jake Sullivan is a con "assisting" the FBI with the arrest and capture of people who are "specials" like him: people who, for unknown reasons, have magical abilities. Jake is what's called a "Heavy": people who can manipulate gravity. Usually associated with the simple-minded and common laborers, Jake is a Heavy who has pushed his ability further than previously thought possible. It is his special talents that come to the attention of the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover (the novel is set in the 1930's) when they need him to arrest 6 "specials" with other powers. Six, and he is pardoned. However, Hoover more or less screws him over by having him "arrest" his former love, Delilah, who is a type of special called a "Brute". You can figure out what that means, I bet.

In the midst of all this, however, is the tale of Faye, a young teen from Oklahoma who was taken in by a Portuguese farmer when he learns that she is talented like him. His ability, to travel through space, is identical to hers, only it comes to light later that she is far more powerful than he ever could be. Just as she's finally settled into her new life (okay, a few years later), someone comes along and murders the man she has grown to call "Grandpa". Faye sees the killer, isn't able to do much other than hurt one of the men, and promptly runs to San Francisco upon her dying "grandfather's" request.

The pacing is fantastic, and is a much shorter novel than any of Correia's previous work. The action is believable and he does a tremendous job with creating characters who you like immensely. Weaving an amazing back story seamlessly in (using quotes at the beginning of each chapter to talk about the magic, different events and different people throughout history), this book is a lot of fun.

This is a must-buy book for any fan of urban fantasy or science fiction.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A little bit of everything 1 septembre 2011
Par Kat Hooper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Jake Sullivan is not your average Heavy. He spent his jail time honing his skills and improving his mind and now he's J. Edgar Hoover's super-weapon, useful for fighting Fades, Torches, Brutes, and any of the other Actives who are using their magic for criminal purposes. Jake doesn't like being used this way, but it's his ticket out of prison. When the FBI asks Jake to bring down Delilah Jones, the Brute who used to be his girlfriend, Jake gets caught up in a world-wide battle that involves magic, mobsters, zombies, zeppelins, Ninjas and Nikola Tesla's peace ray.

Knowing that Larry Correia was into big guns and B movies, I wasn't planning to pick up Hard Magic, the first of his Grimnoir Chronicles. It doesn't really sound like my kind of thing. But then I noticed that it was released in audio by Audible Frontiers (who always do a superb production) and narrated by actor Bronson Pinchot. I decided to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. Even though it is a bit too gory for me, Hard Magic is an exciting story with a fully-developed world, a cool magic system, terrific characters, and some hard-hitting action scenes.

I won't even try to classify Hard Magic -- it's urban, it's alternate history, it's paranormal, it's steampunk, it's romance, it's horror, it's noir -- it's a little bit of everything. The story is set in an alternate 20th century between WWI and WWII. Magic talents have evolved in some humans so that each Active has one particular skill. For example, Jake Sullivan can alter gravitational forces, making himself or other objects light or heavy, Torches can set or put out fires, and Brutes have super strength. In addition to these heritable magical skills, the Germans have developed a way to create zombies to keep their soldiers fighting during The Great War, and the Japanese have developed their own nearly indestructible human super-weapons which they call the Iron Guard. And everyone wants to find the missing pieces of the machine that Nikola Tesla was working on at Wardenclyffe.

There's a lot going on in the Grimnoir Chronicles, but Correia gives us a break by setting it in our own almost-recognizable world. The bits of true history orient the reader, and the mangled quotes of real historical figures at the beginning of each chapter give Hard Magic an authentic feel:

* I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, by magical gift a Cog, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever. --Albert Einstein, 1919
* You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun. A smile, a gun, and a Brute get you the key to the city. --Al "Scarface" Capone, 1930

Hard Magic is well-written and frequently funny. The complex and twisty plot moves swiftly and is full of intriguing characters such as the uneducated orphan who can Travel, the German Fade who walks through walls, the Pale Horse whose curse kills, the greedy billionaire who designs airships... there are too many interesting characters to list. All of their cool magical skills lead to some hardcore fight scenes. Most readers will probably find these fights to be the most fun part of the book. I was grossed out more than once and kind of irked that dead people didn't necessarily stay dead, but that's just me.

If you're familiar with Bronson Pinchot's acting career, it won't surprise you to learn that his narration of the audiobook was brilliant. He took the whole production to a higher level. He easily managed all those characters with their different ethnicities and education levels -- it was delightful, and was one of the best audiobook performances I've ever heard.

Despite my queasiness, I'm looking forward to Spellbound, the next novel in the Grimnoir Chronicles. I can highly recommend this series to urban fantasy/noir fans who don't mind reading about ripped off heads and steaming entrails. If you want to give it a try, read the first few chapters of Hard Magic at Larry Correia's blog.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 He's a Heavy and he's my brother 21 juin 2011
Par H. Bala - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
In the wild, so much fun it should be illegal HARD MAGIC, the first book in the Grimnoir Chronicles, Larry Correia ropes in historical figures and proceeds to take more liberties than sailors during Fleet Week. Urban rumor whispers that Larry Correia was once a panelist with three other established fantasy writers at Life, The Universe, & Everything, a speculative fiction convention at BYU. A student in the audience had a question to which Correia was about to respond but then was abruptly cut off. To quote the student (or, rather, Ed Gorman's blog quoting Correia quoting the student): "You're just a contemporary fantasy author. I want to hear what the epic fantasy authors have to say." Oh, snap.

An outraged (or at least snippy) Larry Correia went away for a time, did bits of copious research, formulated a plan, all the while thinking, probably in caps: "NOBODY TELLS LARRY CORREIA WHAT GENRE HE'S IN!" And here's HARD MAGIC, gestated in choler, born out of ill will. It's Correia's best book yet, yes, better than his Monster Hunter International series. So, thanks, rude student, you asshat.

In his own words Correia describes HARD MAGIC as a "hard boiled/epic fantasy/adventure/alternative history/super hero novel," and I'm only disappointed that he hadn't managed to inject bits of Harlequin romance or medical mystery in there. Then you really could've labeled it a kitchen sink effort. Correia has rapidly garnered a rep for staging hellacious action sequences and his accuracy with describing modern-day firearms is well established by now. But he's also demonstrated a knack for laying down some solid character work. In HARD MAGIC, he really rolls up his sleeves in that department, because these are some of the most realized characters I've read about in a while in urban fantasy.

Used to be war hero, used to be convict Jake Sullivan is making ends meet, having hung his private eye shingle. As part of a bargain with the Feds that got him an early parole from Rockville Penitentiary, Jake would assist the G-Men in apprehending some of the most dangerous criminals at large. But let's backtrack some.

Larry Correia doesn't mess around when he's in a snit. His world building here is absolutely comprehensive and immersive. In this alternate reality, sometime back in the 1850s, magic knocked on the door and randomly bestowed extraordinary abilities onto a tiny percentage of human population, that is, one amazing knack per person. Only one person was able to demonstrate multiple powers. In the 1930s, there's still the Depression, there's still the Prohibition, there's still J. Edgar Hoover, who proves to be an even bigger asshat than that student. In 1932, the Magicals are an accepted (if worrying) presence. Jake Sullivan is down to his last ops with the FBI, one last mission to nab felonious Magicals; he's in the clear after this one. Unless the FBI had been lying to him, unless J. Edgar Hoover, a notorious Magicalphobe, had other plans... Jake finds himself going after Delilah Jones, an old friend and a super-strong Brute now accused of murder.

Big, lumbering Jake Sullivan is a Heavy, able to manipulate gravity, and one of the strongest of his sort. Heavies are reputed to be dimbulbs, and yet Jake exhibits more intelligence than Owen Z. Pitt, Correia's main hero in the Monster Hunter International books. Jake's brutish looks belie the man's smarts and innate curiousity. While in stir, he's had ample time to contemplate many aspects of his power. He's conducted his own experiments. I did say he's one of the strongest Heavies around, right?

A secret war is being waged. In this reality, a frustrated Austrian painter never had a chance to make waves. As such, the Japanese Imperium rose to prominence under the guidance of the Chairman, he who is endowed with multiple Magical talents. The Chairman has at his beck and call a Magical army of Iron and Shadow Guards, one of whom is the Madi who, thru his actions and because of who he is, becomes Jake's nemesis. Opposing the Imperium is the Grimnoir Society, dedicated to protecting Magicals and as well policing its own. Both sides are after the apocalyptic Geo-Tel device, the world's most devastating weapon. It seems that, in whatever reality he inhabits, Nikola Tesla - who created the Geo-Tel device - is a walking loose cannon.

Larry Correia just elbowed Turtledove and Stirling aside for a seat at the table. Correia makes his own brand of alternate history more inviting and more fun, complements the magic bits with plenty of smoky gin joints and tough talking gangsters and a bunch of other stuff befitting the zeitgeist of the 1930s. Correia injects strong elements of noir and pulp, transporting me to nostalgia heaven. If you're a history buff of the 1930s era, then your head may spin at Correia's reimagining of certain historical events and figures (baseball contemplating banning a magical Babe Ruth, a slightly different recounting of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, the Titanic saved by a Magical, etc.). Goes without saying, the action sequences are big and glorious. We're treated to some of the best writing of "superhero" smackdowns to come down the pipe. Jake, for example, because of his deep knowledge of his talent, does some very clever things with gravity.

Jake is an engrossing character and a baaaad mother, but my favorite, hands down (in a room full of intriguing characters), is Sally Faye Vierra, a teenaged farm girl who endures several harrowing experiences. Faye is pure rustic and splendidly blunt and she's a Traveler. She can teleport, and the fate of the world may rest on her shoulders even more so than on Jake's. Faye is the best female character Correia has written so far. She is the most moxie-having girl and she had me steady big grinning and jaw dropping with the stuff she said and the derring-do in which she engaged.

And just to whet the appetite, the writer introduces an extinction level menace just waiting in the wings. Compared to that thing, the Madi and the Chairman are posies. Maybe J. Edgar Hoover was right to be paranoid.
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