Archive for the ‘Perfect Strangers’ Category

[LISTENED TO: June 7, 2013] Hard Magichardmagic

My sister-in-law Karen raved about this book and then gave it to me for Christmas.  And holy cow.  I.  LOVED.  IT.

And before I even get into the story I have to say that a major reason why I loved it is because of the reader–Bronson Pinchot.  Yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers.  Yes, that goofy “foreigner” from the show has an utterly mesmerizing speaking voice.  It is amazingly deep–when he first started speaking the menacing drawl of Jake Sullivan, I was blown away.  And then he pulled out a couple dozen more characters, women and men–German, Japanese, Okies, military men, New Yorkers.  He brought this story to absolutely real life.

I have made a point of looking for anything else that he reads (although I see that he mostly reads books about war (which is not my thing))–but I see a Flannery O’Connor in there and–YES–he reads book two of the Grimnoir series (called Spellbound) and it’s already out!

Okay enough about Pinchot.  No, not enough.  He was stellar!

Okay, now enough.  What’s the story about?  Well, the best thing is that the story itself is also amazing.  It is set in the 1930s, in an alternate reality Untied States.  And in this reality, random people have been gifted with magic.  And there’s all kinds of magic–fades (people who can walk through walls); torches (people who can make and stop fires), mouths (people who can put thoughts in your head); brutes (people who are crazy strong and who can actually bend gravity to their will) and movers (people who can jump from place to place).  There’s also healers and cursers and cogs–really smart people–and other with more mysterious powers.

Each chapter opens with a quote from a real (in our world) person talking about how the magic or the people with magic–the Actives–impacted society.  So Einstein was a cog, and military leaders used brutes to fight in wars, etc. (more…)

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