Monk’s second Broken Magic book brings readers back into the Allie Beckstrom universe — and back into the lives of two hopelessly dysfunctional and utterly compelling heroes whose fascinating magic both binds and traps them. The odd bond that they share, both magically and personally, is strong enough to hold readers’ attention and empathy, and the dark, edgy adventure will keep them enthralled to the final scene. Longtime fans will no doubt delight in the return of many of Monk’s most beloved characters, but Shame and Terric definitely stand on their own.
Most days, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley can barely stand one another, but being soul-bound, marked by Death and Life magic respectively, they can’t avoid each other for long. Now they have been forced into a partnership to hunt down a common enemy: rogue magic user Eli Collins. Backed by the government, Eli’s crimes are horrifying in their power and destruction, and both Shame and Terric know that the magic they will need to stop him could kill them both. But the alternative may change the face of their world, and of magic itself, irrevocably. (ROC, Apr., 368 pp., $7.99)