by Larry Correia

Baen, $15.00, 400 pages

Fans of science fiction, magic, and private eye mysteries will find all of this and more in author Larry Correia’s new book Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles. Readers will know Correia from his Monster Hunter series. In Hard Magic, Jake Sullivan finds himself in the middle of a secret magical war. Jake is one of a select group of people with abilities. Beasties control animals telepathically. Torches control fire. Brutes have increased physical strength. Fades walk through solid objects. Sullivan discovers that the Grimnoir Society was founded to protect Actives (those with power) from the Normals (no power), and vice versa. The knights of the Grimnoir fight evil to end violence against the innocent. There are spies, double agents, and even an Active who can raise the dead to create an everlasting supply of soldiers. A Glossary of Magical Terms includes definitions of words key to the story. The tale is filled with action – highjacked trains, exploding dirigibles, and the detonation of massively destructive weapons Correia’s style is like an old fashioned mystery with modern twists. Hard Magic is the first in a series so readers can become invested in the characters and the story.

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin