Hard-boiled detective story + A world with magic wielders = Larry Correia’s “Grimnoir” world.
In addition to being a great name for a genre, “Grimnoir” is a great concept for a genre. The story takes place in the early 1930s, about 80 years after powers emerged. At this point, about 1% of the population has powers. About 10%of these have enough power to be considered an “active.” The presence of magic during this period has changed world events, adding “alternate history” to the book’s mix of genres. In this world, the Titanic didn’t sink, Hitler was assassinated early in his political career, and Tesla’s Peace Ray ended the Great War.
PI Jake Sullivan has the stereotypical hardboiled attitude that comes with literary interpretations of his profession. He is an ex-con, as well as a military vet. But he is also an active, possessing the talent to make nearby objects light as a feather or as heavy as lead. So the government turns to Jake to take down a suspected killer who's been engaged in a magic-powered crime spree.
By the time Jake realizes that the girl behind the robberies is an old friend, he realizes that the G-Men have pulled him into a secret war between opposing groups of magic-users. And both groups have powerful powers on their side.
The novel presented these emerging powers as magic-based, although the source of those powers is not revealed. But as a comic book fan, I categorized these as “super-powers,” and that reading worked. The range of powers that Correia comes up with are interesting, and the uses that he finds for these powers is unpredictable.
There are at least two more novels in the series, and I anticipate checking out the next one. I like the world, I like most of the main characters, and want to see where the story is headed.
Source: public library