Friday, 23 January 2015

Book Review: Ill Conceived Magic by RL Naquin (Monster Haven #1.5)

Empath and caretaker to monsters, Zoey Donovan, finds a package on her front lawn. It cries a lot and wears diapers. It also has horns, cloven hooves, and green skin. Zoey and Maurice the closet monster look for the unlikely parents in a crazy attempt to bring together the mismatched family. A dangerous prospect, considering the family's hostile relatives.

Ill-Conceived Magic is a short story in the same world as the Monster Haven novels from Carina Press. It also includes a bonus first chapter of Pooka in My Pantry. This story can be enjoyed without having read the novels. However, it fits chronologically between book one, Monster in My Closet, and book two, Pooka in My Pantry.

My Review:
Having been surprised at how funny Monster in my Closet was, I couldn't wait to get onto this short story which I picked up free last year, to see what Zoey and Maurice did next.

Zoey finds a half satyr, half dryad baby abandoned on her doorstep and she and Maurice are clueless as to what to do. They decide to find the real parents to see if the problem can be solved which means facing down hostile dryad women and horny violent satyrs. Maurice is in a panic about Zoey's safety but she is only concerned with the baby's welfare.

For a short story, this had everything-paranormal action, lots of laughs and a big pile of Maurice! What else could you want? The fun comes in the form of Maurice and Phil doing karaoke to the Titanic theme with Phil of course using words that make sense only to him! I couldn't stop laughing! Instead of 'near, far, wherever you are' from Maurice, we got from Phil 'yawn, stew, forget my old shoe'. Very funny. Phil's guide to nappy changing was amusing as well. I was also amused in a sick way by the initial slimy introductions from the satyrs until they got nasty.

We also get the serious side, exploring the friendship between Zoey and Maurice, asking the question of can you accept friends for who they are, even if they have a side you don't like much? Poor Maurice really goes through hell on this journey, trying to keep her safe and fearing that he might lose her friendship. The story also explores the relationship between two enemy races and the prejudice that the resulting baby has to face from both sides, which I found pretty poignant.

Overall this was a great addition to the series and I really liked it. I recommend this series to fans of paranormal cozy mysteries and light urban fantasy.
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

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