Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Private eye John Justin Mallory has hit an all time low point in his life. His wife ran off with his ex-partner, the mafia has put a price on his head, he doesn’t have any money and no prospective clients, either, until he sees a little green elf trying to hire him. At first, Mallory blames the elf-sighting on the bourbon he has been drinking, but as he listens to Murgenstrum’s story, he starts believing that elves really do exist. When some mob guys come to get him, the elf’s ideas start to seem really good and Mallory is on the case.
Turns out that Murgenstrum was in charge of watching a unicorn, the unicorn that kept the fairy world and the human world linked. In the heart of each unicorn was a magic gem that had amazing power and the Grundy, a demon, wanted that power. Murgenstrum was positive that the Grundy had kidnapped the unicorn and was desperate to find it before the unicorn was killed. They didn’t have much time and Mallory was all too aware that, if the unicorn died, the veil between his world and the fairy world would disappear and he would be stuck in a world populated with fairies, gnomes, leprechauns, goblins, demons and who knows what else!
I found this to be an entertaining, light fantasy read. Resnick‘s view of the fairy world was very interesting and it was great to see Manhattan as a world living alongside fantasy where things are never what they seem. The only thing that could have made this book better was to have better character development and a smoother plot. The characters had a tendency to pop in and out of the story, some to be seen again, most not. They are not necessarily hard to keep track of, but some of Mallory’s adventures seemed contrived to make the book longer than it needed to be. Still the wacky characters in the book are a great part of its charm. I enjoyed the book, but I borrowed it from a virtual library and so I think this book is worth reading, but I don’t know if I would feel the same way if I had paid for it…
This book is a fantasy mystery so it contains some dark elements (think film noir private detective) including fighting, mild violence, shoot outs, attacks by random fairy creatures, some demonic scenes where the demons come up out of hell to try and get the unicorn, etc. There is mild language. Recommended for ages 12 and up.