Tuesday 15 April 2014

Review: Ill-Conceived Magic - R.L. Naquin

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.

Monster Haven Series:
Monster in My Closet
Ill-Conceived Magic (Short Story)
Pooka in My Pantry
Hidden Holidays (Short Story)
Fairies in My Fireplace
What Zoey Doesn't Know (Short Story)
Golem in My Glovebox
Demons in My Driveway
Transmonstrified (Short Story Collection)
Phoenix in My Fortune

Djinn Haven series:
(Spin off from the Monster Haven series but can be read separately)
To Catch A Stolen Soul
To Seize a Wayward Spirit
To Free a Captured Heart

Visit R.L. Naquin's website for more information

After really enjoying Monster in My Closet I couldn't wait to spend more time in the world that R.L. Naquin has created. This story is set not long after the first book, Zoey is now used to sharing her house with the various supernatural creatures who have come to her for help and she's actually enjoying having them around. Things are thrown into disarray when they find a rather surprising gift on the doorstep though - an abandoned baby. The baby isn't exactly human either, in fact it seems to be part dryad and part satyr which is rather surprising considering how much the two species hate each other. Can Zoey track down the baby's parents and reunite a family or will that prove to be impossible considering both sides are practically at war?

Ill-Conceived Magic is a very short story of around 50 pages so it is a very quick read but it is still full of the humour I've come to expect from this series. Zoey and Maurice get a lot more than they bargained for when they set out to find the baby's parents and their interactions with the satyrs in particular were absolutely hilarious. If you enjoyed the first book in the series then you're sure to love this story just as much.

My one hesitancy to recommend it would be down to the price, I know it is becoming more and more common for authors to offer additional short stories set in the same world as their established series. These stories aren't usually essential reading to follow the ongoing series plot (I believe that is the case here but I won't know for sure until I read Pooka in My Pantry) and I do enjoy getting additional insight into the characters but I think it's a bit of a rip off to charge fans for such a short story when a lot of authors offer similar ones for free. In fact Ill-Conceived Magic was originally available for free from Smashwords (which is thankfully when I downloaded it) but is currently more expensive on Amazon UK than the first full length novel and that just doesn't seem right to me. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing with this series but I'm reluctant to pay so much for the short stories that seem to be coming in between each full length book so I may decide to skip Hidden Holidays and What Zoey Doesn't Know.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


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