Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Romance
LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay
Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
“Why does this always happen to us?” –Quinn Broomsparkle, wizard extraordinaire
Six months have passed since wizard Quinn Broomsparkle left behind his indentured servant shackles. He’s in love with his half-dragon/half-fairy familiar, Twig Starfig. He’s got a home. Friends. A job. And a father-in-law he could do without. A pretty close to perfect life. But as Quinn has learned the hard way, things rarely stay peaceful for long. Especially when a Starfig’s involved.
Summoned to his home realm and a past he’d thought left behind, Quinn and Twig find themselves in the middle of evil machinations . . . with no clear enemy. When Quinn’s younger brother, Zak, goes missing, it’s Starfig Investigations on the case.
Being the first wizard in a thousand years isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. On top of a missing brother, a broken-hearted red fury, an archivist with a secret, and a ghost pirate-parrot who’s determined to return to his captain, Quinn and Twig’s relationship is sorely tested when questions—and unhappy answers—about their mating dilemma are pushed to the fore.
All Quinn wants is his fairy share of happiness. Is that so much to ask?
“Do you always do too-stupid-to-live stuff?”
This would be a really, really expensive movie.
Two things to take note regarding this final volume of the Starfig Investigations trilogy: it’s written from Quinn Broomsparkle’s perspective, and it’s a whole lot darker than the first two volumes in the series. The giddy, sitcom quality of the first two books isn’t entirely absent, and really kicks back in during the last part of the adventure. Nonetheless, lots of serious, upsetting stuff happens in this story, which focuses on Quinn’s return to his birthplace – the Hominus Realm – and to the Citadel of witches that rules over his homeland and ruins his life.
The half-dragon Twig Starfig has dominated the narrative so far, even though we’ve really gotten to know his mate, Quinn, very well. Each of these two guys is of equal importance, to us and to the author. It’s interesting to hear Quinn’s voice, and to finally really dig into this young man’s heart and mind.
Of course, my comment about this being an expensive movie should be expanded to note that this would also be an x-rated movie. Steamy physical encounters are part of the recipe for m/m, and while I am not the greatest fan of this trope, I commend Maslow on her ability to integrate the naughty bits into the emotional and action-driven plot arcs. There is a major and very satisfying resolution to Quinn and Twig’s pairing that is not only critical to the plot, but a catalyst to one of the most epic sequences of battle scenes ever to fill my imagination with mayhem.
Maslow brings all of the larger loose ends together in this dramatic final chapter, keeping the characters – far more than just the two central figures – vivid and compelling. The fantastical absurdity of it all, from pirates to Bill the red fury demon, to Twig’s tiny, arrogant father, is held in check through the deep humanity with which Maslow invests each of her players.
All in all, this series has felt like Disney World on hallucinogens. The fact that I found it both moving and satisfying is a testament to the author’s skills.
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.
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