As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Review: Magic, Monsters and Me – Timoteo Tong

Magic, Monsters, and Me - Timoteo Tong

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Publisher | Amazon

About The Book

Sixteen-year-old Elijah Delomary loves the City of Angels. The sunshine, the palm trees, the ocean. He especially enjoys battling the monsters infesting the dark corners of the vast metropolis.

As he starts his junior year at Burbank High School he meets a new friend, Austin who also fights monsters to keep Angelenos safe. As their friendship develops and love blooms, Elijah’s arch nemesis Devlina reappears, threatening to use magic to destroy the world.

Elijah must now juggle pursuing his feelings for Austin, meeting the lofty expectations of his affluent and influential family, and fulfilling his destiny to combat the forces of evil and save his hometown.

Warnings: Bullying, racism, homophobia no HEA cliffhanger

The Review

At the age of fifteen, Austin Kang Jr. lives a semi-normal teenage life. His parents, Cecilia and Austin Sr., are still in love, and Austin hopes one day it will be the same for him with a special someone.

He lives in a comfortable mansion on North Sunset Canyon Drive. The house has very good feng shui, and it centers their family and keeps them safe and grounded. His passions in life are playing soccer, listening to grunge music like his father, being a Coaugelus and fighting the Coven, and finding a special boy. He also enjoys saving Ordinaries from monsters. But what he loves most of all is hunting monsters to keep them all safe.

His favorite cousin is Barn Wong, but they are more like brothers. Barn and Austin hope they will both get to train at the Dau Xha, the dojo run by sensei Daumo Maurso. Austin’s mother wishes Austin would take a break from the monsters and be a normal boy and have fun.

Meeting up with Barn turns Austin’s little orbit into a spin. He takes notice of the red-haired boy with freckles who’s with Barn – the most beautiful boy Austin has ever seen. He wants to circle him forever.

Elijah Delomary is sixteen. He yearns to have a normal life, but he’s also an Encantreino. He lives with his mother Belinda and sister Tory, and his mentor is his Aunt Christine. His mother rules his life. She puts so much pressure on him. She has a ten-year plan for him and has all types of activities scheduled, even tap dancing. This hardly leaves any time for Elijah to do what he wants. He’s scared that if he did anything wrong, he would tarnish or destroy the family name and his brand.

He misses his father, Lawrence, and feels like he’s to blame for his father leaving. Even though his Uncle George has stepped up and has supported him, he still has a yearning to connect with his father. His mother’s a Magical and his father’s an Ordinary, and in the beginning the relationship was fine, but the difference caused problems between them.

Elijah was often bullied in school because of his red hair and the status of the Delomary name. He’s friends with Ordinaries April, Kevin, Gina, Tina, Letitia, and his cousins Tyrone and Tyrell. They know his secret that he hunts monsters. He also has a stuffed octopus by the name of Ocho and a retriever named Boxey, his familiar.

When Elijah attends the Summer Camp for Magicals, he meets Aurmiddo. The camp for Magicals is in another dimension, and they speak the Old Language. To attend, you have to travel seven thousand years to the future and across six dimensions.

When Elijah has his first kiss with Aurmiddo, it sends him into a panic. Boys do not kiss boys, especially in Elijah’s circles. It would definitely destroy his family name.

When he finally meets Austin and they have their first kiss, it sends Elijah into a whirlwind of overthinking. Will he be able to handle all the pressures that are put upon him, along with Austin and his newly found sexuality?

Tong’s imagination shines through in Magic Monsters & Me. The world-building is amazing, especially for the time Elijah spends at the summer camp. I really enjoyed the fabulous descriptions of his new world of magic and monsters, and the way Tong blends languages and cultures makes this novel outstanding.

I really liked Austin and Elijah as a young teenage couple dealing with coming out, their sexuality, homophobia, bullying and Old Earth rules. The dysfunction in Elijah’s family, especially when it comes to parents, provides a great contrast to Austin’s loving family. Elijah is under so much stress from the burden of his family name and responsibilities. Austin is a beautiful soul – funny, carefree, understanding, and is the perfect support for Elijah.

I also really loved Delvina – she’s wicked and funny, and becomes an ally for Elijah. She’s also has some very important advice.

I highly recommend Magic, Monsters & Me. It’s the first book I’ve read by Timoteo Tong, and it’s entertaining and fun with a little danger, plenty of action, heartbreak, growing pains and first time love. This is a great start to the series, and I can’t wait to see what Tong has planned next for Elijah and Austin!

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

Join Our Newsletter List, Get 4 Free Books

File Type Preferred *
Privacy *
Queer Sci Fi Newsletter Consent *
Please consider also subscribing to the newsletters of the authors who are providing these free eBooks to you.
Author Newsletter Consent *
Check your inbox to confirm your addition to the list(s)

Leave a Comment