Title: By Fairy Means or Foul
Series: Starfig Investigations: Book One
Author: Meghan Maslow
Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Run Time: 8 hours and 16 minutes
At a Glance: If you’re looking for a journey that is fantastical, fun and frankly, a bit dark, with stellar narration and an impressive range of character voice work, then you’ll love this one.
Reviewed By: Jovan
Blurb: The last thing half-dragon, half-fairy private investigator Twig Starfig wants to do is retrieve a stolen enchanted horn from a treacherous fae, but there’s no denying the dazzlingly gorgeous unicorn who asks Twig to do just that. Literally, no denying, because compelling the reluctant detective is all part of a unicorn’s seductive magic.
To add to his woes, Twig is saddled with the unicorn’s cheeky indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle. Dragons are supposed to want to eat humans, but Twig’s half-dragon side only wants to gobble up Quinn in a more personal way. Making matters worse, it’s obvious the smokin’ hot but untrustworthy sidekick is hiding something. Something big. And not what’s in his trousers. In the PI business, that means trouble with a capital Q.
Throw in gads of zombies, a creepy ghost pirate ship, a malfunctioning magic carpet, and Twig’s overbearing fairy father’s demands to live up to the illustrious Starfig name. Naturally, an old but abiding enemy chooses this time to resurface, too. Those inconveniences Twig can handle. The realization he’s falling for a human who isn’t free to return his affections and whose life may hang on the success of his latest case?
Not so much.
Review: By Fairy Means or Foul is a magical blend of humor, imagination and straight up shenanigans. Twig Starfig, a half-dragon/half fairy whose mixed heritage has made him an outcast from both societies, has created a place for himself as an investigator who specializes in finding and retrieving items. When Twig is hired by unicorn model Brandsome Nightwind to retrieve his horn, he is offered Brandsome’s indentured human servant, Quinn Broomsparkle, as payment collateral. Worried that in order to get the money for Twig’s fee, Brandsome will sell Quinn’s contract to creatures that might mistreat a human, Twig reluctantly accepts temporary ownership of Quinn—an inauspicious beginning that illustrates the darker side of Elder Realm society and continually influences the complexity of their relationship.
As they travel across a world full of magical beings, usually with ulterior motives, they must learn to trust one another and navigate their increasingly complicated situation, a hard enough task that is exacerbated by upturned expectations, hidden agendas and supernaturally infused misadventures. I wasn’t expecting a social commentary about the pitfalls of stereotyping and classism in my high-adventure, but it was very well done and provided an awesome platform for sarcasm and snark. The book is populated by a range of colorful characters—from the devious to the hilarious to the unexpectedly charming, and Greg Boudreaux nails each and every one. From foul-mouthed sprites to erudite demons, Boudreaux hits all the character notes as well as infusing the narrative with all the energy, tonal shifts, and emotion that a book full of high adventures as well as surprisingly emotional moments needs.
If you’re looking for a journey that is fantastical, fun and frankly, a bit dark, with stellar narration and an impressive range of character voice work, then you’ll love this one.
You can buy By Fairy Means or Foul here:
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