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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Immortal Quest: The Trouble With Mages

Immortal Quest: The Trouble With Mages, Alexandra MacKenzie, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2010

This is a fantasy story about a relationship that has lasted for several centuries. It is also about the potential end of the world.

Nick Wright is a present-day London detective who, one night, is interrogating a burglary suspect named Marlen. He tells Nick that they have known each other for 500 years, and that Nick is on his eleventh lifetime. As a mage, Marlen is immortal. Nick is skeptical, to say the least. Marlen tells Nick things about himself that no one can possibly know. Nick slowly begins to beleive that maybe Marlen is not totally nuts.

Marlen attempted a spell to get Nick to remember the old days of partying all over Europe. Not only does it not work, but Marlen accidentally releases a powerful mage named Vere from her 700-year imprisonment. She wanted to bring the gift of immortality to all people, and was supposedly working on the ultimate spell. She infused three items, a cup, a ring and a stone with magical power, now hidden in widely different parts of Britain. If she ever got hold of those items, and completed her spell, the whole world would be in danger. At least, that is according to Duncan Phipps, head of the Immortal Society of Mages, who wants the three items for his own megalomaniacal purposes.

Meantime, Nick has gotten a job with DI6, Britain's domestic intelligence service. But, he has been shunted into the last place he wants to work with DI6, the PIS, or Paranormal Investigative Service. Nick would much rather investigate terrorists than Elvis sightings. His uncle Brianm who runs the PIS, tells Nick to stick with Marlen. The PIS has been investigating the Mages for years, and they need a real magical object to study. The relationship between Nick and Marlen is volatile, at best. Marlen tries, perhaps too hard, to get the "old Nick" back. Nick becomes fond of Marlen, but does not want to get into a relationship with him. Nick has tried very hard to suppress his homosexual past. Everything climaxes at an isolated castle in Scotland. Is Vere really as mean as her reputation says? Does Vere or Duncan get "eliminated?" Do Marlen and Nick come to any sort of understanding about their relationship?

This might be a rather quiet relationship story, but it's a good one. It is marketed as an LGBT novel, but the homosexuality is pretty subtle. It's recommended.

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