Reviewed by Christie and Sarina
TITLE: By Fairy Means or Foul
SERIES: Starfig Investigations #1
AUTHOR: Meghan Maslow
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 280 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2017
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.
Okay, so after reading the blurb for By Fairy Means or Foul, I immediately begged for the chance to read this book. I mean, c’mon, zombies, magic carpet, dragons, fairies, unicorn, and a private investigator all in the same book? Yes, please! It sounded tailor made just for me. Well, I know it wasn’t, but still… Anyway, I really enjoyed it and hope you do as well.
Twig Starfig is a half dragon/ half fae hybrid, struggling to find his real identity in the world. He is too small to stay with his mother’s dragon clan and was kicked out at a young age. And, too big to claim much from his father’s fae side, even tho his dad has all but demanded Twig join him on the high counsel that rules their world. So, he has decided to play to his own strengths and open a private investigator firm, since his more dominant dragon side makes it almost instinctual for him to be good at finding objects. In fact, Twig has made a pretty good name for himself and his investigation agency. So good in fact, that he occasionally attracts a client who has nefarious intentions and thinks they can pull one over on Twig.
Enter the illustrious unicorn, who seems to have lost his horn. You’re probably thinking “wait, I thought unicorns were beautiful,pure, and all things gentle”. In this book? Yeah, not so much. Well, except for the beautiful thing; that’s true. But, this unicorn is treacherous, devious, and a truly vile creature. However, his indentured servant Quinn Broomsparkle, well, he… sparkles. He is sweet, and beautiful, and true. Mostly. Oh! Quinn is also the temporary down payment on the fees for Twig to retrieve the unicorn’s lost horn. Are you lost yet? Well, together Twig and Quinn go on an adventure to find the lost unicorn horn, all while trying to avoid their growing attraction for each other.
Can a half dragon/ half fae love and have a relationship with a mere human? Do our intrepid duo find the unicorn horn? And, what happens if they return the horn back to its owner? Does that mean Quinn goes with it too? For answers to these questions, and more, including where the zombies, ghost ship, and magic carpet that were mentioned in the blurb appear, do make sure to get By Fairy Means or Foul by Meghan Maslow. You will not be disappointed. It is fantastic! To be honest, I have read this book twice already, and am planning to read it again in the near future. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!
I’ll admit that I was totally hooked when I first read the blurb; there was just so much going for the book already at that point that I was beyond ready to dive on into the story. Let me start off by saying that while I enjoyed the book as a whole, there were some minor things I had issues with that just didn’t seem to go over as well with me. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.
First off, I felt the world building was great! I loved the setting and any book that can combine so many different elements (dragons, and unicorns and zombies, oh my!) is just totally made of win in my book. I found the story itself to be highly entertaining and since I never really knew what to expect next, it easily kept my attention. I found Twig to be an interesting main character; half dragon/half fairy and just plain all awesome in my opinion. He had this kind of tortured hero feel to him with both his background and his rampant denial in regards to his attraction and deepening connection with Quinn. Anyone that enjoys stories where the main characters spend a lot of time denying their feelings for one another should thoroughly enjoy this one.
Now, my few issues; for the longest time I didn’t really care for Twig and Quinn together. There was this lack of connection that worked against the pairing for me though as you learn more about Quinn’s background and what led him to a life of indentured servitude, things started to make more sense to me. When he talks it over with Twig, I was glad to see him opening up but, I’ll be honest, Twig’s reaction wasn’t what I’d expected; it fit in with his character, I guess, but that kind of information should’ve garnered something more, if that makes sense. Honestly, that was probably my biggest sticking point in the ‘I don’t really care for this’ column and without spoiling anything, that’s all I can say on the matter.
Overall I found the story enjoyable and wouldn’t be averse to seeing these characters again; I certainly look forward to exploring the universe some more. If you enjoy a good Urban Fantasy with a diverse cast of characters, I’d recommend giving this one a look.