Friday, February 8, 2013

Stalking the Unicorn

Stalking the Unicorn: A Fable of Tonight: A John Justin Mallory Mystery
Today's post is on 'Stalking the Unicorn' a Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick. It is the first in a short series consisting of three novels and many short stories. It is published by Pyr and is 280 pages including some appendixes with some side information from the story. The cover has the back of the hero to the reader with the Other Manhattan before him and us. As you are reading the book remember to look at the cover as you do because you will see things from the book, I think that it is fun but that could just be me. The intended reader is anyone who likes urban fantasies, witty stories, and just fun reads all around. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back- It's a 8:35 pm on New Year's Eve, and private detective John Justin Mallory is hiding out in his Manhattan office to avoid his landlord's persistent inquires about the unpaid rent. As he cheerlessly reflects on the passing of a lousy year, which saw his business partner run off with his wife, he assumes the bourbon is responsible for the appearance of a belligerent elf. This elf informs him that he needs the detective's help in searching for a unicorn that was stolen from his charge. When Mallory realizes the little green fellow is not going to disappear with the passing of his inebriation, he listens to the elf's impassioned plea that the stolen magical beast must be returned to his care by daylight or his little green life with be forfeited by the Elves' Guild. Join John Justin Mallory on a New Year's night of wolf adventures in a fantasy Manhattan of leprechauns, gnomes, and harpies as he matches wits with the all-powerful demon, the Grundy, in a race to find the missing unicorn before time runs out!

Now I have reviewed Resnick's work before and I love him. His wit is just wonderful in all his writing and this is no different. John Justin, as I call him, is a wonderful hero for many reasons. He is witty, he is full of common sense (always a plus for me), he rolls with the punches, and he uses everything in his power to do the Right Thing. The side characters do more than just move the story along; they add to the plot. The villain is a demon who is power hungry and because John Justin is from our world he just is not afraid. John Justin is just the best. I cannot give these books the highest praise. Resnick takes all the fantasy tropes and makes them new again. The whole book takes place in about nine(9) hours. Each chapter at the start has the time that pass in the chapter at the top under the chapter number- for example Chapter Nine 12:08 am to 12:45 am. I like that because it just raises my opinion of Resnick as a writer, to tell that wonderful story in less a day or even half a day. A writer who can tell a whole story in so little time passing impresses me. The best part of the story is the dialog. Resnick is a master with it and this time is no different. But you will just have to read it for yourself.

I give this Five out of Five stars because it is a masterpiece. I get nothing for my review. I bought this book with my own money and I own it with pride; go forth and do the same.