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Reviewed by Kat Heckenbach originally for http://fantasynovels.wmart.org/fantasynovels/1956-magic-mensa-mayhem.html
Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem is a very appropriate title for Karina Fabian’s book, released just a few months ago from Swimming Kangaroo Books. I can think of a few more “M” words to go with it, too…mystery, music, mischief, muscle, maudlin…
Unfortunately, “merriment” is the only “M” word I can find that relates to humor, and that just doesn’t cut it. I need a word that means “hilariously funny, you will laugh out loud, do not eat or drink while reading or you’ll end up snorting said refreshments all over your book.”
This is the premier novel featuring Karina’s character, Vern, the dragon private investigator who knows not only how to save the universe, but is quite adept at properly-placed puns. Stick him in the middle of a Mensa convention…throw in a few long-winded Elves, a Norwegian she-ra, and a couple of dysfunctional dwarves….
I loved reading this book. It brought to mind the old Xanth novels by Piers Anthony–with some overlapping terms, like non-faerie humans being called “mundanes” (oh, look, another “m” word!), to the locale of the story being Florida. And of course the puns, which flow from Karina–I mean Vern–with such ease and Grace (Vern’s partner).
There were several instances that just had me rolling, but my favorite part, being a native Floridian, was the end scene in chapter fifteen. I won’t ruin it by telling you about it, but sheeeew-dang, if Karina ain’t nevah been to Flor’da and heard fer herself the ol’ suthunahs talk, she shore does have a good mind fer guessin’….
Ah, the point? Get the book. Read it. Someplace where you can laugh out loud.
Karina Fabian writes award-winning science fiction and fantasy that twist clichés and combines the heavy with the lighthearted. Find all her books at http://fabianspace.com