Thomas “Awkward” Dante lives a life that very few people would envy. The disgraced fire elemental spends his days drinking alcohol laced with magic and trying to fly under the radar of the mystical powers that be. A murder covered up with fire at Awkward’s home bar, the Lost and Found, throws him back into the world of supernatural sleuthing, and he’ll have to use every bit of his knowledge of Mystixology (the art of casting spells with booze) to stay out of the clutches of the multiple groups who want to make him person of interest number one.
Awkward on the Rocks is Marcel Feldmar’s third novel, and it’s a fun blend of humor, noir, and magic. Readers who enjoy paranormal reads including whimsy, self-deprecating naval gazing, action, and lots and lots of alcoholic beverages will find plenty of catnip throughout the 300-plus pages. Feldmar presents a dark story with just enough of a twist to be highly entertaining, and, fortunately, Awkward knows himself well enough to not imagine he is playing a Humphrey Bogart character.
The cast of characters in Awkward on the Rocks grows exponentially throughout the novel, but the plot falters if Awkward doesn’t work for the reader. I found our protagonist entertaining and wonderfully flawed, so even though I’ve never been accused of covering up a murder with my allegedly throttled magical abilities, I identified with him and cared about his survival. Awkward’s understanding of how he had failed in the past and accepting his role in those failures aroused sympathy in me. I genuinely wanted to see him master something and move forward successfully.
Given the noir flair to the novel, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of women in the cast (well, females…they’re not all strictly…human) and that they didn’t all attempt to play femme fatale. Mori, Awkward’s barista friend with the ability to know what he might need in a pinch, especially intrigued me, and I might consider reading a book focusing on her adventures. (Hint hint.) None of the ladies existed solely to provide context to Awkward, and each possesses powers and/or abilities that makes her a force to be reckoned in the world of Mystixology.
I started reading Awkward on the Rocks and ripped through the story within a few weeks (I have to sleep and work, unfortunately.), because it spoke to something inside of me that craved a booze-fueled adventure of a magic user on the run. Even as the threads of the mystery began weaving together, I just wanted to spend more time with Awkward and his world, and I needed to know how everything would end up. If the mixture of alcohol, magic, noir, and adventure sounds intoxicating to you, pick up this book! It won’t even cost you a piece of your soul.
5 Gigantic Snakes Smashing Cars out of 5
Creative Team: Marcel Feldmar
Publisher: Peabo Productions
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