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Conway's Curse

Conway's Curse - Patric Michael I won this book in an online competition and, having read and enjoyed "Timeless" and "Night Moves", I was intrigued to see what else Patric Michael had written.If I was a gay teenager who loved books by writers like Piers Anthony, full of puns and quirky characters, I'd love "Conways Curse".Well, I'm not gay and I'm not a teenager, but I still enjoyed reading the story once I worked out what was going on.The main characters, Tion and Kail are sprites not fairies, well they are gay, but that's almost immaterial to the plot. A fact of life. As natural as breathing, though with them, nothing is really natural as when Kail's eyes flash green fire, they actually do.One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is the way literary cliches and phrases take on a life of their own in a marvellousy punny way.Take these for example: That must have cost a pretty penny.”Em nodded to Tion. “And a few ugly ones too, “Conway, are you on a quest, by any chance?” Tion’s voice was earnest. Despite his now-frantic bailing, his stomach sank to the bottom, because he already knew the answer.Kail rolled his eyes at the innkeeping couple’s confused expressions. They toppled like ten-pins.Mock irritation dripped from his voice and briefly stained the quilt that covered the bed before it evaporated.These and the many others in the book are classics.From the above, you might think that the book was going to be PG, but then Kail and Tion get down and dirty. Though in their case, it's roses springing up on the stomach as a kiss travels over it.The sex though, like their homosexuality is seen as a natural part of their life. It's for this reason, I can imagine this book would really hit the mark for teenagers and young gay adults who can't identify with the mainstream heterosexual heroes.Paranormal and scifi settings have two great advantages – first that they're not constrained by the past and the present, secondly anything is possible.By basing this story (and I gather sequels have been considered) in a mythical world, the characters can do things their human, real world counterparts could only dream of.So, in one scene near the end when a townsperson takes exception to a character's sexual preference, calling it unnatural, he's temporarily turned into a rabbit."The only thing unnatural here is your apparent inability to appreciate the fact that my friends saved your feckless ass"I could imagine young gay readers the world over applauding.But it's not just gay teenagers and young adults who would enjoy this book. Anyone who was a fan of Piers Anthony style of writing in his Xanth novels would also appreciate the marvellous play on words as the ephemeral becomes real.The only little niggles I had were with some craft inconsistencies. But, hey, I'm also an editor by trade, so I can't help myself.Most readers once they got caught up into the world probably wouldn't notice them.I would have taken a star off for that, but I added one back on for originality and daring to do something different. Dreamspinner Press should be applauded for publishing it.