Title: The Magician’s Apprentice
Author: J.M. Snyder
Length: 8,185 words
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: m/m paranormal romance
Devon Taylor helped fashion a local street magician called Harry Marvel into the well-known illusionist Harry Marvelous. In the seven years they’ve been together, Devon has worked alongside Harry onstage as his apprentice. To Devon, Harry is an incredibly sexy older man, and the love they share is nothing less than pure magic.
But in today’s world, even children find it hard to believe in magic. When Devon overhears a teenager mocking Harry before a show, he invites the boy on stage to help out with Harry’s famous disappearing act.
Unfortunately, the boy really does disappear on his way back to his seat after the performance.
When the show is over, Devon and Harry find themselves confronted by security. Harry insists his illusions aren’t real, but does Devon know something Harry doesn’t?
Devon is the assistant to famous stage magician, Harry Marvel. Seven years ago Harry was down on his luck and resorting the street magic to make ends meet. Devon saw the potential in Harry and helped him rise to fame and fortune but something has gone wrong in one of Harry’s performances. A child has disappeared and Harry is under suspicion.
I rather liked this tongue in cheek look at what happens when you mix a gifted showman with someone who has magical ability. The story begins with the set-up with the missing child and this is used to show the differences in the two main characters. It’s obvious straight away that Harry is charming, friendly and attractive to people, whereas Devon makes people feel uncomfortable. It was interesting then to flashback seven years previously and see how Harry and Devon meet. There’s a lovely scene showing a faded and worn Harry trying to eek out a living, and the bewilderment he feels when the much younger Devon seduces him. It was nice to see the younger character being the one to take charge and also nice to compare Harry back then with the charming, confident man in the present day.
The paranormal aspect of the story is nicely played but we never really find out very much about Devon or his background, despite him being the narrator and I wished I’d got to know him a little better. We find out some things, such as his determination to get what he wants and his fierce protectiveness of Harry, but not as much as I would have liked.
The story with the missing child starts in an almost sinister fashion, but by the end of the book the tension is dissolved leaving an upbeat and even amusing finish. I found the story to be rather entertaining and a bit of a different spin on the paranormal genre.