Welcome to Olympia, home of magical secrets, dangerous monsters, mystical creatures, and the few people able to fight them!
David is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least that is what he feels like when the FBI recruits him to go undercover in his high school. Isn't it bad enough that he is bullied by several football players, and they are the very ones he has to investigate!? But now he has to find out if they are circulating a deadly drug with a huge side effect: it turns a kid into a hideous, blood-sucking chupacabra!
Sure, he has wizard powers, but he never really used them before. Plus, he can't tell a single person about his undercover work, not even his best friend, Sam. And his parents expected him to keep his schoolwork and grades up, or he will get grounded.
David feels in over his head.
But as he delves deeper and deeper into the case, he realizes he must solve it quickly before a murder occurs, especially his own!
©2014 PK Burian & ME Drewry (P)2015 PK Burian & ME Drewry
Real Rating = 3.5*
SERIES INFO: This is Book #1 of 3 (so far) in the “David Finkleman Paranormal Series.” According Ms Burian, #2 & #3 are currently being produced in audio (read by the same narrator), and they are working on writing #4 & #5.
As someone who cares more about characters than plot, I really appreciated the sense that there is a real family at the center of this story. There are past hurts and current problems, but they can’t undermine the love and support.
David: Nerdy younger brother of a non-magical but smart and popular football hero. Yet he isn’t drowning in envy. He’s glad that he shares his grandfather’s magical talents. Although he does have the “super strong” powers typical of stories like this, he is still learning and has a limited repertoire of spells.
Sabrina: The very determined daughter of the missing Tom Stevens. I would have liked to see her participate a bit more centrally in the adventures. Nevertheless, she worked hard to find her father.
The romantic relationships are more than a little complicated (and indications are that they get more so in the next book). I actually liked David and Sabrina together and will be rooting for them, sorry Sam.
The world is ours, but includes small numbers of people who can do magic and larger numbers of supernatural and legendary creatures from Brownies to Chupacabras.
I felt uncomfortable with the seriousness of the situations David was forced into. It was explained in the story, but I still feel that the adults should have done more to deal with the issues themselves.
The ending resolved all the plot points while leaving some personal issues hanging.
NARRATION: He has a great, deep, voice. His female voices are acceptable. / Production was smooth & problem free / Listened on 1.25 speed (my usual).
FAVORITE PART(S): I really liked a conversation David has with his older brother. They discuss “doing it” for the first time. His brother tells him that it is ok to wait. He admits that he gave in to pressure and it still bothers him. It is rare that YA books acknowledge regrets regarding sex, coming from a male character, that don’t involve a player reforming his ways. / Being from WA myself, I appreciate that this book didn’t spend time moaning about the weather (although it really does rain as much as they say).
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: The developing double love triangle / the GPS like details of turning left here and right there, which won’t mean anything to anyone who isn’t from Olympia.
--Narrator Impact: AVERAGE
I received this book free in return for an honest review, courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
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