Chaos reigns around the world. Strange creatures, accorded the title “Phantom Ninjas” by the media, are leaping off tall buildings and somersaulting back up without any scratch – and then disappear. There follows more spontaneous acts of magic, confounding the world. Who – or what – is responsible? In the middle of the mystery arrives Detective Hetfield, a private investigator just recently released from the FBI due to an on-the-job injury. Hetfield, who arose to fame as a star witness in the murder trial of a beloved actress, uses the media to put forward the theory that a person of extraordinary magical powers is behind all the incidents, and labels him Dr. Magic. Hetfield gets much more than what he bargained for when that powerful being does exist – in the form of a young man long disillusioned with his past – and cruelly takes him up on his offer.
Seeking Dr. Magic combines two different characters – a forcibly retired government detective and an extremely powerful man-child who never grew up. The fiction is an interesting ‘what-if’ tale told through a sort of side character (at least that’s how it felt). The short version is a detective is trying to uncover the mystery of a man with reality warping powers – and figure out what that person wants. There’s a mix of humor, sleuthing, and power tripping that is gripping – but only occasionally.
The story is well written and comical in spots – a ninja appearing out of nowhere who’s singular goal is to backflip up and down a building is both baffling and amusing to me (and the public of the fictional world). This – and a mess of other ‘magic tricks’ are caused by the villain who’s had phenomenal cosmic powers since he was born. Dr. Magic’s life and how he ended up coming to a public reveal is more interesting than the detective the story is told through.
Still, I’m not sure what happened. By the end of the story, I felt like we’d entered a dull kind of ‘uh-huh’ situation where the tension vanished. It became less about the mystery and more about the cost of having intense wish fulfillment level powers. The shift focus threw me off and stalled the action, chasing, confrontation vibe being built up.
As a piece focused on the price of having insane levels of power to family, friends, and the world – it’s a decent read. The ending soured me as a reader . Anyone who wants an easy read should take a quick preview of this fiction. It does leave you wondering – ‘What would I do if I had those kinds of powers?’ – and worse still, it shows what a person might do when they’ve grown bored.
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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