M/M from DreamSPINNER PRESS
This modern, science-based magic M/M romance was shorter than I expected, but packs in a complete story to mark the start of a new series. The age difference between Toby and Darius didn’t seem like much of an issue to me – maybe 15 years? – but there are points where the romance plot seems to jump forward to keep the tight-paced plot moving forward. However, you have to commend Toby, in that once he makes up his mind, he sticks to his guns. The story is fraught with tension as Toby escapes from the keepers of institutionalized magic and forges his own path with Darius, a traditional magic user who sought to help nontraditional students until a tragic accident left one student dead, another exiled, and Darius a hermit for over a decade. As the reader meets several of Darius’ old friends and lovers through the plot, the theme of Toby dragging Darius back to the land of the living and functional may come across as heavy handed at points, but overall the story is consistent in its delivery. If you like stories with modern magic, age differences, and secret society intrigue / politics, you should enjoy this novelette.