Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review - The Lure of Song and Magic

The Lure of Song and Magic
Patricia Rice
Sourcebooks, Casablanca Inc
January, 2012

Dylan "Oz" Oswin is a man with a mission. His son was kidnapped, twice. Once by his late wife and then when Oz had the boy back, by the nanny. He’s used his considerable knowledge and connections to find Donal but to no avail. Donal has been gone for a year and it’s breaking Oz’s heart. Now he has a mysterious entity known as the Librarian who is sending him text messages and emails that he hopes will lead him to Donal. The messages have led him to Pippa James, formerly known as Syrene, a teen singing sensation.

But Pippa, practically a hermit, is now a successful children's author and wants nothing to do with Oz or the music industry. She is convinced her unique vocal talents are responsible for the death of her first husband and fears it can lead others to their deaths or destruction. She wants to be left alone to write and to interact with her small group of friends.

Oz is persistent and eventually gets Pippa to accept him…to an extent. When she challenges him to find her non-existent family, Oz knows she’s using the challenge as another way to keep everyone at a distance. He’s intrigued with her as she goes from a calm Zen-like state to an emotional tornado full of sass and wit. He prefers the emotional tornado because it’s real. Slowly, the two discover a strong attraction and admiration for the other. Neither is looking for love. Pippa is mainly seeking human contact since she’d cut herself off from just about everything. Oz is seeking comfort to ease his shattered heart. But though Pippa thought Oz would never be able to find her family, the Librarian gives him leads and they discover Pippa’s mother as well as other information about her missing family and the unusual disappearances involved.

Kudo’s to Ms Rice on this book. There were so many twists and so much pain in both Oz and Pippa that I worried that they’d never find a happy ending. But Ms Rice has the ability to grab and keep a reader’s attention. I went from wondering if Pippa’s ‘siren’ like voice was real or a figment of her imagination to knowing how powerful her voice really was so gradually I can’t say precisely where the change occurred. It was the same with Oz, the arrogant, persistent ‘bastard’ who, by his own words, bullied Pippa into helping him then, as he grew to know her, became conflicted over what he had done. And I went from thinking Pippa was simply a psycho diva to realizing she was so full of pain and loneliness it was a miracle she was still sane.

I have one caveat for this otherwise fantastic book. I was not impressed with the ending. It seemed rushed and somewhat clich├ęd compared to the preceding parts of the book. Nevertheless, this is a book the reader will want to read several times just to pick up all the nuances in the characters and plot. I know I will.

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