Title: Junk Mage
When technomancer Quillian Defote crash-lands on remote planet Marutuk, he has limited time to repair his ship and get off world. If he fails, he’ll forfeit his position as professor of mechanical transmutation at the prestigious Ivy Arcanarium and ruin his employment prospects in yet another sector.
Hunter, a cyborg guarding a junkyard that holds what Quill needs, is charmed by the wayward mage and wants to help him. But Hunter is bound by honor to dutifully guard his mistress and her possessions, no matter how cruelly she treats him.
Together Quill and Hunter stand a chance of starting a new life together if carnivorous wildlife, a violent necromancer, and stubborn pride don’t keep them apart.
Author: Elliot Cooper
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: The Clockwork Menagerie
Published by Nine Star Press Source: Publisher
Published: July 4, 2016
Genres: Male Male Romance, Science Fiction
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Junk Mage was a very much unexpected read for me. I’m not quite sure how to articulate what I think about that. I knew coming into to the book at only a page count of 58 pages, everything was going to happen hard and fast. I just didn’t expect to feel fulfilled and yet unfulfilled at the same time. Let’s see if I can make better sense of this all.
Quill crash-lands on a remote planet. He makes contact with his employer who basically tell him, get back in X amount of days or you are out a job. Period. Quill means well but it appears he has a bit of a hap hazardous history that precedes him. Quill needs parts to repair his ship and starts exploring until he comes to a junkyard that is guarded by the cyborg Hunter. Quill really needs those parts and proceeds to try to charm Hunter. At first, Hunter is having none of it. He’s very adamant on guarding what is in the junkyard as well as his mistress no matter how badly she treats him. Quill is nevertheless persistent and begins to see Hunter in a new light. A random act of kindness by Quill begins to turn Hunter’s head, giving him a chance to realize there may be more out there for him. That is until Hunter’s mistress, who is quite the scary necromancer, gets wind to what is going on.
We get enough of Quill’s backstory in the beginning that my initial impression was he’s either a very intelligent flake, or a very smart klutz. Hunter, on the other hand, I first thought was just a prop for Quill’s story-line. Then things begin to change…quickly. We begin to learn more and more about how he came to where he is at and my brain begins to see him not as a thing but as a person. I kept expecting to story to just continue pass him, but instead it winds around him bringing him further and further into my focus. It very sneakily caught me unaware. There’s a very nice ending for these two characters but first we do have to have some very scary surprises in one freaky necromancer. I’m going to stop right there because she is something a reader needs to discover on their own.
Now as to why I’m having a hard time to articulate my feelings. Because at the same time I found Quill and Hunter’s story to be enough, I wanted more. Enough back-story for these two characters to understand them, where they came from and how they got to where they are. And yet, I want to know more. More of Hunter’s history. More of how Quill thinks. More of what the future lies in store for them. And more of what happens to the crazy psycho freak necromancer! That’s the problem with a great novella – you get just enough to entertain, and not enough to satisfy your curiosity.
As my first read by author Elliot Cooper and I’m not sure if this is something I should come to expect from him – This enough/want more feeling. I do know, however, if another chance pops up to read more of his works, I won’t be saying no. Now for my recommendation for reading the Junk Mage, I whole-heartedly support that. It has a little bit of Sci-Fi rolled in with magic, and surprising characters. Quite a great read in a small package.