Title: The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic

Publisher: Interlude Press

Author: FT Lukens

Pages: 304pp

Price: $16.99 / $1.99

Bridger Whitt has one more year of school. Just one. And then he’s gone from Michigan, gone from his old life, and he can just be. Unfortunately, scholarships won’t cover everything, and he and his mother are barely getting by on her nurse’s salary. That means a job. And the only one he can find is at a strange old house with a weird library, incorporeal voices coming out of the walls, and a boss who regularly crashes through the door covered in acidic goo …. Oh, yeah, and the cute boy who just moved in across the street who is making Bridger feel all kinds of things that he hasn’t felt before …. And then there’s the unicorn ….

I was on the hunt for a new urban fantasy to read, and I stumbled across Rules and Regulations. I had no idea that it was considered a young adult novel, a genre I usually don’t read. By the time I figured that out, it didn’t matter. I was hooked.

This is a wonderful book: a sweet, heart-warming, and optimistic coming-of-age story. Bridger is just the kind of protagonist I love to cheer on. He’s a nerdy, awkward trivia junkie with a passion for learning; he’s also still figuring himself out, and is stressing out over the prospect of having to define himself for others right now. When he discovers the true nature of his boss (and his boss’ job) that becomes an escape; a whole new world is revealed to him, one where no one has any expectations of him and what he should be or do.

I love Bridger’s relationships with those around him. His best friend Astrid, whom he is convinced is going to rule the world some day; Leo, the cute boy across the street who is so good and so modest and awesome at all the things that Bridger is not; Mindy, the snarky, candy-colored secretary; Nia and Bran, the sugar-addicted pixies; and his boss Pavel, who has been doing this for a very long time and who is worried that he is going to have to do something terrible to save the world of myths and magic.

I also love how Lukens keeps true to the mythology, but also tweaks it just a bit to make it her own. Sasquatch can magically influence the weather, resulting in severe temperature changes as they migrate. Unicorns are generally peaceful and virgin-friendly, but react violently when disrespected. And hags … well … you’ll just have to read the book and find out for yourself.

Highly recommended to fans of Dreadnought by April Daniels and The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune.

[Reviewed by Rebecca Buchanan.]

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