TITLE: Ink & Sigil
AUTHOR: Kevin Hearne
"Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.
But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.
But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive."
After Hearne lost in interest in the Iron Druid series and botched up the last book, I swore I wouldn't touch another one of his book... only this one sounded so interesting. But it turned out to be bland, with juvenile potty "humour", a muddled plot and an old man (Sigil Agent) who can magic away any injuries (how bloody convenient!) and a rather ineffective detective - but then again it was a rather ineffective mystery to be solved and the other 2 mysteries weren't solved at all. The side characters were the most interesting part of the book. I would rather have read about them than a mute wizard glued to his phone app. Most of the characters also need their mouths washed out with soap. In short, a decent concept with juvenile execution.