Tuesday 28 February 2023

Arresting Merlin - Declan Finn - A Magical Short Story Declan Finn

Arresting Merlin
A Magical Short Story
Declan Finn

This is the thirtieth volume I have read from the pen of Declan Finn, that I have read, most in under the last year. This is an excellent story. I was hooked from the first words of the story:

““When you get to be two thousand years old, you won’t look half as good as I do,” the ten-year-old smart mouth informed me. He jerked his arm, still testing the handcuff keeping him to my desk. 

“Probably not, Yoda,” I muttered as I continued to tap out the arrest report on the word processor. Yes, a word processor. My station was high tech compared to the ones still using typewriters. 

The kid looked at me with cynicism. That was standard for most street kids, but this one had an additional air of “been there, done that.” He sat back with a disapproving look, like he was the adult awaiting an explanation from a child. This was undercut by his shaggy black hair and the fact that he was, you know, ten . Though the deep dark eyes were a little off-putting. 

“I am not a measly nine hundred years old,” he objected. “Now, shall I continue with the report, or are you still busy fighting your contraption?””

Even with having read so many works by Finn over the last year this one took me completely by surprise. It is an excellent short story. We are informed that this story was originally Published in The Once and Future King anthology in 2017. I absolutely loved this story and really wish it was part of a series. I have always had a soft spot for Arthurian legend, and this is like an off shot of Saint Tommy and Arthur combined. 

Writing short stories is a very different art form than novels. And Finn is a master of both genres.  And this was an excellent story.  I have read the all the books in Finn’s Saint Tommy NYPD Series, the first 4 in the White Ops Series, and the first in the currently out of print Pius Trilogy of 5 books, as well as several others. And I have loved almost all of his books that I have read, but with that being said, I have an even greater appreciation for his skill and talent after reading this short story! This story was unlike any of the others I have read, and yet Finn’s sense of humour, penetrating critique, and deep insight is evident in this work.
The description of this volume is:

“When the ten year old tried to murder New York City's Mayor with a wrought-iron flamingo, Officer Tinney figured that this was just another day of weird. When the perp insisted that he was two thousand years old, it was another flavor to the stew of strange that came with the job.

But when the runes start exploding and the forces of darkness invade the station, Tinney is going to have to make a choice. He will either have to jump down the rabbit hole or be dragged down, screaming.”

I highlighted one passage while reading this story, which was:

“The kid gave me a dirty look. “Are you stupid? Magic comes from either God or from Satan. Anyone who tries to tell you different is smoking something. Even the nature worshipers should figure out that nature magic uses the power of creation. The short version is that magic is not sufficiently advanced technology, but more like sufficiently advanced biology.””

But I could easily have highlighted a few more. And highlighting in fiction is pretty rare for me. This is a great little story and it increased my appreciation for Finn’s skills and talents as a writer. I can easily recommend this piece and the price point is amazing.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Declan Finn:
Love At First Bite Series:

Other books:

Anthologies contributed to:
Luna: Planetary Anhtology Series Book 2
Supernatural Streets
Starflight: Tales From The Starport Lounge
Mercury: Planetary Anthology Series Book 4
Venus: Planetary Anthology Series Book 5
Mars: Planetary Anthology Series Book 7
Places Beyond the Wild: A Z-Day Anthology
Shoot the Devil: Ten Tales of Humans Defeating the Demonic
Fantastic Schools, Volume 6

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