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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
The Elixir: A Bud Hutchins Urban Fantasy by JB Michaels is an exciting, contemporary, action-adventure story. It’s the second in a series and takes place in Chicago, picking up on adventures from the previous story. Wisecracking, teleporting private investigator Bud and his android friend, Bert, are launched into yet another encounter with the bizarre when a search into a college professor's infidelity leads straight into an evil poltergeist seeking an elixir from ancient times. Bud and his new ally, Ivy Zheng, race to find a killer, stop the poltergeist, keep a dysfunctional Bert from destroying everything, and—most importantly—restore health to Bud’s dear friend, Maeve. It’s beleaguered people vs. the forces of mayhem and JB Michaels does a fantastic job of storytelling.
This urban fantasy thriller lives up to its name—a real page-turner with never a dull moment. The Elixir grabbed me into its fast-paced, brisk action from the first couple of chapters and had me hooked. The sharp, visceral writing and strong protagonists make for an entertaining ride. Pacing is expert, situations use science and history inventively, and the story just keeps going right until the conclusion that hints of more to come. Bud is a great center for the story, alternately cocky and vulnerable just when he needs to be, and the breakneck plot is balanced with moments of tenderness and friendship for Maeve. Any reader of urban fantasy should grab this one right away and get hooked on the series—it’s got everything. The world is fascinating, hilarious, and involving, and puts JB Michaels high on my list of authors.