The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, by F.T. Lukens
Publisher: Duet Books (Interlude Press)
Release Date: September 7th, 2017
Desperate to pay for college, Bridger Whitt is willing to overlook the peculiarities of his new job—entering via the roof, the weird stacks of old books and even older scrolls, the seemingly incorporeal voices he hears from time to time—but it’s pretty hard to ignore being pulled under Lake Michigan by… mermaids? Worse yet, this happens in front of his new crush, Leo, the dreamy football star who just moved to town.
When he discovers his eccentric employer Pavel Chudinov is an intermediary between the human world and its myths, Bridger is plunged into a world of pixies, werewolves, and Sasquatch. The realm of myths and magic is growing increasingly unstable, and it is up to Bridger to ascertain the cause of the chaos, eliminate the problem, and help his boss keep the real world from finding the world of myths.
This book was absolutely hilarious, and not what I expected!! I was expecting something like Rick Riordan’s books, where he deals with one culture’s myths at a time, but I was pleasantly surprised and excited that this involved cryptids and other mythical creatures.
The writing in this book was solid and it made the book easy to read. It was really funny, and Lukens nailed the whole ‘sarcastic teenager’ and ‘dry humor’ thing. Some books dumb things down to the point where it feels patronizing and makes the book lose some depth. Rules and Regulations didn’t do this, but it also wasn’t overly complicated.
Although this book was about mythology, it had a really good example of a high schooler trying to figure out their bisexuality. Bridger was struggling with his attraction to Leo, and it was a good depiction of how it takes time to figure out that part of yourself. While I do think the unwavering support for his sexuality may seem, to some, too unrealistically happy and easy, I feel like teens need something like this. It’s a counterpoint to the gloom-and-doom narratives than quite a lot of books have about coming out.
Another thing I loved about this book was the found family aspect of it. Bridger has his mom and his best friend, but he doesn’t realize that found families are just as important as the ones you are born into. Bridger’s dad is out of the picture, but he gets an eccentric masculine role model in the form of Pavel (his boss/mythology master). Other characters in Pavel’s life also become part of Bridger’s found family as well (I can’t talk about them because it would spoil some big reveals!)
My favorite thing ever in M/M books, apart from good writing, of course, is when they have well written female characters. Nothing is more of a downer for me than women in a story automatically becoming a villain just because the two main characters are male and into each other. At any rate, I really liked his best friend Astrid a lot, because she is weird and sporty and not a stereotype. She also gives Bridger a much-needed reality check when he goes too far into his own head. Other characters I liked, but who played a smaller role, are Elena, Mindy, Nia, and Bridger’s mom.
I don’t really feel as if this story is a romance heavy as some people would like, but I enjoyed that the overall storyline wasn’t the romance. It was Bridger getting introduced to myth and magic while also being into a boy. Keep in mind this is a YA book, so it’s not going to be full of erotica and so on. It’s got to be interesting to the teen readers, and I think this fits the bill. That being said, if you are an adult reader and you’re looking for a YA book heavy in the romance department, this might not work for you. I personally read it for the mythology aspect, so I was happy!
My only complaint about this book is that I want more books in the series to get to know this mythological world a little more!
F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult fiction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan community writing contest. A sci fi enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Firefly and is a longtime member of her college’s science-fiction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.