Only Human (Act One): The Pooka’s Tales: Speak of the Devil – Leigh Hollan

(Reviewed by Jeyran Main)

Exceptional

Only Human is a fantasy novel written in a magical realism. The story is about an Irish fairy. He has magical abilities and uses it to fool humans. He has a very funny take on everything. The story is about witches, humans, Pookas, and demons, a combination that truly provokes fantasy fans and was enjoyable to read.

The Irish fairy is a Pooka and he is saved by a priest named, Patrick. The priest asks him to tell stories about his past and since the fairy is cursed, he remembers everything. At first, it was hard to get into the world. However, once I settled in, it was a wonderful experience. The book wishes to emphasize on the human weakness, and I believe it was filled with human challenges, which made this read to be special.

The story was written in the first-person narrative and since I read it through hard copy, I also enjoyed the sufficient spacing, formatting and, the style of binding for the book. The pace was steady and the characters were filled with personality.

The one thing that stood out to me was the author’s style of writing. I believe placing everything aside, where a fantasy novel is being told, the reader is mostly imagining its descriptive world and is wondering in this created space. Therefore, emphasis on perfecting this imagination is vital to the success of the story. The author succeeded in creating this world and also brought out an additional take on the story.

What could have improved was character development but I believe, that was due to the fact that the book was a novella.

I recommend this book to fantasy readers and people who enjoy stories being re-told.

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