by Matthew Brady
Released by Mannison Press
I was reading the new Eerie River anthology, It Calls from the Sky, when I came upon this author. I enjoyed his contribution so much that I immediately went online to find something else he’d written. Enter Lovebirds, a novelette about love without limits.
In Ballantine Bay, there are whispers of an enchanter called the Matchmaker who can bring love to the unrequited.
Brady is a great writer with a smooth imagination for turning drama dark and twisted (just read “Heads in the Clouds” when it appears in It Calls from the Sky). I was eager for Lovebirds from the moment I downloaded it. The characters are accurate depictions of teenagers with raging hormones; the consequences are deadly and fun (for the reader); and the Matchmaker is a creepy and enchanting character we must see on screen someday.
My issues with this novelette are very minor. One, I found it odd how easily Melanie went after Aggie in the end to help her, despite all that was happening. Maybe the idea was that she was in love with Aggie beyond friendship and therefore blinded? If so, that makes it all better. Two, the ending came very abruptly (though was still good). And three, I wanted more of the Matchmaker! Honestly, Brady should do an entire novel about that character – you can sign me up now to read it! He could even take this same story and just expand it; there were many areas in which we only get summarized developments, for example. Also, the enchantment opened many avenues for chaos, which would be more than entertaining to further explore.
So, yes, this is definitely recommended reading. Also, Brady, in general, is a recommended writer. The two stories I’ve read this week from him have both been excellent. It’s a shame he has practically no online presence or fandom. That needs to change!
Review by Aiden Merchant