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Magical Security Taskforce by Adam Pulver

Where the magic isn't magical and the reality is unreal. 

An average boy at an average high school hooked up with the beautiful, popular girl. Until her dominating, evil sister used her powers at school to oppress him into submission. With help from his confident, sexy best friend, the average boy breaks his bonds for one day, only to have everyone exposed to a world of magic. There, the average boy sees an opportunity to finally become someone and . . . 

Okay, let’s stop there. We all know real life isn’t that trite and hackneyed. The average high school? A student-run dictatorship with assorted suppression techniques. The beautiful, popular girl? A media sponge and a closeted geek. The dominating, evil sister? A pawn of the magic organization sent to train new recruits. The confident, sexy best friend? Skeptical enough to pass up magic in favor of her simple reality. And the world of magic? Actually just a college in Indiana.

Truth is, behind all the glamour and window dressing, mystical education and enforcement is just as mundane and tiresome as reality. Of course, just as often, reality is just as wild and random as any magic adventure. So when these four, plus an occult-loving halfwit, try their hand as the craft, they have no idea what they’re in for.

Note: Magical Security Taskforce contains some graphic violence and harsh language.

A serialized novel

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Listed: Feb 12, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

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High school anime

By Linda Schoales, editor

Mar 23, 2009: “Magical Security Taskforce” is a light fantasy about a group of high school students, their internal politics, and a secret society of magic users. Molly Pearson is the 16-year old student council president who essentially runs the school. She’s also a “guardian” in the Magical Security Taskforce, or MST. Claude is her personal assistant and spy. Her younger sister Renee is the most popular girl in school, but lets Molly run her life. Troy likes Renee but Molly thinks he’s not good enough for her. Kathryn is Troy’s friend who tries to help. Donovan dresses in black, wants power, and has 2 “minions” of his own.

The story is mostly about high school politics taken to the ridiculous extreme. Molly, the queen bee, has the rest of the school under the power of her “glare”. She spends most of her time making life miserable for anyone who doesn’t do what they’re told. The author has chosen to gloss over how this came to be with a somewhat breezy summary.

“We could easily document her rise to power, illustrating the process of controlling the school board, seizing power over class schedules and preventing the cafeteria from ever serving chicken livers again. That, however, is not the point of this story.”

There’s hardly any mention of things like classes, in fact most of the action takes place in the hallways or in the extra-curricular clubs. Any adults in this world are mentioned in passing and don’t seem to have any effect on what the teenagers are doing. By chapter 6 the MST hasn’t done much except send Molly reports and read her reports. Their number one rule is that magic is not supposed to be used in public, in fact most people aren’t supposed to know it exists, and yet a lot of the teens are using it. Molly catches a magic-user discharging a spell in front of Troy, Kathryn, Renee and Donovan, and is forced to take them into her confidence and become their mentor when they join the MST.

It’s a cute story, with a lot of silliness and teen rivalries. The characters are mostly stereotypes but either skewed slightly or exaggerated. I had problems keeping some of the minor characters straight, although I don’t think that matters in the case of the minions. Also, I found most of the humour fell flat. There were more “huh?” moments than laughs, and a lot of things just weren’t as funny as they could have been. Perhaps the humour was too dry for the silliness of the situations, or too obvious. Unfortunately, the magic makes brief appearances, the pace is slow, and most of the story so far is taken up by bickering between the characters. If you enjoy reading stories about high school politics, with a little bit of magic and humour thrown in, you might want to give this a try.

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