316 pgs (Familia Arcana series #1)
When Finn Gramaraye was fifteen years old, he was accused, and found guilty, of using dark necromancy--a crime he didn't commit. For his punishment, his spirit was banished to the Other Realm for 25 years. As the book begins, Finn is about to be released and reunited with his body--which had been leased out to another spirit, and is now 40 years old.
But within minutes of his release back to the real world, someone once again tries to frame him for another crime, this time murder, and get him sent right back. It's obvious to Finn that someone has it out for him. Is it the same person who framed him so long ago? If so, why? Finn only has three days to find out and prove his innocence.
A lot of the fantasy so popular today is dark and grim. This is not. Randy Henderson has a great sense of humor and an obvious affinity for pop culture, especially from the '80s. It was 1986 when Finn was banished to the Other Realm, so when he reenters the real world, his memories are of The Goonies, Miami Vice, Sixteen Candles and Rubik's Cubes. Henderson drops the references liberally throughout the book, and does so in a highly entertaining way. He even uses '80s songs for his chapter titles.
Overall I enjoyed the book and fully plan to read its follow up: Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free. It's not just funny; it's a solid mystery, with some surprises thrown in to keep you guessing. There's action, violence, and the occasional Sasquatch, gnome, and werewolf thrown in to keep it interesting.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆