The Elixir

Chronicles of the Order Book 3

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
153 Pages
Reviewed on 08/14/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Head to the official site of J. B. Michaels, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, has written stories since he was in fourth grade. He is a history teacher and department chair who loves his job.

Married and with a son, Michaels has a great love of family. He has two series recounting the further adventures of the Tannenbaum Tailors and Bud Hutchins!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite

The Elixir: A Bud Hutchins Urban Fantasy by JB Michaels is an exciting, contemporary, action-adventure story. It’s the second in a series and takes place in Chicago, picking up on adventures from the previous story. Wisecracking, teleporting private investigator Bud and his android friend, Bert, are launched into yet another encounter with the bizarre when a search into a college professor's infidelity leads straight into an evil poltergeist seeking an elixir from ancient times. Bud and his new ally, Ivy Zheng, race to find a killer, stop the poltergeist, keep a dysfunctional Bert from destroying everything, and—most importantly—restore health to Bud’s dear friend, Maeve. It’s beleaguered people vs. the forces of mayhem and JB Michaels does a fantastic job of storytelling.

This urban fantasy thriller lives up to its name—a real page-turner with never a dull moment. The Elixir grabbed me into its fast-paced, brisk action from the first couple of chapters and had me hooked. The sharp, visceral writing and strong protagonists make for an entertaining ride. Pacing is expert, situations use science and history inventively, and the story just keeps going right until the conclusion that hints of more to come. Bud is a great center for the story, alternately cocky and vulnerable just when he needs to be, and the breakneck plot is balanced with moments of tenderness and friendship for Maeve. Any reader of urban fantasy should grab this one right away and get hooked on the series—it’s got everything. The world is fascinating, hilarious, and involving, and puts JB Michaels high on my list of authors.

Jack Magnus

The Elixir: A Bud Hutchins Urban Fantasy is written by JB Michaels. Paranormal investigator Bud Hutchins was engaged in some mundane private investigation work, namely trying to get divorce-worthy photographs of a cheating spouse, when he became all too deeply involved in a murder investigation where the victim turned out to be the girlfriend of his client’s spouse. Doctor Covington was a respected professor at Chicago Met University, and Tricia Pazinksi was his teaching assistant. Somehow, the two ended up in a torrid romance which ended rather horribly when the young woman was brutally killed on campus. Her friend, Ivy Zheng, had arranged to meet Tricia in Covington’s offices, but when she overheard the tense conversation between Tricia and an unknown assailant, then heard a loud crash and saw Tricia’s body motionless on the floor, Ivy knew she had to conceal herself or meet a similar fate. She told Bud about the scene she had almost interrupted, mentioning the gravelly, low-pitched voice of the unknown attacker and Tricia’s protestations that he was making himself sick and had to stop what he was doing. Bud had his hands full with this investigation, and he seemed to be flying solo this time.

JB Michaels’ urban fantasy novel is the second book in the Bud Hutchins thriller series. While this fast-paced and thrilling story can be read on its own, I’d strongly recommend that readers begin with the first book in the series, The Order of St. Michael. Michaels builds the character of his hero as well as his mechanical sidekick, Bert, in that first book, and the plot revolves around the genesis of his friendship with Maeve. I had a marvelous time reading The Elixir. Michaels’ action-packed scenes are fabulous, and there’s plenty of humor in this story that doesn’t always take itself quite so seriously -- and that’s a good thing. I especially enjoyed seeing how Bud teams up with professional student and current archaeologist, Ivy Zheng, to solve the mystery behind the Elixir and the murder of Ivy’s friend. Michaels’ homages to Victorian horror were a real treat to discover as well. The Elixir: A Bud Hutchins Urban Fantasy is most highly recommended.

Melinda Hills

A poltergeist takes the form of notorious Chicago legends such as Al Capone and Resurrection Mary as Bud Hutchins races against the forces of evil to stop a murderer and try to save his rapidly decaying undead friend, Maeve, in The Elixir by JB Michaels. In this action-packed urban fantasy, a brilliant young private investigator raises money to supply the electronics he needs for teleportation devices, Maeve's treatment, and his robotic friend, Bert.

When a beautiful young research assistant is murdered, Bud has to switch gears and prove the innocence of the wife who had hired him to prove her husband was having an affair with the victim. Ivy, the victim’s best friend, wants to solve the murder and joins with Bud, only to have the experience of a lifetime as they flee for their lives from a rampaging spirit intent on killing them. Escapades throughout Chicago keep Bud, Father Martinez of the Order of St. Michael, and the police busy as evil creates havoc. Bud and Ivy’s eventual escape takes them right to the lair of the murderer – will luck be on their side or have things gotten too far out of control?

JB Michaels has created another captivating, exciting urban fantasy in The Elixir. Imaginative and fast-paced, this is a story you just can’t put down as you sit on the edge of your seat, wondering what could possibly happen next. Michaels uses advanced technology, good old-fashioned investigative techniques, and plenty of faith to guide Bud through this adventure that keeps you riveted to the pages as he tries to save his friend, the city, and his own soul. Great story!

K.J. Simmill

The Elixir by JB Michaels is a paranormal urban fantasy tale. Bud worked as a private investigator, but more recently his payments were going to other ventures. Maeve had been a gifted member of the Order of Saint Michael; she had been killed, her throat torn from her body by a werewolf. It was only thanks to her own skill that she survived. If being a zombie, forced to live in a freezer, with an artificial throat and voice box could be called surviving. For some time now Bud's wages have been going towards finding a means to reanimate her. However, there was a complication, she got out. An escaped zombie-werewolf seemed the height of their troubles, until Al Capone rose from the grave as a poltergeist, or at least it appeared to be him. But there is something more afoot, a puppeteer, a larger scheme which grows more complex the further Bud probes into his latest investigation.

This is a really fun, action packed read. It touches on traditional, classical, and familiar paranormal lore in a way perhaps only seen in things like Scooby Doo and the first season of the TV series Penny Dreadful. I would class it as a hybrid of the two, making it fun but appealing to a more mature audience. In The Elixir paranormal is a fact, not fiction, and the means employed by such creatures, and researchers can be utilised. From the diary of Victor von Frankenstein to the hidden traits of ancient artifacts, this book has some serious charm.