|Secret Ones is Nicole Murphys
first novel, although she is a dab hand at short stories having had several published in
the Australian small presses that specialise in speculative fiction.
I was about thirty
pages into Secret Ones when I realised I was not the target audience for this book.
Secret Ones is first and foremost romance, with the fantasy
elements an obvious second. So it was with mulish pride that I read to the end of the
The secret ones at the centre of the book are the gabba, or Irish fairy folk, who pass
for human but arent; the gabba Maggie Shaunessy and Lucas Valeroso in particular and
the traps and deviations in the path of their becoming a matched pair.
Now adjusted from the sugar shock of reading a romance, I found that the romance story
worked and followed the usual plotting conventions regrettably, the fantasy
elements were poorly executed and caused me more difficulty and dissatisfaction with the
story so much more than the romance. To begin with: a population group that breeds at one
or two off-spring a generation is on the road to extinction not growth (and dont get
me started on the magic)!
But if you like your romance mixed with the para-normal or fantasy, then this is a good
book with two sequels in the works. If, like me, you like your fantasy to at least
acknowledge the real world before moving off in a hallucinogenic haze then I suggest you
try something, anything, else. I think I need to read a physics book to recover.