Miles and the Magic Flute - Heidi Cullinan This story is part character study, part fairy tale and part dream. It was apparently written during a NANO within three weeks. Although the author did pretty well with her NANO novels Special Delivery and Double blind, she didn't achieve the same level with this. It's got all the possibilities for a really gripping dark fantasy, but sadly didn't make much out of it. What worked for me: The secondary cast. Julie, the vegan fairy-spotter and Patty, the butchiest of butchs were hilarious and very vivid. Terris was wonderful in his coldhearted calculation and twisted sense of honor. The descriptions of the landscape of wintery Minnesota was masterful, creating a dark, depressive winter-grey feeling which fit the story just fine. What didn't: Miles. A prick, single minded, arrogant, stupid and pathetic. He was quite flat, despite the fact he's the narrator. Well, I needn't like every main character of the books I read, but I need to understand what drives them to be what they are and to act how they do. Miles just didn't. He had all those things happen to him; they were supposed to make him stronger, to forward his character, but in the end he's just the same. He was supposed to be able to control his life and "fix things" in the end, but did he? I think he didn't. Harry. We are told he's a honorable man, stronger than any who fell into the pranks of the Lord of Dreams, but in the end, he's still just a beast. For the life of me I didn't get why Miles would fall in love with himThe sex. Although the sex scenes were necessary for the story, there wasn't any emotion in any of them. They felt cold, rattled out and right away boring despite the gruesome details. And really, super-special fairy lube appearing out of thin air? A man walking around with a child's arm-thick silver phallus shoved up his ass? Fairy tale or not, this was a bit much. The plot: There was a beginnig section which ran almost one-third of the book during which Miles is lured in by the forest but shies away from it. When this happened for the first time, I appreciated it, for who's so foolish as to act on such a whim? When it happened for the second time, it was okay, even for the third time, for three is the magic number. But when Miles rambled on and on about whethere he had or hadn't seen someting there and whether or not he should follow the urge to go into the forest, it became boring. Felt like upping the word count.I get it a dream and fairy tale don't need as much logic as say, a mystery. But no logic at all, things just happening with the only explanation like "Well, this is magic, isn't it?"No, sorry it is not. It's cheating. It's not a bad read, don't get me wrong. It#S Heidi Cullinan, after all. But she can do so much better, and I was disappointed.