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Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – January 30, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Connor Grey is a druid, one of the magical creatures that make up the fey that have lived side by side with humanity since an even called the Convergence. Magically disabled by a recent run-in, Connor's life has spiraled downhill and forced him to eat more than a little humble pie. To supplement his disability checks, he takes part time work with the police force. But now a case has really got him rattled. Fairies are turning up dead in the Weird with their hearts cut out and Connor is sure more is going on than just a few random killings. Soon Connor is up to his eyeballs in trouble, and if he can't find his way out it just might mean the end of the world, as he knows it! The washed out, cynical detective doggedly pursuing a case against his better judgment is nothing new in fiction, fantasy or otherwise. Debut author Mark Del Franco manages to take on the storyline with some fresh twists, and some well-crafted characterization. Despite Connor fitting the mold of the private investigator, he's also got the glimmers of the hero he could become that creep through the cynicism and depression. And while Connor's spiral downward obviously is a tragedy for him, he wasn't a very nice guy in his former position--something he has to own up to.Read more ›
Connor Grey, who used to live in much nicer environs, is seeing the effects in his new neighborhood--and he's been called in by his friend Murdock on the Boston Police Department to help with the investigation. Once upon a time, he'd have headed his own investigation on the part of the Guild, which serves as the Fae equivalent of a peace-keeping authority in this newly converged world. But after his injury at the hands of an eco-terrorist elf, his own druidic essence is blocked and the posh Guild office and status are gone. He's just a pensioner drawing disability and trying to get himself back together.
Now, Grey's getting his dose of excitement by helping the humans. He quickly discovers that the deaths are magically based and if someone doesn't stop them--the world could have another event similar to the Cataclysm, which brought Human and Fae worlds together back in 1900.
"Unshapely Things" is one of the best new novels I've read in a long time. Del Franco's world is well-realized, he's got both strong male and female characters, and he really knows how to keep the reader engaged and interested.
If you like Jim Butcher's "Dresden Files," Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan, and Anita Blake before the books turned to erotica, you're going to love "Unshapely Things."
Very good start, Mr. Del Franco, I hope to see many more books from you in the future!
So why the 3 star rating? Well, while this has an interesting plot and setting, likable characters and a good mystery, I found myself constantly bored. There was just something not there that I look for in a good can't-put-it-down book. Del Franco's writing style is alright though at times I felt as if he was forcing the ideas into the reader.
If you enjoyed Nightlife by Rob Thurman or enjoyed this book and haven't tried Nightlife yet these two are quite comparable. Though I myself didn't love this book as much as hoped I am happy to add it to my growing shelf of guys who can hold their own in the female dominated paranormals genre.
However, the characters never really developed or caught my interest, and the dialog was downright awful... painful and stilted, with jarring jumps that kept breaking the suspension of disbelief. If you enjoy the style of dialog in Jim Butcher, CE Murphy, or earlier Lois McMaster Bujold, I would suggest you avoid this book.
Fey are being killed and their hearts are removed. Connor gets involved and suspects a ritual is being prepared. Finding out just what ritual is not easy and the search pits him against some of the Druid guild, who are the Fey's police' he no longer calls his friends. Actually... Even before he lost his powers he wouldn't have called them his friends either. With strong enemies, it's a difficult race. With suddenly the finish in sight, Connor seems to have gotten a lot wrong but a few things dangerously right...
Initially I was reluctant to buy this book. Since my addiction at a very young age to Agatha Christie I have developed an allergy against using deaths for plot reasons only and the description of this book provoked an allergic response. But I was wrong: the deaths in this book are not plot-drivers only; some of the people dying first appeared as well-developed characters who were very much alive.
For a first book, this is an excellent beginning. The characters are well-developed, the friendships rich and dynamic and the world vibrant and interesting. You're probably going to want to buy book 2, just like me...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mark Del Franco's series are well written and very engaging.Published 10 months ago by Valerie J. Andrews
This was an interesting story with twists and turns every which way. A great mystery with some pleasing action involving the death of Fairies and who has more to gain from them... Read morePublished 12 months ago by HaloLove
Loved the book and I am in the process of reading all the books in this series.Published 17 months ago by Linda Howell
I enjoyed this a lot. It's an interesting world, this world where humans and the different Fae live side by side and I liked getting to know Connor too. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Me2Tsundoku
I will definetly continue reading the series of books. Books are a really good sit on the front porch in the sun, type of readPublished 24 months ago by Jill Anglin
Honestly, the protagonist is supposed to be some former hotshot Guild Investigator. If he was a successful investigator, then I'm Dr. Dolittle. Read morePublished on April 8, 2014 by Robert Brown
Detail. Some readers don’t really care about it – they simply want a book that they can pick up, breeze through, and go on to the next thing. Oh, that has its place, certainly. Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by Leiah