Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review - Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, Book 1) by Mark Del Franco (4/5 stars)

Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, Book 1)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: January 30, 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0441014774
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Connor Grey series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars


This is the first book in the Connor Grey series by Mark Del Franco.  The fifth book in this series, Uncertain Allies, is due out the end of April 2011.  This was a decent book.  It is an investigative urban fantasy.  The world created is interesting, there is good humor in here, and there is a lot of attention to detail for the investigation.

Connor Grey used to be a high-powered druid until his powers were stunted during one of his jobs.  Now he is on disability and does investigative work on the side to make ends meet.  He lives in the Weird, the region of the city where faeries made their home after the Convergence between their world and the human world.  Now fairies are turning up dead and the human police force seeks out Connor to ask for his consultation on the case.  Little does Connor know these murders are tied in with the druid organization he used to belong to.

This is a solid urban fantasy with an investigative bent to it.  Definitely no romance in this book.  The descriptions in the book are very intricate and detailed and weave an interesting plot and mystery.  The book is fast paced and the action scenes well done.  There is humor throughout the book which I also enjoyed.

Connor is a likable character; he wallows in self-pity some but in general tries to make a good life for himself with what he's got to work with.  At times the reader gets a glimpse of the power he used to wield and of the hero he might someday become.  Some of the side characters are even more interesting though.  In general all of the characters have depth and are interesting to read about.

There were points where I thought the story was a bit dry.  This was one of those books where I wasn't sucked right into the story, but once I sat down and took time to read a chunk of the story I had trouble putting it down.  The idea of the Weird is interesting but similar to other books I have read where a faerie world merges with the human one.

Overall I enjoyed the book and will definitely read the second one.  I loved the humor, the intricate mystery, the idea of the Weird, and the interesting characters.  The book took a bit to get into and got a bit dry at times.  That being said it was nice to read another book with a male hero and I really enjoyed the intricate details of the mystery and how everything was pieced together.  You can't help but draw comparison to The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher or the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey.  This book is similar in quality to the Felix Castor series, but not as good as the Dresden series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge

Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, Book 1) 

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