Unperfect Souls by Mark Del Franco stars Connor Grey, a druid who has lost his powers but still helps investigate the magical goings-on in the Boston neighborhood known as the Weird. In this fourth book of the Connor Grey series, the Dead who had visited earth in Unfallen Dead (book 3) are now stranded on earth. The Weird has become tainted — heightening the aggressive tendencies of its living and dead inhabitants — and Connor has attracted the attention of both faerie courts who are rushing to control him, even if their rivalry threatens a war that will destroy both humans and fey. To prevent war, Connor must solve a murder mystery and survive the political machinations of both courts while learning to harness the potential of the mysterious soul-sucking dark parasite that lives in his brain and appears to be responsible for the loss of his druidic powers.
Mark Del Franco is rapidly staking a claim as one of my favorite non-comic urban fantasy authors. What’s not to like? Well, urban fantasy is filled now with gumshoe protagonists — underdogs with evolving and mysterious powers who must save mankind from destruction caused by faerie wars. So, from that perspective, the novel’s premise is not particularly original. I also found the ending a tad confusing and, in a few scenes, the dialogue seemed forced, especially when the characters tried to be funny.
Overall, though, Unperfect Souls is strong, and the characters, the setting, and the specific plot are quite creative. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Unperfect Souls and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary fantasy.