Unshapely Things: Lacks the spark

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Mark Del Franco Unshapely Things Connor Grey 1Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco

Mark Del Franco’s Unshapely Things is another addition to the urban fantasy universe. I bought it for a break from all the female authors and their super powerful sassy female characters. That’s not criticism of those authors or their characters — just my desire to read something different.

Del Franco’s main character, Connor Grey, is a formerly powerful investigator for the Guild, a sort of FBI for fey. Elves, fey, and many other permutations of non-humans have become part of the world we live in due to a magic cataclysm. There are many different factions and Del Franco is adept at creating a feeling of normality; the normal populace simply sees the fey as another special interest group.

Grey is no longer a member of the Guild due to an attack by a fey terrorist that has left his magical powers severely impaired. Now he is caught between the normal world and the fey world. His previous skills as a criminal investigator set him up nicely for work between the regular police force and the Guild.

Del Franco’s plot revolves around a complicated serial murder investigation. Grey’s struggles include his desire to solve this difficult case and his problems with not being firmly a member of either the fey society or the human society. The plot is well conceived, but it takes three quarters of the book before things really get moving.

Unshapely Things is a nice break from the Harrison/Briggs/Andrews triumvirate of powerhouse urban fantasy authors. Mark Del Marco is a good writer, but Unshapely Things lacked the spark that would make me race to the bookstore for the sequel.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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One comment

  1. I keep meaning to read more in this series. Have you tried Benedict Jacka? He’s a nice read for when you aren’t looking for the more typical UF. Also has a male protag and great development of characters across the series. Oh, some of the mysteries/plots in individual books could be stronger here and there, but he has such a refreshing voice and characters.

    Can’t wait for the latest due out at the end of the month!

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