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.