I slogged through this book.
As a fan of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, I’ve been looking for similar urban paranormal/fantasy series. Mark Del Franco’s Unshapely Things is my most recent trial run read.
I found the premise of the book intriguing. Connor Grey is a druid who lost his powers while investigating a case for the Guild, which polices the fey. Faeries of legend have been thrust into the world by the Convergence, an event that occurred just prior to World War II. The story is set in Boston (one of my favorite cities), where Connor now assists the Boston P.D. with cases dumped on them by the Guild. The latest involves a string of murders, serial killings, in the Weird, a decrepit neighborhood of Boston.
The story starts off okay with Connor called to the latest crime scene to investigate. His follow up discussions with Murdock, a cop friend and lead investigator on the case, fills us in on the previous murder and the case’s latest developments. Then the story stalls a bit.
There’s a lot of exposition introducing this version of our world, characters important in Connor’s life, and how Connor lost his powers. True, the murder investigation continues, but it isn’t front and center in the story. We do meet androgynous Shay and his boyfriend Robin who may be witnesses to the killer’s identity. And the story picks up the pace when they help in a sting operation to catch the killer and Connor chases the killer down only to discover another victim.
And then the investigation drifts. Connor is called off the case when the Guild decides to get involved finally and declares they’ve caught the killer. Of course, Connor continues to pry into the case, but it’s not until very late in the book that the story once again grabs attention.
I’m still willing to give this series another go with the second book, Unquiet Dreams. Only because I know how difficult it can be to craft a series, build a world, and offer compelling characters and plot. The characters here are compelling enough to read further. It’s the plot that needs better pacing.
Unshapely Things is unique enough among urban paranormal/fantasy series to give it a try out. Fans of Jim Butcher, Rob Thurman or John Levitt may like it.