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Unshapely Things

by Mark Del Franco

Series: Connor Grey (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8133527,413 (3.6)39
In the alleys of the decrepit Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, fairy prostitutes are turning up dead. The crime scenes show signs of residual magic, but the Guild, which polices the fey, has more "important" crimes to investigate and dumps the case on human law enforcement. Boston police call in Conner Grey, a druid and former hotshot Guild investigator-whose magical abilities were crippled after a run-in with a radical environmentalist elf. As Connor battles red tape and his own shortcomings, he realizes that the murders are not random, but part of an ancient magical ritual. And if Connor can't figure out the killer's M.O., the culmination of the spell might just bring about a worldwide cataclysm.… (more)
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    amberwitch: The start of somewhat different urban fantasy series. More caricatured noir, simple plotlines designed to showcase the richly imagined characters in all their cartoonish glory
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» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Connor Grey was once a hotshot Guild investigator with amazing magical powers. After an encounter with a radical environmentalist elf, his powers have been crippled and he is forced to survive on a disability pension and consulting work for the Boston Police Department.

Connor is called in my Boston PD detective Murdock when bodies of fairy prostitutes missing their hearts are found in the Weird, a decrepit neighborhood. The Guild has passed the crime to the Boston PD since they have more "important" crimes to investigate. Connor soon recognizes that the crimes are part of a magical ritual but doesn't know which one or what the goal might be.

As he and Murdock investigate, Connor gets help from his friends including a flit named Joe.

Connor was an interesting character who is still in the denial stage of grief about losing his powers and place. He is constantly longing for what he once had and only barely works to redevelop his once strong powers. He does have a nice circle of friends who are ready to help him or kick him in the butt if he needs that.

I enjoyed the worldbuilding in this story which, since the Convergence, has the fae integrated into regular human life. It is also concerned with a rivalry that could burst into a war between the fairies and the elves.

This was entertaining urban fantasy with an interesting world and an intriguing main character. ( )
  kmartin802 | Apr 20, 2023 |
Surprisingly good, I don't normally like urban fantasy where the magic is so open in the world where elves and fairys hang about with humans with no one bats an eyelid. I like my urban fantasy to have the supernatural to be hidden from the general public and wizards to be working behind the scenes being manipulative bastards. But that's just me so I wasn't expecting this novel to work for me but it did, I think because I enjoyed the mystery element of the book so much I think it's the first book I read about male fairy prostitutes being hunted down by a serial killer. I enjoyed all of the characters there all felt real to me and I didn't guess the ending. I will be checking out the next book in the series ( )
  Eclipse777 | Jun 27, 2021 |
Il enjoyed this book and i immediately jumped to #2 in series. However, this book has strong simillarites with Jim Butcher's "Storm Front" (Dresden files) - indeed the words "storm front" are even printed in this book. For me, this is not "bad", as i like this kind of not-quite-a hero teamed with the police to solve strange crimes.
( )
  phcallefr | Aug 15, 2020 |
I really liked this book. Connor Grey is kind of an asshole, but he's aware he's been an asshole and he's actively changing. He had privilege in his world, the kind of privilege that was innate--it came with his druidic power. Now that he's lost that power he's getting a great look at how the rest of the world lives, and at the person he used to be. Then there's The Weird, which is a bad Boston neighborhood inhabited by fairies, dwarves, elves, and everyone else who's not quite welcome in society. It's perfectly plausible that a neighborhood like this would spring up if all of a sudden The Convergence happened and we were faced with these new magical races.

I like the plot, the murders, the people Connor knows. I especially liked Shay, the androgynous human, who ends up being a vehicle for Connor to understand himself and the murderer, and maybe a little bit about the world around him. I wish Shay would stick around, and maybe he'll show up in some future book. Or maybe he'll get out of The Weird and make a great life for himself. Joe the flit is a particular favorite of mine. He is never exactly what I think he is, and what I think that means is he never falls into a stereotype but is a very well-rounded character.

Reading this book along with the other urban fantasy I've been reading--especially The Dresden Files--showed just how different this book was. You know, because you're told, that Connor has had relationships with certain women, you know he's sexually attracted to women he meets, but it never feels oppressive or icky. Maybe some of that is because Del Franco himself is gay, or maybe it's just because he's a good writer with a healthy respect for everyone.

I heartily recommend this to you all. You'll get a healty dose of elves, fairies, and magic, but you'll also get a man looking for his place in the world by recognizing his own privilege and being conscious of and caring about the differences of others. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
Connor Grey is a sort of sombrer and darker Harry Dresden with some original details like his magical disability.

The book is a very good debut. It takes a bit to take off but I really enjoyed it

Ottimo libro di Urban Fantasy, il primo libro del ciclo di Connor Grey, druido con un problema di disabilità magica, in un mondo dove il piano di realtà dove vivono le fate si è unitl a quello in cui vivono gli umani.
Un po' lento in alcune parti, ha un finale col botto.
Se amate il genere lo consiglio caldamente ( )
  annarellix | Jan 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The wrong of unshapely things is a wrong too great to be told --W.B. Yeats
Dedication
To Mom and Dad, who have waited. And to my partner, Jack Custy, who never expected to live with fairies and elves and the occasional vampire, yet does so willingly.
First words
The alley was slick with rain and a rainbow-hued slop I didn't want to think about.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine with omnibus or multi-volume works from the series. This is the first book only.
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In the alleys of the decrepit Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, fairy prostitutes are turning up dead. The crime scenes show signs of residual magic, but the Guild, which polices the fey, has more "important" crimes to investigate and dumps the case on human law enforcement. Boston police call in Conner Grey, a druid and former hotshot Guild investigator-whose magical abilities were crippled after a run-in with a radical environmentalist elf. As Connor battles red tape and his own shortcomings, he realizes that the murders are not random, but part of an ancient magical ritual. And if Connor can't figure out the killer's M.O., the culmination of the spell might just bring about a worldwide cataclysm.

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