About the Book
Rune Leveau has a magical Talent for Finding things and a mountain of problems. Those problems get worse when she is approached by a charming, but dangerous cybernetically-altered corporate spy. When he says he wants her to help him find a wanted criminal called Anna Masterson, who went missing six years ago, it should be easy for a woman who’s only special gift is finding things? The problem is Rune has a dangerous secret. She IS Anna Masterson, and the spy isn’t taking no for an answer.
St. Benedict has searched for the last six years for the Masterson Files, a computer program that is rumored to do the impossible, cast magic spells. Such a program would reshape the world. For his own reasons, he’s determined to be the first to find it and the mysterious woman connected to it, Anna Masterson. Having exhausted his other options, he is left with a new hope that this Finder of the Lucky Devil can lead him to the prize he has sought for so long. But the Finder is proving difficult and he isn’t going to take no for an answer.
Set in an alternate Chicago, where technology and magic are in competition with each other, this fast paced Cat-and-Mouse chase makes The Finder of the Lucky Devil a welcome addition to your urban fantasy/cyberpunk library.
This is an SPFBO 2018 book.
The Finder of the Lucky Devil is one of those books urban fantasy books that seem to be coming my way a lot recently. By this, I mean I’ve read an abnormal number of urban fantasy books that start in, or feature, bars.
This book is set in a world that is very similar to ours, but also quite different. In this world, magic and technology are basically warring. If you’re a magic user, you have to be registered, there are unions, and laws you have to follow. The police deal with magic users different than nonmagical individuals. There’s a constant tension between the two that is really played out quite well and is rife for a story.
Along with this, the world is a bit different. Instead of a central government, the world is run by corporations, which heavily influence laws and basic civilian governance. Again, this is another aspect that adds a constant pull and tug of tension in the world and even between characters.
So, into the middle of all of this drops our protagonist, Rune. She’s got a Talent for finding things, runs a bar that is about a sneeze away from being foreclosed on, and works a side job finding lost things for people who have the cash to pay for her services. Along with her come quite a few secondary characters, but more on them later.
Anyway, Rune meets a man named St. Benedict, who is looking for a missing woman and is willing to pay Rune a good wad of much-needed cash for her help. However, this missing woman and Rune are intimately entwined, and there are very real risks for Rune associated with this job, and very real fears that she has to face while she’s searching for this missing woman.
There’s a lot here to love, as you can tell. The world is interesting. Rune and St. Benedict are fleshed out quite well, and after the first chapter or so things start moving very quickly. There’s always something happening, and truthfully, as Rune and St. Benedict weave their way through this twisted Chicago, things get quite interesting. I’d never really say the book was full of tension, but it was a lot of fun.
By and large, I really loved the author’s writing. She had a conversational style that made the book easy to get into, and made it feel a bit faster paced. That being said, there were some grammar and editing issues that I ran into along the way. Some long descriptions that didn’t really need to be long, and some fluffy descriptions that could have been cut down a bit in size.
As I said above, I’d touch on the secondary characters later. Basically, there were a lot of them. They came and went with shocking frequency, and other than just appearing and disappearing throughout the narrative, most of them really didn’t have much of a function other than to just be there and occasionally serve some task or another along the way.
That being said, I will throw out major props for the romance. It was understated but realistic, and more background noise and color than a central focus of the narrative. It’s pretty obvious who the romantic interests will end up being, but I just really enjoyed how Mackie dealt with their budding interest in each other, and how it played second fiddle to the actual plot.
These two points worked together to make this book feel a bit clunkier than it needed to be or otherwise would have been. Some sections felt really long, like a paragraph describing food, while in other parts, I felt, could have been expanded on. A little nipping and chopping, a little clarifying, and reducing some extra fat to expose a bit more meat would have made this really fun read something absolutely wonderful.
That being said, I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. I found it to be surprisingly addictive. I absolutely loved the world, the clash of technology and magic, the unique twist on Rune and her magic, and that ending was very well done.
Would I want to continue on in the series? Absolutely. Was it perfect? No, but perfect books are boring.