#SPFBO Finalist | Out of Nowhere – Patrick LeClerc

About the Book

An urban fantasy, pacy, funny and compelling to the last page…

Healer Sean Danet is immortal—a fact he has cloaked for centuries, behind army lines and now a paramedic’s uniform. Having forgotten most of his distant past, he has finally found peace—and love.

But there are some things you cannot escape, however much distance you put behind you.

When Sean heals the wrong man, he uncovers a lethal enemy who holds all the cards. And this time he can’t run. It’s time to stand and fight, for himself, for his friends, for the woman he loves. It’s time, finally, for Sean to face his past—and choose a future.

A story of love, of battle—and of facing your true self when there’s nowhere left to hide.

220 pages (paperback)
Published on August 2012
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This book is an SPFBO finalist.

Out of Nowhere is a book that I really struggled with. I’ll just say that up front. There are some very good qualities here, but I think the stuff that bothered me outweighed the positive qualities and in the end, the whole thing kind of left me scratching my head.

LeClerc is a great writer. He has a knack for knowing how to use his words to the fullest effect. He has great timing. The plot never felt like it dragged or wandered. Out of Nowhere starts exciting, throwing readers right into the thick of the action, and it never really lets up after that.

This is also one of those books where the author’s hands-on experience is really felt throughout the work. All those little details are there, all the medical and personal experiences that only someone who has actually worked in the field would know of. I loved that. It really gave the world and the story itself a sense of realness that it otherwise would have lacked. I mean, yeah, people can do research and fill in gaps, but hands-on experience and knowhow is always best, and it shows.

The plot is interesting, and there are twists and turns that kept me wanting to know more. Mostly, I really felt like the world building was solid. The magic felt natural, and the main character had a knowledgeability about him that made his personal story arc believable and captivating. This is the first book in a series, and there is plenty here for LeClerc to grow and expand on.

Now, for my caveats.

I try really hard not to read reviews of books until after I post mine. However, I have eyes and they tend to see things no matter how hard I tell them not to, so I believe a lot of these issues have been mentioned by other reviewers.

Women are objectified. There are some racist and homophobic comments throughout the book that are, to put it bluntly, offensive. This all made me seriously question whether or not I actually wanted to finish the book. It also made parts of it incredibly uncomfortable to read. Maybe this was a stylistic choice, or realism from the author’s experiences, or what have you, but a lot of this stuff really put me off and left me wondering why it needed to be there at all.

I feel terrible saying that, but it’s true.

There’s also a bit of some insta-love going on between our protagonist and a woman he meets which had me questioning the plausibility of it all. I also had a hard time believing the antagonist’s motivations.

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It had a good premise, lively dialogue, a unique plot that isn’t really seen other places. I enjoyed it… but there is that stuff I mentioned above that left me with a bit of a sour taste. That being said, LeClerc has a promising career ahead of him.

SPFBO rating: 4/10 stars