The Last Smile in Sunder City (Fetch Phillips) By Luke Arnold

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  • Released February 6th, 2020
  • Released in US February 25, 2020
  • Published by Orbit
  • ISBN-10: 0356512866
  • Audiobook Narrated by Luke Arnold
  • Genre: Horror/Scifi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
  • ISBN-13: 9781549150494

Description From the publisher:

A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that’s lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold.

Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain.
I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:

1. Sobriety costs extra. 2. My services are confidential. 3. I don’t work for humans.

It’s nothing personal–I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help.
Walk the streets of Sunder City and meet Fetch, his magical clients, and a darkly imagined world perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher.

My review:

I would first like to thank NetGalley and Orbit for providing an ERC in exchange for a review.

Having sat on this for far too long, I was finally able to scratch the itch that started the moment I read a blurb about this book. It was such a great read, and was very hard to put down at times. Resulting in a number of overly tired days at work the next day.

The main character, Fetch Phillips, was relatable in so many ways. I think most people can relate to feeling like their lives do nothing but mess up the lives of those around them, at one point or another in the course of their life. Although he doesn’t see the value in himself, and is clearly filled with soul crushing guilt; he drives this story, and what a roadtrip it is. It’s clear that he is a human(one of the few we meet) with a huge heart, empathetic, and would probably give you his last cigarette if asked. He is a man tortured by his past, yet lives with it and tries to go on with his life. For him, that means hanging out in his office, waiting for the next client to stumble in and partake of his abilities to do the job that no one else would do.

The story begins quickly, Fetch is employed by the guy that runs the school for the non human kids living in Sunder City. It’s the first of it’s kind, as it is populated by kids of all the previously magic peoples. I better back up and explain the world our anti hero Fetch lives in.

Up to about seven years ago, the world was filled with a wide variety of different types of magic folks, dwarves, vampires, fairy, one eyed ogres, werewolves etc.. The book covers the fascinating history of a few of them. Most live separately from the humans, having, you know, magic. And humans, having no magic, results in tension, and eventually war. As a result, the source of all magic is destroyed. Turning all magic people into mortals. Fetch indicates a lot guilt around this loss of magic and the ruination of a way of life for those who use it and are imbued with it. As the story progresses, you understand why.

Fetch is asked to find a missing professor, a former Vampire, and along the way we begin to understand his connection to the magic world and his day to day misery. The world and the characters are so well written and beautifully crafted. Sunder City, a place where everyone is trying to pick up after the “Coda” (the day the magic died) is a neapolitan of decaying life, and those trying to rebuild a new way of life. There are interesting little nooks, glowing with descriptive prose on almost every page of the book. The humor well placed, story pace is perfect.

I would highly recommend it, even though it wasnt exactly the book I was expecting and doesn’t fall under any of my favorite genres, as a fan of dark fantasy, I “got” it, and am glad I had the opportunity to read it.

– 9 of 10 Stars

Amazon link below to purchase:

The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives (1)) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SKVB9DY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_196kEbJHV81ZW

Published by Oliver Bowdoin

I'm a husband and a father of 3 little ones, 6 and under. I am obsessed with always finder a better book, which is a tough job, and a tough drive to live with. I live for the ultimate Fantasy/Dark/Grim/New Weird/Scifi/Space Opera novel and love supporting those authors by recommending them to others to find the same wonderment I found.

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