Uncertain Allies (Connor Grey) Mass Market Paperback – 26 Apr 2011
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About the Author
Mark Del Franco lives with his partner, Jack, in Boston, Massachusetts, where the orchids tremble in fear since he killed Jack's palm plants.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What really kept me turning the pages was how all the political factions resolved into opposing forces, and readers finally see what (and who) all the sides are: Eorla in the Weird, The Elves, Maeve/the Guild, Ceridwen and the Dead. They all want to manipulate Connor to their own ends. Connor also finally dumps the whining "poor me, I lost my abilities" and becomes a contender. The mystery of the disappearing people is intimately tied into the political infighting, and he actually investigates like a real PI. Moreover, Murdock gets involved and the two become true allies and friends. I was also happy to see the return of Shay. I do love these characters.
Overall, this book satisfied enough that I am anxious for the next installment. Once again the ending was action-packed and fantastic, but also left readers hanging. I'd really like to see the black mass be resolved, and move onto some stand alone stories. This is an excellent, gritty urban fantasy, but waiting book after book for resolution is wearing extremely thin. I'm hooked on this series, but with so much always hanging, I'm unwilling to try the spin-off series set in the same world.
The book was well written, good characters. It did pull the reader along to the ending, just short of being a page turner.
A weakness in the series is the black mass of magic blocking in the hero's head. It does drive the hero and provide the setting, because it prevented the former highly skilled magic cop from doing magic while still allowing him to sense it, and turned the hero into a 'down on his luck' PI trying to help the little guy. It also started to get boring.
At the end of the last book the author had the mass do some magic on its own, but it was thrown in at the end of the book. I was afraid for the first half of this book the same would happen, but the story here moved along. Not enough to make the hero into a superman, but enough to keep the reader interested.
There was also a weakness where too many highly placed people want to screw over the hero without enough good cause in the setting.
Again, I just loved this latest book in the series, I hate to have to wait too long for the next one!
This is more procedural cop drama/noir detective with a fantastic fantasy backdrop that is served up as simply the reality Connor and his compatriots have to cope with every day. The setting created here has tremendous potential and a wealth of lore available that Del Franco does not shove down your throat or drone on about excessively.
Instead, you are given just enough background to keep your head above water as you frantically dash through a tarnished city trying to stay apace with a hero that can barely keep pace with his enemies. It's good stuff.
Del Franco also walks the thin line of making his protagonist just likable enough to keep you around. Connor evolves as a human fitfully, and with ample protest. Much like a real person.
I love Dresden to death, but where Butcher gives us Magnum PI and magic, complete with a know-it-all housemate and 'I know what you're thinking...' moments, Del Franco has us walk a mile with a downtrodden jerk harboring serious spotlight issues...and finds a way to make us like it.
Don't miss this series.
Connor's asked by Eorla to look into some peculiar deaths in the Weird and his investigation overlaps /w Murdock's, so they work together. There's Elf, Dannan, Guild politics in overdrive; the Dead are running wild; everyone is out to get Connor; his black mass is acting up; Bergin Vize is up to no good; Joe is drunk; the Murdock family hates Connor . . . pretty much business as usual. We still don't know what the black mass is, or maybe we do and I missed it. I find the author's descriptions, particularly about the Wheel of the World and of action scenes, difficult to follow. Once again, the climax is a sort of "fade to black" moment involving Connor and his mysterious powers, which drives me crazy.
But, all that being said, I could not put the book down b/c I can't get enough of Connor and his friends (except for Braillen, who really bothered me in this book). I guess I'd give this installment 2 1/2 stars. This is the fifth book, though, and I'm ready for some concrete, coherent answers.