July 10, 2018
What Fate Portends, by Clara Coulson
Seven years ago, the exposure of the paranormal led to the tumultuous downfall of human society. Now, the legions of the fae rule the broken world, and humanity has nothing left but a handful of protected cities and a heaping helping of regret. Enter Vincent Whelan. Half fae and former cop, he’s become the best-known stretch scavenger in Kinsale, North Carolina, braving the “stretches” outside his city to recover precious items lost in the collapse. He makes good money. Lives the good life. Has a good future in store. As long as he can ignore his traumatic memories of the past. But when a new job with an odd twist blows onto his doorstep, Vince finds himself unwittingly drawn into a vast conspiracy lurking underneath Kinsale’s thin veneer of civilization. Old friends suddenly return to haunt him. New enemies appear at every turn. And Vince fears he isn’t prepared to confront either one. But if he doesn’t put his detective hat back on and solve this case on a tight deadline, then what’s left of the city he calls home might just crumble to dust.
I already knew that Clara Coulson is a solid writer, but switching from a beloved series (City of Crows) to a new one is always risky. You’re always comparing the new series to the old one. I’m relieved that Coulson’s writing prowess continues in this new series, and the flavor is different enough from City of Crows, that it doesn’t feel rebranded.
The world building is fun, and we’re thrust into the action right away. That action sets the tone for the rest of the story, and we immediately like the protagonist. But Vince has secrets. Secrets that can get him killed, and throw the world into chaos. Protagonists just have the worst luck, right?
As usual, the characters are compelling, suffering from foibles, and they overcome these foibles to show us their hidden strength. It’s easy to identify with Vince as he struggles to live in his society. This is trueurban fantasy, whereas City of Crows is hiddenurban fantasy. The supernatural creatures live along side humans.
Another great read from Clara Coulson, and I look forward to reading more in this series. Although I received an advance reader copy from the author, the editing and formatting is suburb. Five stars, and a must read for fans of urban fantasy.
Clara Coulson was born and raised in backwoods Virginia, USA. Currently in her mid-twenties, Clara holds a degree in English and Finance from the College of William & Mary and recently retired from the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC to return to the homeland and pick up the quiet writing life. Clara spends most of her time (when she’s not writing) dreaming up new story ideas, studying Japanese, and slowly reading through the several-hundred-book backlog on her budding home library. If she’s not occupied with any of those things, then you can probably find her playing with her two cats or lurking in the shadows of various social media websites.