reviews

The Finder of the Lucky Devil (Lucky Devil #1) by Megan Mackie Book Review

Write on: Sun, 18 Jul 2021 by  in Charles' Reviews Read 253

5/5

THE FINDER OF THE LUCKY DEVIL is one of my favorite finds last year. It's a genre busting book by Megan Mackie that represents some of the best urban fantasy I've read since first picking up Patricia Brigg's Mercedes Thompson. I don't normally give 5/5 marks to stories but I'm going to give her this one because it really is that entertaining. There's a couple of minor flaws but I'm weighing it from a 4.75 and rounding up since the rest of it was so good.

The premise is uncomfortably young housewife Anna Masterson has been kidnapped by corporate goons, tortured, and left in solitary confinement until she signs divorce papers for her mysterious (but clearly scumbag) husband Justin. Rescued by her witch aunt, Maggie, she manages to re-invent herself as Rune Leveau. Rune works at the Lucky Devil, which has a big carnival Devil present and is an otherwise innocuous bar in the future.

Did I mention this takes place in the future? Well, it's more an alternate reality as corporations have taken over the United States and turned it into a cyberpunk future. It's just that it's one full of centaurs, fairies, wizards, demons, and witches. I can't help but be reminded of both Michael Gibson's Technomancer series as well as the popular Shadowrun tabletop games. If you're familiar with my reviews, you know that I love cyberpunk and even if it's not a huge element of the setting, it's enough to raise this book in my estimation.

Rune is an incredibly likable heroine who just wants to continue her business of tending bar and occasionally finding lost items as well as people for extra cash on the side. This goes to hell in a hand-basket when she's recruited by handsome cyborg Saint Benedict. Well, he tries to recruit her, since he's trying to track down Anna Masterson while she's still in hiding. Hi-jinks ensue as Anna tries to pay off her mortgage, restore a young woman who has been turned into a dog, and avoid a well-dressed woman who is as sadistic as she is evil.

Rune is a delightful everywoman heroine as she has a very minor magical ability in the power to find things. This is not the kind of world-shaking magic that typically defines fantasy heroines. Indeed, she comes from a tragic background of being used and discarded by people. She would very much just like to run her bar and side-business of locating lost keys as well as family heirlooms but gets sucked into much worse situations. It doesn't help that the bar is less like a bar and more like a Medieval castle complete with responsibilities according to her associates.

So, do I have any complaints? Yes, and it's a very small one. The book climaxes about 2/3rds of the way in and the emotional beats thereafter are a little bit of a disappointment to the end. Really, I think this book should have ended there and the next part of the book be part of the sequel. This is nitpicking of the highest order, though. I also note that the relationship between Saint Benedict and Rune doesn't go as far as I hoped it would but I suppose that's what the sequels are for.

If you are a fan of top-tier urban fantasy and can put up with the addition of corporate conspiracy as well as super-tech with your working class supernaturals then this is definitely the book for you. The action is good, the characters likable, the world building believable despite its genre-smashing craziness, and overall fun.

Available here

Last modified on Sunday, 18 July 2021 21:10
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.

Website: https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/