My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The author was offering this as a freebie/loss leader intro into the series so I went into it not expecting to much and boy was I pleasantly surprised. I'm not usually much on post-apocalyptic worlds but this wasn't grimdark or dystopian hopeless like so many are. I enjoyed this. I liked the world building and I liked the two main characters, Vince Whelan (it's his point, first person) and his former partner on the police force, Saoirse.
Several years back the fae attacked Earth and it ended in nuclear war and the humans lost now owing fealty to the fae queens, including the Unseelie queen Mab. Vince Whelan used to be a cop but when paranormals were outed, his half fae, half human nature came to light. HIs human father lost everything and eventually passed. Vince was nearly murdered by his former friends, wrapped in iron (which burns fae and can be fatal) leaving him scarred, during the Paranormal purge (which did end up failing).
Vince now lives close to the bone, appearing fully human and willing to sneak back into the abandoned Raleigh NC through the dangerous wastes to help refugees recover some of what they left behind (as he's less likely to be taken out by vampires, ghouls, werewolves or dangerous fae) and the story opens with this in media res.
He's offered what looks like a simple job right in his hometown of Kinsdale NC, to find out who bought an antique harp at great cost and he'll be very well paid. He agrees and things go very quickly sideways and he's embroiled in something very dark and dangerous. It brings him back with his former partient, Saoirse after violently parting ways with her seven years ago when the other cops attacked him.
Together, they have to keep one step ahead of the fae after Vince and stop whatever is going on, which is far worse than he could have imagined when he took the job.
I really liked Vince (though he does, early on, have some quirks I'd almost call girly but that sounds terribly sexist of me but I don't normally see too many men covering their mouths squealing in fear or biting their fingers but okay whatever). I like that we don't really know what kind of fae he is until the end (I guessed wrong about that, right about what the harp was). He's engaging as is Saoirse.
Unlike so many freebies I've picked up which were either good but forgettable or just plain bad, this one really drew me in and I am looking forward to read more of this series. This was a lot of fun.
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