The Blurb on Other People’s Words – Bruce Blake

July 9, 2012 at 11:11 pm (dark fantasy, fantasy, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , )

On Unfaithful Wings – by Bruce Blake

Urban fantasy is not my normal fare, but I have read it before, and can appreciate some of the better storytellers of the genre, like Charles de Lint and Tanya Huff – both Canadians, like Bruce. In fact, Canadians seem to have a flair for the genre. This novel even reminded me a little of a Canadian produced television show,” Dead like Me,” only in this book the protagonist was even more pathetic, and there was a heavier dose of religion. This isn’t a bad thing, since the show is one of my favourites, so the similarities were endearing.

The most important part of a book to me, as a reader, is characterization, and I was pleased to find the characters in this book had oodles of personality. The plight of the protagonist is moving and I like the grim, wretched flavour throughout the book. While you want to sympathize with Icarus Fell (especially at the misfortune of being given a celebrity-esque name) you can’t help but feel that he is partially responsible for his fate, due to a lack of resilience and his unwillingness to trust the people who are legitimately trying to help him, like Sister Mary-Therese. Even he admits this to himself at one point, that his circumstances did not force him to make the choices that he did.

The plot had its share of twists and intricacies without being overly complex or confusing. It also happens to be one of those stories where a synopsis would contain far too many spoilers, so I won’t go into detail, but what I will say is that the author integrates the protagonist’s background into the plot with great finesse and has sufficient shocking scenes and unusual interactions to keep my interest throughout the book. There also is a fair amount of irony, especially in the fact that Icarus looks to others to forgive his mistakes and failures, but ends up in an even worse mess because he cannot do the same for the people who had failed him.

If I had to be nit-picky, the only flaws I could point out were a few minor grammar errors and typos – although no more so than the average small press publication and not enough to distract me from this enjoyable fable. That, and the ending was a little surreal in parts for my tastes, but the frantic pacing added enough excitement to make up for it. Big thumbs up for this gritty urban fantasy.


1 Comment

  1. Bruce Blake said,

    Thanks for the great review, Chantal. The second book in the series will be out soon!

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