Unperfect Souls (Connor Grey #4) by Mark Del Franco
In the Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, a decapitated body floats out of the sewer, and former Guild investigator Connor Grey uncovers a conspiracy that may bring down the city’s most powerful elite. As the violence escalates, Connor is determined to stop it-with help from one of the most dangerous beings of Faerie. Even if it means unleashing the darkness that burns within him.
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Mark Del Franco has quickly become one of my must-read authors. His Boston is so interesting and frankly dangerous. Previous installments in this series have always delighted me and so I was happy to pick up Unperfect Souls. It’s actually been sitting on my shelf for a little while now, as my TBR pile has grown to epic proportion. (This is definitely not a complaint, by the way, more a statement of fact. However, as this is the summer of poverty, as I forgo work to finish my dissertation, I’m forced to delve into the mountain to find things to read, though I am still ordering books by my favourite authors since there’s no way I can resist (and I have budgeted for them). It’s actually for the best that I get to whittle down the pile, though, since all the books I’ve been holding off on are books I really do want to try.)
In Unperfect Souls, there’s even more going on than in Connor Grey’s last adventure, if you can believe that. In the aftermath of Unfallen Dead, and the closing of the pathways between our world and Tir Na Nog, the Dead who crossed over are trapped in Boston, in the mortal world. They continue to operate under their Tir Na Nog rules, which causes problems with the locals and makes the Weird an even stranger and more tension-filled part of town than usual. What I like about this is that Mark Del Franco uses events from previous novels, continuing the storyline and showing us the ramifications of Connor’s actions. Even though he saved the world, he caused some problems, and something’s got to be done, particularly when there’s a war brewing between the solitary fae and the Dead.
I was also really pleased with the exploration of the dark mass in Connor’s head and what powers and dangers it holds. His encounters with the leanansidhe are some of the best parts of the book because he’s forced to consider what using the dark mass means. As a reader, I was excited to find out more about Connor’s problem and what it might mean for him, both personally and politically. The information revealed in Unperfect Souls is so unexpected but it makes a lot of sense.
We also get to see more developments with Connor’s friends and allies. In fact, in some ways the secondary plots were almost more interesting to me, particularly the Keeva subplot, even though I was pretty sure what was going on there before it was actually explained. But that was the only plot point in Unperfect Souls that I came close to figuring out. Everything else, particularly in the final chapters, was such a wonderful, game-changing surprise that I’m going to have to run out and get Uncertain Allies just as soon as I finish writing this post, so that I can find out what’s going to happen next.