Uncanny collateral + Blood Tally review

Ebooks, 151/164 Pages
Adult/ Novellas/ Urban Fantasy
By: Brian McClellan
Rating: 3 1/2, 4 Stars

“Let’s start this off on the right foot. My name is Alek Fitz. I’m the lead reaper at Valkyrie.”

I am actually reviewing the two books together because my thoughts on the two books are similar. I will just explain about the plot separately.

So this series of novellas is my first exposure to the author’s works and I don’t think novellas are enough to show an author’s full potential but at least they gave me an idea about the writing style and characters which I believe made me want to read his other series of novels which McClellan is better known for.

The writing is actually simplistic and I like that. I don’t like when writing is complicated and heavy on metaphors and stuff so that it looks more mature because that is a silly concept and I do believe a good author can deliver the story and make it digestible for different levels of readers, a thing which McClellan did. The writing is funny too which makes these novellas a perfect option when I want a quick light fantasy read.

“Last year, we spent thirteen hours playing Frisbee golf, ate a steak dinner, and then I wing-manned for her at the bars so she could get laid.”

I feel a bit borderline toward the characters. They were not bad written but Alek, the MC is just a basic white guy, who is a detective and is supposed to be a kind of a bad boy on the outside, a good guy on the inside (Not a big problem). The problem is that he was too perfect and ready for anything. The guy has the blood of a troll so that makes him kind of huge-built and shockproof. He has the fangs of a troll when he needs them. He has tattoos on his arms that he can activate when he is in extra trouble. On top of all of that, he has a Jinn friend in a ring he is wearing and she cam cast spells when needed and most importantly works as a lie detector. I just felt all of these things made things too easy for the Character to develop and grow because we don’t see him acquiring those but he starts with this set so we are just supposed to accept all of these things as a part of his personality.

I am not the hugest fan of Urban fantasy but this was not bad, I just think older world by default when I hear the world fantasy, so when I read words like mobile phone and Nintendo Switch and all this modern stuff in a fantasy book, it feels a bit weird to me but I believe that’s more of a me, not the book problem.

The plot in both books is fast paced and action packed which makes this a good book to binge in a sitting or two. The first book focuses on the story of Maggie, the above mentioned Djinn friend and the client is death. The second book is a more of a vampire story. I kind of enjoyed the second book a bit more than book 1 because I knew what to expect and because I already had an idea of who everyone was. There were new Characters introduced and my favorite has to be Eddie, the sphinx! He’s just hilarious.

Summary: I think this series of Novellas is a good option for lighter, action-packed, faster fantasy reads. The writing is simplistic and the plots are not bad. I am planning to continue the rest of the series in the future and The Powder Mage trilogy!

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