Book: Mark Del Franco’s ‘Unshapely Things’ – “I think you might be a little better recognizing priorities than they are”

The title of a book can draw you in, in the case of Mark Del Franco’s ‘Unshapely Things’ it reminds me of MacBeth but it isn’t from MacBeth.

Connor Grey is a druid whose magical powers were damaged after an altercation with a radical environmentalist-activist elf. Followed the incident Connor was kicked out of his day-job investing magical crime for the Guild and instead tags along into police investigations that are too small for the Guild to be interested.

I haven’t read many urban fantasy books with a male lead, Jim Butcher’s work being a noticeable exception (not that I’ve been able to finish reading the first five which I found for pennies in a charity shop).

unshapely things

In a female led book I can’t see dead male fairy prostitutes – even ones seemingly killed ritualistically, going without some sort of comment on sex, even if it is something cheesy along the lines of “I guess someone didn’t like what they were selling.” But del Franco handles it deadpan.

In fact the whole book is pretty deadpan and rather low on light-hearted fun, I get the impression that del Franco has larger plans for Connor and the book does start hinting at larger things but it is very slow for the majority of the book.

Most of the characters are underdeveloped, the dialogue is clunky, Connor starts as an ass and becomes a little less of an ass by the end of the book which should endear him but somehow doesn’t.

There seem to be six books so far (in total?) in this series so that is a lot of hinting at things to come! A quick internet search reveals that the last book, ‘Undone Deeds’, is apparently somewhat confusing and it may or may not be the end of the series. After the picture is either a spoiler or a health warning depending on how random you like your reading.


(Photo reused from an earlier post – credited there)

By all accounts it goes a bit weird and starts going into King Arthur legends cycling through time. Whilst this sounds interesting it doesn’t seem like a journey to unwittingly wander into, so I might stop whilst I’m ahead. I still don’t know where the book title comes from.

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