Connor Grey is a Druid, one who used to work for The Guild, but has suffered a trauma in his past that has blocked most of his ability to manipulate essence. Now he lives in The Weird, a Bostonian neighborhood where the poverty struck magical beings have congregated. Several decades early The Convergence, a big magical fluctuation merged two worlds together, and not everyone is just trying to get along, mostly by avoiding each other and shoving certain segments of the world into one place. No longer a Guild Director, Connor now works with the Boston PD, in particular with Detective Murdock solving cases that the Guild doesn’t deign to take notice of, but that the police would be hard to handle, since it involves killers and victims of the magical variety. Connor receives help from some of his friends, is true friends, the ones that remained even after his fall from power including Meryl a funky haired archivist and Druidess who works for The Guild and a flit Joe who has the ability to teleport, something I really envy.
Franco’s second book in the series, Unquiet Dreams, delves into the world of gangs and drugs. Moke and C-Note are both trolls and rival gang leaders and a powerful Druid ends up dead at the center where he has created a safe heaven for the street kids in The Weird. During his investigation Connor stumbles across a new drug, that seems to have some unusual magical abilities. He must find the source of the drug, stop the gangs from fighting, all before a big political meeting takes place.
I thought the second book was stronger than the first. Connor really starts to develop as a character and the story line was cleaner and the over all story arc started to pick up and made more sense. Connor has some abilities he didn’t know he had, or is learning new ones because his old ones are inaccessible or just something really strange is happening. Either way, his fight with Vizen which left him blocked, has repercussions down the rode that lead to some awesome fight scenes. I also enjoy Connor’s vulnerable moments, which read true to the character and kept me in emotional turmoil for some of the book. As there was resolution, of some of Connor’s emotional issues, I really enjoyed the turbulence of Connor learning who he is now that his life has been drastically altered.
While some aspects of the story still remind me of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, Franco has created his own little world in Boston and his books are an enjoyable read. I also like the pace of Connor and Meryl’s banter flirty relationship. I sense that it will actually go somewhere, and hopefully not lead to one sex scene that reads like a page out of 50 Shades. Connor is intelligent, but the questions remains whether he is smart enough to understand that we all evolve as beings. That very few people remain as they have always been. Embracing our changing natures, growing as people, and learning to empathize with those around us are valuable lessons. Hopefully Connor learns them soon enough to effect real change in his life and contribute to successful lasting friendships.