Unfallen Dead by Mark Del Franco is the third installment in his Conner Grey series about a Druid living in Boston after The Convergence where fairy land and this world collided and became one. Grey was a hot shot druid making his way up the ranks of The Guild, stepping on the little people and pissing off Meryl, the Guild’s top archivist, which comes back to bite him later when he looses almost all of his abilities after a run in with a terrorist. Now he helps the Boston PD with supernatural cases that The Guild wont to take. He has a great big black cloud in his head blocking his abilities and when he isn’t chasing down the bad guys Grey is trying to figure out how to get rid of the black cloud and get his abilities back.
In Unfallen Dead Grey is called before the high counsel at The Guild and questioned by a queen regarding his part in the previous book where he took down a major bad guy by taking on properties of a troll at the Taint. But Grey had a black out during the fight and he can’t remember what happened, the queen tries to use a spear of truth against him, but Grey finds he actually has some control over the spear, and her interrogation doesn’t go as planned. No one is more surprised by this then Grey.
A homeless man is murdered and then another person is murdered and Grey thinks that they have something to do with each other and the magic that surrounds them. They are by far the more gruesome of crimes scenes in the series. Then Grey’s old partner from his stint at the New York Guild shows up to poke his nose into things and resolve his conflict with Grey. Plus the veil between the worlds is thinning and no one is sure how this interacts with the Taint or what it means. Grey has more enemies than I can count (ok, so it’s about three or four) and he must try and save his friends and the world with a black cloud in his head blocking his abilities but with a spear that seems to react to the little magic he has left.
Unfallen Dead is the best in the series so far. I’ve noticed this with a lot of Urban Fantasy, it seems to take about three books for the overall story arc to start to flesh out and for the characters to come into their own. While fun, the first two books didn’t have the drive and continuation of Unfallen Dead. I like that Del Franco chose to bring in a character from Grey’s past, bringing in back story without a lot of exposition, which moves the story forward. The mysteries of each book are interesting, but it is the world that Del Franco has created that I love the best and in Unfallen Dead the overall story arc is the main story with the murders feeding into it. Meryl continues to be one of my favorite female characters. She’s just awesome. She never backs down and she’s strong even in her vulnerability. Something Grey really needs to work on. The story is starting to feel like a solid series at this point, I enjoy reading about all of the characters and I really need to get my hands on the next book.