Book Review: Strange Fates by Marlene PerezFriday, March 22, 2013
Strange Fates by Marlene Perez
#1 in Nyx Fortuna series
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Ebook, 317 pages
Published On: March 5, 2013 by Orbit Books
Source: Requested for review from Netgalley.
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First Sentence: "The dank bathroom smelled, the stench thinly disguised by a lonely pine-scented air freshener that had probably been there since the club first opened."
Nyx Fortuna comes to Minneapolis to avenge his mother's death and find his thread of fate. Why does he need it? Because until that thread is cut, he is immortal. And in Nyx's opinion immortality is not such a great thing. You live while all the people you care for die around you.
"Someone I love always dies, eventually, and I'm alone again."
Nyx's solution to the problem is to not love anyone and to act like you do not care. I understood Nyx, hell, I even thought it was pretty realistic - that he feels tired and weary after living more than two hundred years. Hats off to Marlene Perez for not promoting ever-lasting life like a super cool thing. But, I could not like Nyx - he was so negative and sometimes downright whiny. Nyx maybe didn't push all of his friends away, but it worked with me.
Nyx was not the only thing I could not relate to in Strange Fates, the other thing is a love story. First night in Minneapolis Nyx meets Elizabeth in a bar (the one with the 'lovely' bathroom from the first sentence). Elizabeth looks exactly like his dead ex-girlfriend and to quote Nyx "That smelled like trouble." But does it stop him? Of course not. In fact, although Elizabeth lies, hides things and her negative behavior towards Nyx escalates, experienced and pessimistic Nyx somehow manages to fall in love with her. Publishers called it "forbidden romance", well forbidden is not the adjective I would pick - try stupid. I found myself cheering that Nyx ends up with Willow, the naiad (who wanted to drown him & eat him and not necessarily in that order). Even Willow looked like more sensible love choice and she helped Nyx a couple of time.
Why, oh why, people in love act stupid? [image source] & [image source]
The promised mythology (from book summary) was not really part of the story. Yes there are magic clans of Zeus, Poseidon etc but Greek Gods are long dead and the members of these clans are their descendants who are just ordinary witches, wizards etc. I really don't think that this is enough to earn mythology label for this book. There are probably going to be a lot of readers who are going to pick up Strange Fates expecting much more mythology and then end up disappointed.
The one thing where Strange Fates excelled is mixing magic, paranormal beings and contemporary setting into an interesting urban fantasy. Naiads, water hags, harpies... Those are just some of supernatural creatures that are going to try and stop Nyx. A lot of action, intriguing mystery and constant chase will make you read this book very quickly. World and characters in Strange Fates most reminded me of Storm Front by Jim Butcher, so I think that people who like that type of books, are going to enjoy this one too.
Although I didn't like Nyx or where the romance was going or cliffhanger ending (almost forgot to mention that), Strange Fates promises to grow into an interesting urban fantasy series, so I will probably read Dark Descent, when it is published.
I recommend this book to fans of: urban fantasy with male protagonist that is full of action, mystery and paranormal creatures. Also Harry Dresden fans.
Any other thoughts or comments?