Mar 22, 2013

Book Review: Strange Fates by Marlene Perez

Book Cover: Strange Fates by Marlene Perez

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.

Love is stupid
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.

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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.

Let's Talk:

Did you read Strange Fates? Did you like it? Did you read something else by Marlene Perez?

Any other thoughts or comments?


  1. " Publishers called it "forbidden romance", well forbidden is not the adjective I would pick - try stupid." <--LOL

    This does not sound like something I would enjoy all that much. I'll pass. Glad it still ranked a three for you, though.

    1. Maybe it's just me... I thought forbidden romance is when you have big obstacles in your way, although the fact that she is trying to set you up or even kill you may count as big obstacle...

      I would not recommend this book to you, only to male uf fans. As for me... What can I say, I can be bribed with large quantities of unusual paranormal creatures in a story. That's the only reason I will continue to read this series, definitely not because of characters... :/

    2. Well, that would be called forbidden, because an assassin isn't meant to love her mark. Or a con artist, or whatever. Forbidden love is just anything that's taboo, like teacher/student, incest, parents keeping you apart (like Romeo and Juliet), or infidelity. Most fictional romances are a little forbidden, I suppose because they're viewed as more dramatic and epic.

      Personally, they're not my favorite thing in the world. Couples have enough to work through without needing to bring those sorts of things into the equation.

      I do like some books targeted more towards male readers, but I was burned recently AND I don't like this cover. :-p

    3. Hmmm good point. Ok, it's forbidden AND stupid. LOL :D

      Not big fan of forbidden loves as well, they are usually too angsty or dramatic for my taste...

    4. I agree. There's no point. Love is tricky enough to get right without adding "forbidden" into it.

  2. Good review. I like the summary. It intrigues me. Think i'll try it out.

    1. I recommend you read a little bit more reviews before buying it - this definitely is not for everyone although it has nice idea behind it.


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