A lost fox. A gorgeous ghost. And an unlikely partnership to stop a murderer.
Since his mother’s murder, Sage McKinley doesn’t live, he exists. His weak magic has made him an outcast, shadowing his life with self-doubt. All that changes when the spirit of a gunslinger appears in his bookstore with a message that will flip Sage’s world upside down. According to the mesmerizing apparition, a powerful magic lies within Sage… if he can find a way to tap into it.
But dastardly threats accompany this untapped power. Bodies are piling high as a killer hunts for the secrets of the mage that now course through Sage’s veins. Can Sage find the confidence to embrace all he’s capable of? Or will the next life snuffed out be his own?
How was it?
I discovered Sam Burns reading the Fire and Valor series, so I dove into this book without reading the blurb. It’s something that I often do in particular with the first book of any series, and that’s what I did with The Fantastic Fluke, which is a bit of a roller coaster because as much as I enjoyed it there are some problem with it.
The idea of magic being apart of this world kind of came out of nowhere. I wasn’t expecting it for some reason, again I didn’t read the blurb I picked up this book because of the author. So the paranormal, fantasy elements of the story were not smoothly introduced but once I jumped that hurdle I got into. The lost fox that Sage McKinley, the main character, finds helped quite a bit in my enjoyment of this book. For a character that doesn’t speak, because magic or not it’s a fox, he’s hand down my favorite character.
I had a bit of a hard time connecting with Sage because of how he was presented. The fact that he’s been through a lot, that he’s sort of down on his luck, and doesn’t have a lot going for him when we first meet the guy was fine. It makes him sympathetic but the constant self-doubt almost did me in. You can make it clear that your MC has low self-esteem without constantly telling us. At some point I even wondered if it was a way to hit a certain word count.
As for Gideon, I liked him but thinking back I think he was just there to be lusted over. The focus is very much on Sage so I only have a vague sense of who Gideon is. He’s not as sharply define as Mckinley but it’s obvious that we’ve only had a glimpse of his story and there’s more to come.
The Fantastic Fluke might sound like a mix bag but I still got a kick out of this story. There’s a great atmosphere, a really good vibe. The world building is interesting with its different types of magic, the monitoring and policing of said magic, but the larger mystery with this set of characters makes me want to know more.