The Last Smile in Sunder City Review

  • Author: Luke Arnold
  • Series: The Fetch Phillips Archives #1
  • No. of pages: 352
  • Publisher: Little Brown Book Group/Orbit Books
  • Dates read: 26.01.20 – 01.02.20
  • Rating: 4 stars

First of all, thank you to Little Brown Book Group/Orbit Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain. I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me: 1. Sobriety costs extra. 2. My services are confidential. 3. I don’t work for humans. It’s nothing personal–I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help.

So this book was incredibly enjoyable! It was a strong debut but it wasn’t perfect but really what debut is. I think this all came down to personal taste/preference.

I struggled to connect with the main character, I liked him but I didn’t connect with him I just followed him along his journey out of pure nosiness rather than wanting to see him succeed. That being said, the tone did start to shift about 3/4 into the story so I hope when I read the next book I will be able to connect with Fetch. That being said it was a major disappointment it was just something I noticed.

Some of the writing to me felt a bit cringey. I think this might of been why I struggled to connect with Fetch because while I found his actions at times in the book to be very commendable, the writing sort of went against it as every time I found myself connecting to Fetch a line which I personally viewed as cringey would pull me out of the story. There were multiple references to the “devil” inside the main character and every time that devil was mentioned it pulled me right out. It was just cringey.

That being said this did not stop my enjoyment of the book as a whole. In fact I devoured this book and would get upset if I had to put it down and this was due to the unique world and intriguing plot.

The idea of a world full of an abundance of magical creatures who live pretty much peacefully with one another is not something that is new to fantasy. But having it where these creatures are now no longer able to use magic and now must adapt to life and their bodies without the magic they have relied on. Amazing. It is the first book I have read with this kind of world. The world you are used to is completely subverted and flipped on its head! And I found it so much fun to learn about this world and how the loss of magic has affected each different species of creatures.

The plot as well was really intriguing and there was a good balance through the book of not revealing to much of the mystery but letting enough be uncovered to keep the reader going. The mystery also allowed for a lot of worldbuilding, we managed to learn the history of a lot of species as well as our main characters back story and it managed to all flow really well with the core mystery.

Overall, this was a great debut which a lot of room to turn into an amazing series!

4 thoughts on “The Last Smile in Sunder City Review

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