Book Review: ONE FOOT IN THE FADE by Luke Arnold

I received a review copy from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Title in white on turquoise buildings
Genre: Fantasy Noir
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - final book in trilogy

*SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for THE LAST SMILE IN SUNDER CITY and DEAD MAN IN A DITCH*

Blurb:

Book cover for ONE FOOT IN THE FADE: title in white on blue map made of words

In a city that lost its magic, an angel falls in a downtown street. His wings are feathered, whole—undeniably magical—the man clearly flew, because he left one hell of a mess when he plummeted into the sidewalk.

But what sent him up? What brought him down? And will the answers help Fetch bring the magic back for good?

Working alongside necromancers, genies, and shadowy secret societies, through the wildest forests and dingiest dive bars, this case will leave its mark on Fetch’s body, his soul, and the fate of the world.

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

ONE FOOT IN THE FADE, the finale to the Fetch Phillips trilogy, has all the verve of the previous entries. Fetch is on his quest to restore magic (after providing the information needed to destroy it years ago), and this time he’s heading out of Sunder City on a (sort of) quest to find a mythical crown.

Yes, you read that right – QUEST!!! Because of the more modern technology, which has been expanding over the books, instead of a horses-plodding-along quest, it’s a road-trip style quest. It gives that very classic quest feeling but also a much more modern, quirky vibe that fits with the series. There’s also a chance to undermine tropes (which is again in keeping) with things like the big, experienced warrior getting car sick.

This entry also gets to explore the aftermath of the decision to side with a lesser evil in the previous book, looking at how Fetch’s actions allowed capitalism to control a city. The Niles organisation is taking more and more control. It feels like a very prescient dystopia but I liked that we really did get to see the consequences of Fetch’s actions, and the strain that placed on his relationships with people he’d previously been able to rely on in a professional capacity.

It was the perfect ending to a series about a character who’s not a hero, not really an anti-hero – just a man who’s been in a lot of wrong places, made a lot of bad decisions, and is now trying to do something about it (and makes a lot of mistakes along his somewhat ineffectual and somewhat too effectual way.)


Read my reviews of other books by Luke Arnold:

Fetch Phillips (this series):

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