Rating: 5 🌈💫
After reading The Fantastic Fluke I had to immediately go to the next in the series to see what happens next. Imagine how surprised I was to find this (and probably all the other books) flow seamlessly from one to another.
The beginning here is exactly the last paragraphs of the ending of the first book so the narrative continues perfectly, picking up where the events left everyone evaluating how to go forward.
All the characters I have gotten to love, and a few I despise, are back. The interpersonal relationships are deepening. And the character growth and magical revelations just connect me even more closely with mage Sage McKinley, and his incredible found family that includes his cowboy mage (former ghost) boyfriend Gideon, his fabulous mage grandmother Iris McKinley and her staff/family as well as Rufus her familiar, Sage’s BFF and store partner Beez, Freddy, and last but never ever least … the amazing familiar Fluke the fox! Unfortunately there’s still Sage’s dads who are both a huge part of this story.
Both of them had enormous roles in damaging and traumatizing Sage, a element that has continued into the present. His biological father has remained in the bookstore Sage inherited, albeit in ghostly form, to taunt him daily, not content to have been just a miserable, horrible father to Sage while living.
The man Sage had loved and thought of as his real father and family, until he watched him murder his mother, is behind bars, convicted of the same murder that almost took Sage’s life too. And left him traumatized.
Both men and Sage’s past return here with real emotional impact.
I love found family stories and Burns is building a remarkable one while crafting a urban fantasy arc full of magic and mystery and quite a few murders.
Throw in how much damage a parent can inflict on a child’s personality by abuse, neglect, or, stunningly, unforeseen betrayal and murder, as Burns gives us a heartbreaking portrait of damaged adolescence and survival. And not just Sage’s.
Fluke and The Faithless Father is such a great story because of perseverance and strength and even grace shown by those under such awful conditions here. And the way in which they all triumph as they head to the next challenges.
It made me want to go back to the beginning and meet them all again, to see what I may have missed, recapture their wonderful spirits, before we head onto the next step.
I can already tell this is a journey I’ll want to take again with this remarkable family.
I’m highly recommending this book and series.
Again, a glorious cover.
The Fantastic Fluke Series:
✓ The Fantastic Fluke #1
✓ Fluke and the Faithless Father #2
◦ Fluke and the Faultline Fiasco #3
◦ Fluke and the Frontier Farce #4 – coming in 2022
After escaping a murderer and resurrecting his boyfriend, Sage figures he deserves a little time to recover.
Unfortunately, life is rarely fair.
So instead of a break, he gets to deal with a magical law enforcement rookie asking uncomfortable questions about his brush with death. The quaesitor is acting downright suspicious. Or is it suspiciously?
Things go from awkward to dangerous when the man who murdered Sage’s mother is released from prison, and soon after there’s a break-in at the bookstore. The situation escalates so fast that Sage is afraid he’s going to end up with whiplash. Or worse, end up dead. He wanted a break, but not a permanent one.
Fluke and the Faithless Father is a direct sequel to The Fantastic Fluke, and should not be read first. It is an ~85k word novel that follows the continuing adventures of Sage, Fluke, Gideon, and their whole family, found and otherwise.