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Book Review: The Finder of the Lucky Devil

The Finder of the Lucky Devil. Megan Mackie. Independently Published, May 29, 2017, Trade Paperback and E-book, 427 pages.

Reviewed by Andrew Reynolds

Megan Mackie classifies her novel, The Finder of the Lucky Devil, as a work of urban fiction/fantasy. If you can imagine a story about a corporate-run government in a dystopian future with the noir feel of a ‘50s crime movie, set in a world where magic is real, you would have an idea of what this story encompasses.

Her protagonist, Rune Leveau, is a woman who is both on the run and undercover. The story opens with her being “sprung” from a corporate prison facility by her aunt, one of the most powerful magicians of her time. That corporation wants her back and has no intentions of stopping their search for her. At the same time, she is a Talent, someone with magical powers of her own. Those with Talent are required to register their powers, but Rune is not registered, making her twice an outlaw.

Rune’s aunt gives her a new identity and makes her heir to the bar she runs, The Lucky Devil, a hangout for magical and normal people alike. Rune’s magical power is Finding. Be it lost keys or a missing person, she can Find it. She worked with her aunt to hide her Talent, but her aunt has recently died. Now, Rune faces the task of keeping the bar out of the hands of corporate loan sharks while keeping her real identity and power concealed.

A well-dressed stranger, St. Benedict, enters the situation with a job offer. He needs someone found, and he's willing to pay enough to address Rune’s financial problems. But there’s a catch, and it’s a significant one: The person Benedict wants to find is the woman Rune used to be. Rune turns the offer down, but Benedict isn’t one to take no for an answer. He leaks the fact that Rune might know the location of her former self, and soon every corporate police force and petty thug in Chicago is after her.

When the people who work with Benedict are taken, Rune and Benedict team up in an uneasy partnership. Together, they embark on a journey through a Chicago both familiar and strange, one featuring the gritty alleys and dead-end openings between buildings familiar to any city dweller, along with magically created passages open only to those who know of them. As the pair work together, Rune discovers that she has far more power than she ever imagined, and that her role in Chicago’s magical world is more important than just the possession of an unusual Talent. 

I’ve never read any urban fantasy novels before, but if the genre has half the appeal of Megan Mackie’s book, I may have to delve into it more. The book takes a few pages to really get going, but once she gets it into motion, the story of Rune and Benedict’s flight from one cliff-hanging adventure to the next keeps you reading. The author also doesn’t give any hint of the ending until you get there, which is something I appreciated. Megan gives you characters that have depth and nuance; even the “supporting cast” who only appear for a few pages have the feel of being real people. It’s a good story, and Megan gives herself the opening to write more about these characters, which I hope she does. 


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