I spent last weekend at Capricon 40, a long-running and very friendly science fiction convention here in Chicago with interesting panels, delightful readings, and a great Dealers Room. One of the highlights of the Dealers Room (besides the jewelry vendors, where I spent a small fortune on gifts for Alice to make up for missing Valentine’s Day) was the Bad Grammar Theater booth manned by Chicago authors Brendan Detzner, K.M. Herkes, R.J. Howell, and Megan Mackie. Bad Grammar is a reading series featuring local authors, and the books they had on display looked darn enticing. I ended up buying a whopping 8 titles at that booth alone.
Truthfully, I bought a lot of books at the convention — including an overflowing box from Greg Ketter of Dreamhaven Books — and I hope to cover the most interesting titles here over the next few weeks. But the one that leaped into my hands when I finally settled in my big green chair was The Finder of the Lucky Devil, the self-published novel by Megan Mackie, and the opening novel in her Lucky Devil series. It’s got an intriguing premise, and that beautiful cover doesn’t hurt any.
The Finder of the Lucky Devil is an urban fantasy… of sorts. Yes, it’s a fantasy. But it’s also set in a dystopian future Chicago ruled by corporations. I did my homework before digging in, and found it’s been well reviewed at Windy City Reviews and Good Reads, where it enjoys a rating of 4.08 and comments like “a fun read with some heart stopping moments… a fresh urban detective-style fantasy with wizards, fairies, corporate spies, shapeshifters, and even a mermaid dog stylist” (from Rebekah). Here’s a look at the back cover of Lucky Devil and its sequel The Saint of Liars, plus a snippet from one of my favorite reviews.
Here’s the review.
It does indeed contain a mix of magic and mythical creatures in a setting that seems like present-day Chicago. But we soon learn that the characters actually live in a high-tech dystopia, where corporations own almost everything and are trying to gobble up whatever remains. It’s Percy Jackson meets Blade Runner alongside Lake Michigan.
At the center of the confluence of corporate greed and magical resistance stands Rune, a tavern owner hiding from her past self as well as a variety of corporate goons, super spies, and faeries who think she can find the mysterious Masterson files — a MacGuffin-like bundle of knowledge assembled by Justin Masterson, an ace computer programmer who aimed to integrate magic and technology. Rune has a magical Talent for finding lost things, and the story gets going when one of the super spies.. tries to hire her to find Justin’s ex-wife Anna in the hopes that Anna will lead him to the missing documents. The trouble is, Rune and Anna are the same person, so she can’t take the job…
Lucky Devil, which is about an ingenue under threat from a villain and the stalwart hero who does his darnedest to rescue her, takes the structure of a classical melodrama and subverts it in a very clever and highly entertaining way… It’s an action-packed roller coaster of fights, battles, and narrow escapes…, I really enjoyed this book. It made me chuckle, it made me cry, and it kept me turning pages.
That’s from AMJustice’s 2018 Amazon review.
Cover by J. Caleb Clark
There are two books in the Lucky Devil series (three, if you count Death and the Crone: A Lucky Devil Romance, which shares a setting). Here’s the details on all three.
The Finder of the Lucky Devil (455 pages, $14.95 paperback, $2.99 digital, March 1, 2020))
The Saint of Liars (458 pages, $15.99 paperback, $3.99 digital, June 3, 2018)
Death and the Crone (182 pages, $14.95 paperback, $2.99 digital, October 17, 2019) — Cover by J. Caleb Clark
It’s always a pleasure to settle in with an acclaimed series set in your home town, and I’m looking forward to this one.
See all our recent coverage of the best new science fiction and fantasy here.