Alek Fitz is a reaper, a collection agent who works for the supernatural elements of the world, tracking down debtors and solving problems for clients as diverse as the Lords of Hell, vampires, Haitian loa, and goblins. He’s even worked for the Tooth Fairy on occasion. Based out of Cleveland, Ohio, Alek is the best in the game. As a literal slave to his job, he doesn’t have a choice.
When Death comes looking for someone to track down a thief, Alek is flung into a mess of vengeful undead, supernatural bureaucracy, and a fledgling imp war. As the consequences of failure become dire, he has few leads, and the clock is ticking. Only with the help of his friend Maggie—an ancient djinn with a complex past—can he hope to recover the stolen property, save the world, and just maybe wring a favor out of the Great Constant himself.
It’s a hell of a job, but somebody’s got to do it . . .
Available on Amazon and other outlets on April 2nd, 2019. Preorder now!
“Would you prefer I lie to you and say, ‘Yes, I am one hundred percent certain we killed that draugr?'”
“Yes, I think I would.”
Uncanny Collateral was a really well-written urban fantasy adventure. It is a bit shorter than the standard urban fantasy novel (45k words vs 101k words), but it works for the story presented. I liked the way the story played out. There was lots of danger and lots of adventure that all unraveled in a very pleasing way. Everything worked well together.
This didn’t exactly break any new ground, though. If you’re unfamiliar with the genre or have only read a few series, you may not know that this isn’t exactly new. This isn’t a bad thing at all, though. It works well. If you aren’t well read in the subgenre, Uncanny Collateral is not standard in popular, mainstream urban fantasy, but not uncommon throughout the entire genre. This does really good things with the subgenre, though, and as Brian McClellan is pretty popular maybe this will help showcase the delights of the subgenre to those unfamiliar with it.
Our main character for this adventure is Alex Fitz, and he is fun to read. He is a reaper who collects on debts. Unfortunately for him, he is also basically a slave who was sold as a child and now his company owns him and has rights to make him do whatever they want him to. Understandably, he holds a grudge over this. Fortunately for him, when he was younger he found a ring with a djinn in it and they’re in constant communication. Alex and Maggie are really good friends, even if their relationship is a tad unbalanced.
Despite Uncanny Collateral being so short, it is absolutely filled with neat little things to see. There are all sorts of neat “look at the cool thing I came up with to add to my story!” moments. While almost nothing is explored in its entirety, there are a lot of bits and pieces to work with later on. I’m expecting great things out of the rest of the series.
This was a fun, interesting introduction to the Valkyrie Collection series. I was left at the end wanting more to the story. This was just the start of what sounds like a long, interesting journey. I’m looking forward to reading more from this series and from Alex and Maggie.
I received a copy from Brian McClellan for review purposes. Thanks so much!