Greek myth and forbidden romance meet in this exciting new urban fantasy.
Brooding, leather jacket-wearing Nyx Fortuna looks like a 20-something, and has for centuries now. As the son of the forgotten fourth Fate, Lady Fortuna, he has been hunted his entire life by the three Sisters of Fate that murdered his mother.
Fed up and out for revenge, Nyx comes to Minneapolis following a tip that his aunts have set up a business there. His goal to bring down his mother's killers and retrieve the thread of fate that has trapped him in the body of a twenty year old unable to age or die.
But when a chance meeting with the mysterious, dangerous and very mortal Elizabeth Abernathy throws off his plans, he must reconcile his humanity and his immortality.
This is supposed to be an adult urban fantasy, but it reads like a young adult book with slightly older (by age only) characters. There are a few bad words in it, but nothing that hasn't been printed in a YA novel before, and nothing about this novel or it's characters screams adult.
I loved the premise of this book. I thought the overall story being told was intriguing. However, the main character (who is supposed to be hundreds of years old) is a complete moron, with a very stunted emotional capacity, and the need to repeat himself. I truly enjoyed the story, but I had to beat my head against my desk in order to continue reading through the mess that was this book. The story is good. The mechanics behind the writing, not so much.
I had a few major problems while reading this book.
1) The most jarring thing in books, for me, is to have a story jump from one thing to another with zero transition. I call it a hard transition. It's hard because one moment a character is in a store, talking to a friend and then in the next paragraph, without any explanation, that same character is across town in the middle of a date. Oh, and it may or may not be a week later.
This book is chalk full of hard transitions. It made me put the book down more than a few times in frustration. In fact, It took me almost a month to finish this book, when I usually burn through books in a day or two at most. I will give the author this much though, I kept picking it back up, because despite the issues with how the book was written, there was a good story buried deep inside.
2) Inconsistencies. It's one thing for an author to forget something they said half a book ago, or even a book or two ago in a series. It happens. It's never pretty when it does, but in Strange Fates, it happens a lot. Sometimes, on the same page.
About 75% of the way through the book (Chapter 32) Nyx is telling his friend Talbot that he plans on diving down in Lake Harriet, because he feels called to do so, and he thinks he will find answers there. Talbot grabs a wet suit and does a magic spell over it telling Nyx, "It'll keep you warm enough, but I can't guarantee it will keep the naiads away."
On the same page, just a few lines down as they continue talking through Nyx's plan, Nyx says, "There's something there, I can feel it..." Talbot says, "Like what? Besides some scary Naiads?" Nyx returns with, "I don't know, but I'm going to find out." At which point, Talbot states, "You'll freeze to death."
But literally, only a few lines ago, Talbot has taken care of that with the spelled wet suit. PS - the dive never happens at this point in the story. Once again, there's a build-up for this dive to happen and it doesn't. It's almost like the author has a good case of Attention Deficit Disorder, and forgets where she was going with the story and ends up somewhere else instead. Usually, another hard transition occurs and takes us to an entirely new scene with no explanation of what the hell happened.
The same inconsistencies are present with Nyx throughout every aspect of this book. He comes to a conclusion about one of the bad guys in the story and then abruptly forgets he ever had that thought. Two chapters later, he's come to that conclusion again (seemingly, for the first time). Then, of course, it's all but forgotten, until three chapters later when he comes to the same conclusion all over again, but it's written as if it's the first time he's thought it - again! The same can be said for his love interest. It's very daunting to read, and then read it again, and again... This is one of those literary moments where you want to reach in and shake the shit out of the character, because they couldn't possibly be so stupid.
3) The author really wanted the reader to believe the main character was falling in love with a girl. Only, she forgot to give us reason to believe it. The girl, Elizabeth, never came across as anything more than untrustworthy, at best. She never had a redeeming quality that a person could fall in love with, and she actually gave the main character more reasons to hate her and not trust her than to love her. Another issue with the inconsistencies in the story, was with this love arc. At some point in the story this girl even gives Nyx a libido potion so he'll have sex with her, despite the fact that he hasn't wanted to cross that line. The two characters go off to talk about it, and why she did it, but suddenly the conversation drops away and is forgotten for another hard transition. The next you hear of it is this Nyx kid going, oh well, I don't think she meant anything bad by it. UGGHHH No, because date rape is cool, as long as you like the person! *rolls eyes*
This is far from the realm of believable character attributes, for a character who has supposedly been around for hundreds of years. A character who supposedly reads people well, and understands their nature. This is a kid, who is supposedly smart enough to survive after being hunted down for YEARS, DECADES, CENTURIES even... and he's this stupid? This naive? I'm not buying it, and you won't either.
I'm not entirely sure the book was worth reading. While there is a really intriguing story there, and a lovely new take on mythology in the modern day, there are far too many problems with this book to make it an enjoyable read. For the adult audience, that the book is supposedly written for, you will be pulling your hair out! There is nothing adult about this book. If you enjoy young adult books, this might be more up your ally, but you will still have to be able to read past all the inconsistencies, the hard transitions, and the constant repetition. I won't bother with the rest of the series (it's supposed to be a trilogy, from what I've read), and I don't recommend it to other readers of adult urban fantasy without the warnings I've already given. It's a shame, because there really was a good story idea in there somewhere.