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 . . .
Same as with his high fantasy, Promise of Blood, Uncanny Collateral drew me right in and I knew I was in a for ride. Not only does he know how to get my attention right away but Brian also has a way with characters so that I always immediately like them or at least am interested in their story.
What always impresses me the most with novellas is the depths authors are able to create within the given pages. Not only does Uncanny Collateral offer quite a detailed world building, but there was also just the right amount of hints at the characters’ background stories to make me grave more details about their past while also forming them into fully fleshed out characters. .
Probably my favorite thing about this book was the friendship between Alek and Maggie. Friendships between men and women is so damn rare in urban fantasy!
As for the overall plot: I always love me a good mystery and Uncanny Collateral was no exception. Poor Alek really didn’t get a break once things started rolling but it made for a fast-paced, non-stop action thriller. I think it was nicely done how Alek’s investigations make you learn about the world and its many creatures.
The cherry on top was that Death himself was involved. Give me death as a character and you’re already half way there to me loving the book. And I got exactly the kind of character I would expect and love as Death.
Overall, Uncanny Collateral was a really fun adventure/mystery and I can’t wait to read more books set in this world/more of Alek and Maggie’s adventures.
Whether you’ve read anything by Brian McClellan before or not, I highly recommend checking this one out if you’re in the mood for a fun urban fantasy story.