The fate of New Orleans rests in the hands of a wayward grifter in this novel of gods, games, and monsters.
The post–Katrina New Orleans of The City of Lost Fortunes is a place haunted by its history and by the hurricane’s destruction, a place that is hoping to survive the rebuilding of its present long enough to ensure that it has a future. Street magician Jude Dubuisson is likewise burdened by his past and by the consequences of the storm, because he has a secret: the magical ability to find lost things, a gift passed down to him by the father he has never known—a father who just happens to be more than human.
Jude has been lying low since the storm, which caused so many things to be lost that it played havoc with his magic, and he is hiding from his own power, his divine former employer, and a debt owed to the Fortune god of New Orleans. But his six-year retirement ends abruptly when the Fortune god is murdered and Jude is drawn back into the world he tried so desperately to leave behind. A world full of magic, monsters, and miracles. A world where he must find out who is responsible for the Fortune god’s death, uncover the plot that threatens the city’s soul, and discover what his talent for lost things has always been trying to show him: what it means to be his father’s son.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
The City of Lost Fortunes is an urban fantasy set in a city filled with plenty of myth in its own right – New Orleans. It follows Jude Dubuisson, the son of a mortal mother and a god for a father, endowed with the ability to find anything lost by anyone. He finds himself dragged into a card game amongst immortals. A card game that would see his being torn about, distributed amongst the victors. A card game that held the very fate of the city in its hands.
This version of New Orleans is filled with lore that feels like it fits perfectly with the perception of the city. A city filled with jazz and blues music, darkened smoky clubs, sugar-skull gods and Voodoo deities creates a vibrant, lively world for this entertaining urban fantasy to unfold. The story meanders through the streets and alleys of the city, heading into the mystical planes between reality, and even into the underworld.
There’s plenty to enjoy in this book. The characters are engaging, plenty of them likeable, and a fair amount of them detestable. The sense of entitlement, greed, fear and justice that make each character their own is well used. The central mystery to the story keeps pulling the story along and kept me reading. Jude makes for an interesting character. I had an opinion of him from the start, and this changed as his character evolved throughout the progression of the narrative.
The only thing that had me really struggling was the intermittent use of “intros” in some chapters. They talked about different gods, belief systems and faiths. I struggled with these as they often felt out of place with the heavily Voodoo-inspired world of the book, and in some cases, weren’t overly clear what purpose they were serving. Whilst they weren’t used in every chapter, it happened enough to become jarring for me, and hindered my enjoyment a bit overall.