I’m in the position that I liked this complex book so much I’m not sure how to start my review. It is an urban fantasy that centers around the feyre/fey/faerie. It is constructed for an adult audience and is part of a small portion of urban fantasy that does not fall into being overly focused on romance or young adult themes. I found it through Ben Aaronovitch’s recommends on Goodreads. He is the author of the ‘The Rivers of London’ series if you are unfamiliar with him. Sixty-One Nails is a well crafted novel that I fell in love with.
Niall Peterson is a successful middle-aged business man who recently went through a difficult divorce. His life is a forcibly changed when he has a heart attack in the London Underground on the way to work. He is saved by a reluctant woman named Blackbird, a distinctly odd name, and she is about to introduce him to his new and distinctly unbelievable life. Niall is part Feyre and part human. He doesn’t believe this and who would? His predicament, however, makes it clear she is not lying. She is his only shot at living through the day if the week. He knows he needs and is dependent on her, and she has very little reason to help him. Niall’s story is about surviving. He has to discard his life, quit his job, cut ties with his ex-wife and daughter immediately, and accept he is part human/part Feyre on the run with a new name – “Rabbit.”
The book explores the structure of the Feyre councils. Blackbird as well as Niall are on the run. They are considered “tainted.” Having human DNA is not a positive: to have any form of protection Niall must find a way to be accepted by one of the Feyre courts. The 7th court, or “The Untainted” are a select group of Feyre that believe consorting with humans is something to be cleansed and engaged in rampant war with the other courts. They have been sealed off but are gaining access to the world a foothold at a time.
This is a darker book. Mike Shevdon’s version of the Feyre is not kind or forgiving. It, however, is not overly graphic and doesn’t use excessive profanity. In fact I’m not sure there is any. I would recommend this to older or advanced teenagers and adults that have an interest in a suspense novel that is also well crafted urban fantasy. If you enjoy audible books Nigel Carrington narrates a fantastic version. He gives a performance with strong character distinction and use of sarcasm and dark humor that in my opinion is worthy of Shevdon’s work.