Skin Deep by Mark Del Franco

Skin-Deep-Mark-del-FrancoLaura Blackstone is a fey doing public relations work for the Fey Guild in Washington, D.C. She lives in the post-Convergence world, where Faerie has become part of the human world and Fae and humans have learned to live together.  Like all Druids, Laura has unique powers. Her strength lies in her ability to glamour herself to look like someone else. Laura Blackstone (the original) is the PR person for the Guild. Her first alter-ego, Janice Crawford, is an unattractive, low-power Druid who helps out the local police. Her second alter-ego is Mariel Tate, a gorgeous high-powered diplomat who always gets her way. Laura’s skills not only allow her to look and act like each of these identities, they also allow her to keep each life separate. But something about this new case is different. All 3 lives are colliding, and more than just Laura’s extra identities may be at stake.

At the beginning of this story, we are thrown in Laura Blackstone’s life already in progress, with very little explanation. We meet several characters, both human and fey, that Laura already knows and has relationships with as one identity or another. I found it very confusing and difficult to follow. There wasn’t enough background information given about these other characters for me to really care about them, and they flitted in and out of the story like they were supposed to be important, but I felt like I never really knew them. That was my general feeling of the entire story. Not enough world-building, not enough background. I almost gave up in the middle of the book, but held on because I could tell the action was coming. I finally became interested in the story when Laura started a relationship with one of “Janice’s” co-workers, Sinclair. He was an interesting character. Laura was learning his back story, so we got to learn it as well through her. I was able to get emotionally invested in him since I knew something about him.

I never really decided whether or not I liked Laura, and that made it difficult for me to like the book. She wasn’t an interesting character. I couldn’t really picture what she looked like. I thought the idea of the story was alright but it seemed unfinished. I felt very “meh” about the whole thing. I enjoyed Mark Del Franco’s other series, the Connor Grey series, much more than this one. It’s another fey urban fantasy series, but I liked Connor Grey and enjoyed that story much more than this one. If you’re looking for a Mark Del Franco book, start with Unshapely Things instead of Skin Deep. I won’t be reading any more of the Laura Blackstone series.

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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