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The first time I read about this novel was through the Words and Coffee blog. The idea of a detective noir story set in a fantasy world were fungi pretty much control the population caught my attention fast. The cover of the book alone, as Jonathan Danz observed, is so weird and cool that it’s hard not to be curious about it. And I gotta tell you, that curiosity was satisfied.

The plot is classic detective noir. Finch is a detective investigating a double homicide. He works for the “gray caps”, the mysterious creatures that have taken control of the city of Ambergris. While investigating, Finch discovers that there’s more to it than a simple double homicide and that’s when the fun begins.

The Finch character is like an edgier Deckard from Blade Runner. Blade Runner by the way is a great reference point. If you loved that film, you will definitely love this novel. While technically not a dystopia -it’s not a far off future- it has that grim, decaying, retrofitted future Los Angeles feel to it. The difference is that guns here have fungal bullets. There’s a whole lot of fungi through out the novel. Spores, tendrils, fruiting bodies, and other weirdness.

Now that I know that this novel is part of a series called the Ambergris cycle, I can’t wait to read the previous books which are City of Saints and Madmen and Shriek: An Afterword.

Fungal Noir, Steampunk, Sci-fi, Fantasy, this novel defies categorization and that’s a good thing. If you want to read something unique and amazing you wont be disappointed. I can’t recommend it enough.