I’ve been hearing good things about C. L. Polk for a while, but I just wasn’t able to read the Kingston Cycle when it was nominated for the best series Hugo this past year. I was curious when I saw a new (presumably) stand-alone coming out from them on NetGalley, and I got an audio eARC in exchange for an honest review. And I’m so glad I did!
Even Though I Knew the End is sort of a historical noir urban fantasy. It’s set in 1940s Chicago in a world where magic is real and devils will make you a bargain if you ask them. The protagonist, Helen, used to be an official magic user from a hierarchical organization, but she got kicked out and is now a warlock/private eye. The worldbuilding is excellent, the use of language is amazing, and the characters feel real immediately. I kept being surprised by where the book was going in the best of ways. The audiobook narrator was a bit slow for my taste, but did s good job differentiating the characters. I listened to it at 1.75 speed.
I highly recommend this book. It was exciting, sweet, moving, and both lovely and loving.
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