What is this about?: Jude is invited to a card to play for his life with the gods of New Orleans… and then shit gets really weird because a god is murdered, and a game is being played.
What else is this about?: Family, about Jude coming into his own and accepting his past and his future.
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.
The City of Lost Fortunes is a book that revolves around Jude, a young man who is a finder of lost things. He can sense where these lost, physical, things and also, the chances and opportunities people have lost. But his power is so great, it has overwhelmed him since Katrina hit New Orleans. Now, he has retreated and doesn’t want his old life, filled with magic and friends who use magic. And when the books opens, it’s one of those friends that, Regal, that invites him to a card game where he finds himself playing for his fate against a circle of gods.
The good, the bad and the longwinded
New Orleans is as much a character as anyone else in this story, and the author fills the pages with evocative writing and descriptions of the city — after Katrina. And if that wasn’t enough, the card game I mentioned the other plays are all part of New Orleans in some way, like the Luck God of New Orleans. Who is promptly murdered.
That’s what drives the story — and Jude’s unwitting conscription into finding who murdered Dodge, which eventually becomes a journey to find himself, and to find his powers again.
This book is filled with fabulous worldbuilding, and characters and spectacular attention to detail.… eventually however, I got to the point where I just wanted a resolution — I just wanted a point. It felt like the author wasn’t quite sure if there was going to be another book in the series, and jam packed this with as much as possible.
The book was a wonderful read without a doubt, but I guess in the end pacing was an issue in an entirely unexpected way and I found myself wishing for an ending, instead of another turn in the narrative.