One Foot in the Fade – Luke Arnold

“Get the f*ck up, Fetch.

I’ve enjoyed our journey so far with Fetch Philips, Man for Hire, but this one was a little difficult to get into. (Last Smile in) Sunder City is almost fully under the control of the industrialists, and reading about a population slaving for ‘the man’ at the cost of their own dreams, handed new visions of false wonder, just hit a little too hard. This hasn’t been a cheery series, but ow.

It’s worth sticking with, though. The tone does get a little more hopeful, but mostly we end up on a huge adventure. With signs of magic – once as free as oxygen, now long gone, at least partly thanks to Fetch – appearing again, Fetch finds himself trying to help a half-undead (as in, half of her body is raised from the dead; the other half is normal) girl, a flightless angel, and the last of the genies. Set on tracking down a powerful artefact, we head out of Sunder and into the wider world.

My main hook and liking here was the character of Fetch. He’s still a bit of a downer, but he has progressed over the three books in quite a satisfying way. If this ends up being the end of a trilogy, then yes, I think we’ve followed Fetch’s arc and such a lot of growth. There’s a real message to it all, but I won’t give spoilers.

Otherwise, the side characters swing between irritating and ones I’d love to see get a spin-off, but then again it’s nice to have that range, and even lightly drawn characters don’t come across as stereotypes. The world-building is subtle, but it clicked with me most here – in fact, I got a sudden image of this as a ‘more real’ Ankh-Morpork, after the magic is taken away: that mix of creatures and species and a whole lot of bad tempers!

Overall, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series, and while I miss a little of the detective-noir feel of the first two books, Fetch’s Big Adventure is bittersweet and excellent. Give him a go!

One Foot in the Fade book coverNetGalley eARC: 464 pages / 69 chapters
First published: 2022
Series: Fetch Phillips Archives book 3
Read from 13th-19th May 2022

My rating: 8/10

3 thoughts on “One Foot in the Fade – Luke Arnold

  1. I really want to read this… but I’ve realised I don’t remember some of the crucial stuff from the first two books. For someone who has read them (and generally remembers stuff when prompted, rather than losing it from memory entirely) do you think I can just go in at book 3 without rereading?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you should be fine – there’s no tight follow on, just remembering the vague outline is more than enough. Hit me up on twitter DM if you want more spoiler-y reminders 🙂


  2. Pingback: Quest Log the Last

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