Devil’s Luck by Carolyn Crane (The Disillusionists #3.5)
February 28, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
One look at Simon and you know he is a wild man. With dragon tattoos, flamboyant (yet sexy masculine) clothing, and a “who cares” attitude, he is the definition of a bad boy. Having spent years working for Packard and his disillusionist team, now that Packard is free and the villains are taken care of (somewhat), Simon is off on his own. An addicted gambler, he can take his reckless attitude and “zing” it into anyone – causing them to then have the reckless feeling for a short amount of time.
Fawna was a childhood friend of Packard’s, only to be kidnapped and kept as a slave for her gift. Her gift is that of a long-term prognosticator. She can see into the future, many years ahead and often can see how someone is going to die, or what the scores of big sports games will be. This has made her existence a prison. She was kidnapped by a scientific lab, only to be kidnapped again, to be used as Bobby Barrington, (a murderous gambler) prognosticator slave. Making him rich and feeding his gambling addiction, while exploiting Fawna. After many years, and conceiving a complicated plan, Fawna fakes her death, and is now free. Or as free as she can be. She is addicted to looking into people’s future. There is this burning urge within in her to just take a peek at the near future, which then always pushes it for her to find out when exactly they will die.
She knows Simon, and sees him again at a carnival where he is playing a ring-toss game. And this is where their chemistry and unique relationship starts to jump off the pages. Simon could care less what the future holds. There is a wonderful explanation as to why he has this reckless ,live for the day attitude, which I don’t want to give away in this review. But I loved it and once you learn this piece of information, as the reader you say – aha. This makes so much sense. Fawna can’t stand that Simon doesn’t give a care in the world about any of her predictions. But at the same time she is in awe. She realizes she could be free like him. It is a very big revelation for her.
For a novella, this really packs a punch. I think it really helps that I had read the trilogy, since Simon and Fawna and the world were both introduced previously. But I can also see people enjoying this one who are new to the world. We really get an in-depth look at these two, and their spirit, and attitudes portrayed are so well done. Fawna has looked into Simon’s future and seen that he dies under a poker table. She never paid much thought to it until she becomes his friend. Until she realizes she doesn’t want anything to happen to him. When Simon first brushes her predictions off, she is offended. This is what I love about Fawna. Because she was imprisoned and used for so many years, she is somewhat naive to the world. She doesn’t want to be used for her gifts, yet she gets mad when Simon won’t pay attention to them. On the other hand, Simon hates fate, thinking that once you know the details of your own fate, you are already dead to living. Yet at the same time, they find this fiery passion between them. Fawna finds a release, a reckless abandonment that she craves. And Simon realizes Fawna would never stop him from doing anything. If I have to think of something I didn’t’ like about this book it is that I would have liked a little bit longer ending. A little more closure between them.
So fascinating these two. I could have read an entire full-length book about them. I’m so glad Carolyn Crane wrote their story.