Title: Skin Deep
Author: Mark Del Franco
First published July 1, 2009
304 pages, Mass Market Paperback
Mark Del Franco delivers another heart-stopping urban fantasy series with Skin Deep. Laura Blackstone is a master of disguise, using her magical abilities to create cover stories for her work as an undercover agent.
But when her two worlds collide, Laura finds herself in mortal danger. With her life on the line, Laura must rely on her wits and her magic to survive.
Will she be able to keep up appearances and stay alive, or will her skin-deep glamours be her downfall? Find out in this thrilling new novel from the author of Unfallen Dead and Unquiet Dreams.
About the Author
Mark Del Franco, a talented author, has written several fantasy novels worth reading. His latest book, CATHARGO (2016), is set in an alternate world where a war breaks out due to disagreements over the use of magic.
The story is full of twists and turns, and the characters are intriguing.
WHIRLWIND (2014) is Mark’s first young adult novel, an urban fantasy that centers around teens with elemental powers. The book is a thrilling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Mark is also the author of the Connor Grey series, an urban fantasy series for adults. The books should be read in the following order: UNSHAPELY THINGS, UNQUIET DREAMS, UNFALLEN DEAD, UNPERFECT SOULS, UNCERTAIN ALLIES, and UNDONE DEEDS.
The series is set in the Convergent World and is full of action, magic, and mystery.
In addition to the Connor Grey series, Mark has also written the Laura Blackstone urban fantasy books, SKIN DEEP and FACE OFF, set in the same world.
Mark currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts with his partner, Jack, and their orchids, which seem to be thriving.
Mark Del Franco’s Skin Deep is an intriguing urban fantasy novel that explores the world of shape-shifters and their complicated existence. Del Franco is an award-winning author who has contributed immensely to the fantasy genre.
Skin Deep, first published in 2009, is a remarkable addition to his body of work. The novel explores the glamours and secrets of the world of shape-shifters, where they need to keep their abilities hidden from humans.
The main character, Connor Grey, is a complex figure, who used to be a renowned member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s magical division, but after tragedy struck, he is now a druid who is struggling to get by. Grey is hesitant to return to his former life, but a series of murders amongst the shape-shifter community leaves him no choice but to get involved.
Del Franco creates a detailed and captivating universe with a range of characters possessing different talents, strengths, and abilities. The conflicts are presented strongly, and the descriptions of the actions and surroundings are impeccable.
The story is well paced and keeps the reader engaged, making it a thrilling read.
The author’s ability to weave intricate societal issues alongside the engaging storyline is commendable.
Del Franco gives insight into the challenges that shape-shifters face as a marginalized community, drawing parallels to racism and minority discrimination today. The novel provides an in-depth perspective of the world of shape-shifters, their culture, and the way they interact with the world around them.
However, the characterization of some of the secondary characters could have been improved. There were instances when it felt like some of the characters were only used to serve the main plot, making them feel under-developed in some ways.
There were also sections of the story that felt slightly rushed, with transitions that could have been smoother. Overall, Skin Deep is an excellent novel that is perfect for urban fantasy enthusiasts.
The novel is thought-provoking and compelling, with an engaging plotline that is sure to keep readers enthralled. It is a book that marks Del Franco’s talent as a writer and is a testament to his evident skill in crafting fantasy and creating intricate universes.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in urban fantasy or curious about shape-shifting communities. Skin Deep is a perfect encapsulation of what the genre can offer, with an added bonus of social commentary.
I’d give this book a rating of 8.5/10, based on its impressive world-building, compelling storyline, and social commentary.