Trace
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Trace

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  58 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Colin Byrne is a pickpocket, an artist, and an occasional consultant for the police. He’s also an ex-felon, an initiate into the feral, unspoken magic that only prisoners know: how to vanish, how to tell fortunes, how to steal souls. Now the man who put him in prison wants him to return to Railburg State Correctional Facility to help investigate a case.

Colin has some allie...more
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Published November 5th 2011 by Extribulum Press
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SA
Nov 19, 2011 SA rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
I read this story in its original form, and figured I'd give the original adaption a try. I'm so pleased I did, because this story is, remarkably, even better adapted to profic than it was originally--and I really enjoyed the first version.

For a novella, it packs a world of rich detail into a limited space. The characters were fully realized, with complex motives and clear interior lives. The different pieces of the puzzle were slowly revealed and each one was a prize--despite having read a vers...more
wychwood
Intriguing. I read the fanfic incarnation first; this has a lot more of the underground urban mythology thing going on, which I've always found fascinating, and I think the story is better balanced because of it. The magic system is deeply interesting to me - I could read a heck of a lot more about that. Not desperately deep, but worth reading.
Tamela
Copied from my blog.

From Jacket: Colin Byrne is a pickpocket, an artist, and an occasional consultant for the police. He’s also an ex-felon, an initiate into the feral, unspoken magic that only prisoners know: how to vanish, how to tell fortunes, how to steal souls. Now the man who put him in prison wants him to return to Railburg State Correctional Facility to help investigate a case.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this book. I have enjoyed other works of the author and have been re...more
April L'Orange
I've tried half a dozen times to come up with a different way of introducing Trace, by Sam Starbuck. I give up. It's like White Collar meets Bless Me Ultima, and if that's not quirky enough to catch your attention, I don't know what is.

Trace is the story of Colin Byrne, an ex-felon who can't be seen when he doesn't want to be. He's about to go undercover to help track down a money-laundering operation running through Railburg State Correctional Facility. But prison changes people in ways they co...more
Ally
(From my Wordpress blog, Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors.)

Colin Byrne never thought he’d go back to Railburg State Correctional Facility. He’d kept his nose clean since his early release, setting himself up as a private detective. But when Joseph, the cop who put him away and then saved him calls in a favor, he finds himself heading back to prison undercover to help break up a money-laundering ring. Colin might also be looking for a little revenge himself, but once...more
Tiffany Wang
so i read this a few years back, after devouring everything Sam has ever written in the Harry Potter fandom...

and I loved Trace. so much. all the strengths of his stories set in other worlds was as evident here if not better...

it was an intriguing world...with an intriguing magic, and well, it totally makes sense to me that this magic could exist in this community of people...

loved loved loved.

=)
Highlyeccentric
This was fun, and sweet, and interesting! The world-building was complex but the story itself didn't quite live up to it. The business about Colin's real name needed fleshing out but was sweet nonetheless. The Lise/Colin/Joseph relationship was wonderful, but Colin/Grace/Garbano needed more oomph.

Definitely not Sam's best to date, but worth reading anyway.
Bookdweller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mercurybard
A brutal exercise in world-building and magical realism. I'm not even sure if I've got Colin's long game figured out, but I don't mind being conned by him at least.
Sara
Nov 09, 2011 Sara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
This is a great book. I love the premise, of course, but every character in it is three dimensional and creative and just surprisingly delightful.
Sarah
Loved this book! I'm not usually a fan of prison stories, I don't like the ugliness of prison life, but this was very well worth the read. I loved other books by Sam, as well as all of his fan fiction, so I thought I'd give it a try and I'm glad I did.
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Sam is a corporate samurai, blogger, and former theatre punk who lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

Secretly, he is a Time Lord.

He writes literary fiction, magical realism in specific, as well as steampunk-oriented fantasy, the occasional satire (he can quit any time he likes) and sometimes even fanfic.
More about Sam Starbuck...
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