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Face Off (Laura Blackstone #2)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  518 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Laura Black is a druid who can change her appearance. She is both the Fey Guild's public relations director and a secret agent for the International Security Agency. And now she'll have to choose where her loyalties lie when a political war breaks out between the fey and human populations...
Mass Market Paperback, 322 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Ace (first published June 10th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Despite the crazy confusing plot the characters are outstanding in this book. Although, I must admit I actually liked the 1st book in the series more than this one (just barely), but still this book was a hell of a ride.

This book picks up with the consequences of the first book. Meaning the mysteries behind the motives of the first book come into play, more characters are added, and the crookedness in politicians, etc. seem to be everywhere screwing with everyone.

I did love how involved it all
Maria Schneider
Good solid read with one minor complaint. Laura Blackstone is able to perform multiple duties because she can glamor into different people. This allows her to spy and work different jobs. It gets fairly unbelievable when she is taking on more than her two usual glamor/jobs. For one, there's the timing issues since all the organizations expect her to show up daily and she can't. Her two "regular" jobs are such that she can generally pull it off, but in this book she takes on a third personality t ...more
I was so happy when this book came in for me at the library. I loved the first book in this series for the realism and the strong characters, and I expected only good things from this one. I was more than a little let down. This book is written almost like a manual. I felt like I was receiving on the job training as I read it with it's ridiculous amount of detail about the main characters working life. Details about this group, and that organization, this politician, and this group of magical cr ...more
Cynthia Armistead
I went back and forth on the rating for this book, but finally settled on a four. I honestly found all the conflict to be exhausting and unpleasant, but it was very realistically written and I certainly felt connected to Blackstone. I decided that if del Franco weren't such a good writer, I wouldn't be feeling everything so much.

I read Face Off right after finishing Skin Deep, which is how I recommend that you read them. That is, after all, how the plot works. There's a lot more of Jono Sinclair
Wow, that is my first thoughts on this book. It certainly fulfilled my desire for more on the Fae. It had politics. Boy, did it have political intrigue, more on Fae culture (according to this author's imagination). I love Laura and her role in the courts. I love how this author depicts the history of the Fae and their interaction with the United States government. I would love to see more on the past before they came to be in the United States, but, I know that would be difficult because the pro ...more
Kathleen Burket
Face Off (Laura Blackstone, Book 2) by Mark Del Franco picks up immediately following events at the National Archives. Laura again is balancing two personas, Mariel Tate--fey representative to human intelligence agencies and Fallon Moor--terrorist brownie, plus her own responsibilities as public relations director for the Washington, D.C., Guildhouse. The plot of this volume centers around an official visit to Washington, D.C., by Draigen macCullen, Terryn macCullen's sister and regent for the I ...more
April Steenburgh
I will continue to rate these highly by virtue of the utterly fantastic world build. I read and read and I still want to know more about Fae politics, and how they are dealing with being thrust into the human world, and how the humans are coping. It seems an overdone, trite concept, but trust me when I say this is a singular world/series.

The plotting and the scheming in Face Off was good, though I did sort out the overriding threat long before the protagonist did, which left the last chunk of t
Hali Sowle
The second book in the Laura Blackstone Series delivers just as much suspense and intrigue as the first. Laura Blackstone has two identities - she is herself - an elf working as the very visible public relations for the Fey and Mariel Tate a tough as nails investigator for the InterSec - the fey equivalent of the FBI. When her Intersec bosses' sister who leads the minority sect of the elves comes to town the action heats up, not just between her and the half giant Jono who passes as a human, but ...more
Kathy Davie
Second in the Laura Blackstone urban fantasy series revolving around a druidess playing two different glamoured roles in Washington D.C.

It does play off the same culture and set of events as the Connor Grey series and Donor Elfenkonig is still alive.

My Take
This was rather disappointing. I did empathize with Laura and her self-assessment about her life. Del Franco slid this in very smoothly and very well. And there certainly was a lot of action---both political and physical---happening in the sto
Cid Tyer
The Setting — is Washington D.C. post Convergence. Something happened many years ago that merged the Fairy world and our own. Forced to integrate, the various races now walk a political tightrope of intrigue and terrorism. The landscape of DC is different than it is today, but that would be expected with a world that has so many differences than our own; mostly the location of buildings and important locations to the Fae which of course do not exist in the here and now (that we know of).

Laura Blackstone is back from vacation and ready for action once again. She is a druid that could change her appearance and works undercover. She is Laura Blackstone, the public relations director of the Guild and Mariel Tate, a hot Old fae who works case for InterSec.

Laura managed to prevent the Legacy Foundation to send rocket launchers. However, she doesn't know what they are planning. It is again the work of Laura Blackstone, with the help of Jono Sinclair, to infiltrate Legacy, with anothe
This was between a 3.5 & 4 star read. I had held off reading this book for a while as I enjoyed the first one so much and I did not want to be dissapointed.

Positives -
I like the writing style of this author a lot as it is easy to read and not too hard to picture what is going on.
Laura Blackstone is a great character and the concept of her using a glamour to be 'two' different people and lives is quite facinating. There is a lot of potential to build upon; in this book she has to reassess
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars
In the aftermath of the Archives bombing (book 1), the Guildmaster Orrin Ap Rhys tries to get rid of Cress, the leanansidhe who is Laura's friend as well as the lover of Laura's boss at the InterSec, Terryn macCullen. In addition to that, Terryn's sister, Dreigen macCullen, the leader of the Inverni clan, comes to visit Washington D.C. and soon is under threat of assasination. Laura (along with her other persona, Mariel Tate) and her hopeful-man Jonathan Sinclair, have to investigate bo
It's rather hard for me to give a fair and coherent review for this book. On the one hand, Del Franco's world-building is never less than stellar, his characters are great, and his stories are compelling. On the other hand, I was trying so hard not to pick holes in the plausibility of this series in general and this story in particular that I think I might have sprained my disbelief. One of Laura's jobs is (at least nominally) a desk job, yet she can leave it often enough and for long enough to ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Darcy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010, fae, uf
This is a hard book to review without spoiling it. The best way to describe it is that it is like the tv show Alias only with the Fey. Because at the heart of the story it is about spies it makes for great fun. Instead of spies relying on make-up for disguises you have people that can glamour themselves to look like different people. At the heart of our story is Laura/Mariel a woman how has 2 very different and real personas that she switches between to get at the heart of matters.

At times it i
The sequel develops up the themes established in the first book - isolation in a crowd, the conflicts posed by 2 incompatible jobs - and explores the impact to Laura more realistically than Skin Deep. I was left wanting to know the consequences of the fairly rapid conclusion.
Shanshad Whelan
This series of Del Franco, set in the same universe as his Connor Grey books, just doesn't work for me. this is the second book I've read and I still can't find a way to like Laura or be really gripped by the story. It may have something to do with the fact that government intrigue plots generally don't catch me up, but I find it surprising when I know Del Franco is a perfectly good writer that I can't find anything to hook me. Perhaps it is simply that writing from the perspective of a female p ...more
What more can you ask for than conflicting and confusing paranormal politics? Del Franco has done it again. I have to say that Laura Blackstone is one of the best written heroines in the paranormal/urban fantasy realm. The world building here is just unprecedented, and the character development is coming along nicely. Who out there isn't rooting for Laura and Jono? I am fairly new to Del Franco's books, but I have to say, after this second installment I am definitely a fan. I can't wait for the ...more
Urban fantasy that was ok. Unfortunately, this one took a lot of work to get into. I'm not sure what was keeping me back from getting sucked in, but something definitely did. I finished it finally, but certain elements of the plot were obvious to me too early on and I felt like there was a moral of the story that was being beaten over my head. I love the main character and her dilemmas even if I'm not sure how she manages it all, but this story did not do her justice the way the first novel Skin ...more
I am continuing to enjoy this series. I felt the action was good and I liked that Laura was juggling fewer personas, allowing her to develop her personal identity. She realizes that keeping people at arms length in order to make sure her covers remain intact has caused people around her not to know or really trust her. This realization allows her to finally grow her friendships both with Cress and Terryn a little deeper. Not to mention Jono. Jono is great - he is extremely likable but never push ...more
Not a bad follow-up to Skin Deep, the first Laura Blackstone novel. Though I was a bit surprised that given the actual length of time between the two books, he made the length in the books just a couple of months. I wasn't sure if that pushed Face Off back a couple of years or moved up Skin Deep.

Despite that, I really enjoyed this one as well. It's got the gritty spy stuff going on, all while Laura is going through the burn out most agents tend to suffer in spy novels.
A fabulous ending, complicated yes, believable? Totally. And it set up perfectly so many other questions that need to be answered. Ace TOTALLY dropped the ball when they chose to pass on further books in this series. If they aren't smart enough to realize that and correct their mistake, I certainly hope a publisher with vision takes advantage of ACE's stupid and picks this series up. PLEASE Mr Del Franco, don't let it die with so much of the story unfinished.
This was a pretty good follow up to the first Laura Blackstone. It was fun seeing the inner workings of a guild house and of Inter Sec. However, it was a little hard to follow. It was difficult to keep track of when Laura was the Inter Sec agent or when she was the Guild House employee. I will definitly read the next book in the series though.
Meh. It had way too much political intrigue for my liking; it could've used more personal touches. I liked the subplots about Laura's relationship with Sinclair and about her juggling so many ID's and how it effects her. Despite that, I had a hard time connecting with characters or caring about them.
Rosalind M
Way too much repetition going on here. Explanations given again and again, sometimes in almost the exact same words. And Laura's emotional responses seemed discordant with the storyline at times.
Jeffrey Newman
Story line was good with quite a bit of action. Was confusing sometimes trying to keep track of characters and character changes.
Good read. Action packed. Interesting ending (in a good way). Laura takes too much sh** from too many people!
Deborah Gray
I didn't finish it, to be honest. Too much political intrigue, and I put it down so many times that I lost track.
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WHIRLWIND (2014)is Mark Del Franco's first young adult novel, an urban fantasy featuring teens with elemental powers.

Mark is the author of the adult urban fantasy Connor Grey books. The best order to read the series is:


The Laura Blackstone urban fantasy books, also set in the Convergent World, are
More about Mark Del Franco...

Other Books in the Series

Laura Blackstone (2 books)
  • Skin Deep (Laura Blackstone, #1)
Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, #1) Unquiet Dreams (Connor Grey, #2) Unfallen Dead (Connor Grey, #3) Unperfect Souls (Connor Grey, #4) Skin Deep (Laura Blackstone, #1)

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