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The Last Smile in Sunder City

(The Fetch Phillips Archives #1)

by
3.79  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  98 reviews
A former soldier turned PI tries to help the fantasy creatures whose lives he ruined in a world that's lost its magic in a compelling debut fantasy by Black Sails actor Luke Arnold.



Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain.



I'm Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:


1. Sobriety
...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: February 25th 2020 by Orbit
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Petrik
ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

A well-written urban fantasy with a wonderful take on the premise of “what happens when magic runs out?”

The Last Smile in Sunder City is Luke Arnold’s debut, it’s the first book in an urban fantasy series titled Fetch Phillips Archives. I think I’m speaking on behalf of many readers that we have come to know the name Luke Arnold from his role as “Long” John Silver in the Black Sails TV series. Admittedly, I didn’t finish
...more
Paromjit
There is so much to love in Luke Arnold's debut, a dark, urban fantasy noir, it is so well written and positively drips with atmosphere. Then there is the central protagonist, the downbeat, jaded, cynical, tired, and self loathing detective, Fetch Philips. The world building is done with style and imagination, so richly descriptive that you can picture Sunder City, a place that originally grew and built upon the underground fire pit and the blue collar workers who made their living from the ...more
Emma
Fetch Phillips has a lot to atone for. More than most people realise, or he’d already be dead. Living at what might euphemistically be called rock bottom, he takes a last minute job investigating the disappearance of a vampire teacher at a local school. It’s this or die. The temptation to throw himself out the Angel door of his office is becoming too hard to resist. But Sunder City hides all manner of things in its shadows and Fetch is about to find himself a problem that might just be too big ...more
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
“A good man is made through a lifetime of work. Great men are made by their monsters.”

The Wolf Among Us meets L.A. Noire in this new urban fantasy. Luke Arnold has delivered a well-written adventure, with an added dose of stylish noire presentation.
Fetch Phillips is a mercenary for hire with a colorful past. Running from one job to another, following whoever rings the bell. Fetch has a characterintroduction that’s funny, brutal, and mysterious in the best possible ways.

Set in a grimey place
...more
Hamad
Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

RTC soon...
Hannah
I should have loved this. The world Luke Arnold created here (post-magic, well-thought-out, imaginative) is absolutely brilliant. I adore stories that deal with the fall-out of an event that fundamentally alters the laws of the physical world (see N. K. Jemisin's books and Robert Jackson Bennett's The Divine Cities trilogy for excellent examples) and this book does this incredibly - on a world-building level. I got the impression that Arnold's imagination is endless and the way in which he ...more
TS Chan
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review-copy
ARC received from the publisher, Orbit UK, in exchange for an honest review.

4.5 stars.

The Last Smile in Sunder City was an impressive debut by Luke Arnold; a dark urban fantasy that enraptured me with its stellar worldbuilding and writing style.

Firstly, I've never been exposed to much noir elements in my reading so far, so I won't be able to make any comparisons. However, I can still safely say that this book accurately captured that feel in its worldbuilding and the characterisation of its main
...more
Dave
Last Smile is a blend of urban fantasy with Hardboiled private eye. You see there once where all these magical beings, but the war is over, the magic is gone, and the elves, the dwarves, the ogres, and the goblins are now doctors, lawyers, and accountants. Lots of good imagination at work here, but I never fully bought into the concept.
Peter McLean
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The magic didn't die, it was killed. That's a problem in a world that runs on magic. When humans killed the magic, they doomed all the magical creatures in their world to suffering and death. Technology stopped working, factories stopped running, dragons fell out of the air, elves got very old very quickly, and dryads turned to dead wood. It's fair to say this lead to some resentment.

Welcome to Sunder City, a bleak, noir cityscape struggling to come to terms with the Coda, the death of magic.
...more
Terry
A successful blend of detective noir and urban fantasy. I can't begin to express how much I love this novel.

A protagonist who by all accounts should be unlovable, uninteresting, even unlikeable, yet I love him. He was so well-written, it was easy to get a glimpse into his mind and soul, and get a real understanding of him. At that point, Fletch Phillips became a trusted friend.

Deep, immersive, a little lengthy at times, yet the world building in this book made Sunder City an interesting, vivid
...more
The Nerd Daily
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie Deo

The Last Smile in Sunder City is a dark fantasy noir novel in which the protagonist investigates a disappearance that appears simple on the surface, but as he digs deeper, he becomes embroiled in a complex web of deceit, corruption and violence.

In the classic tradition of noir fiction, the protagonist Fetch Phillips is a deeply flawed and morally ambiguous man in a broken world where nothing makes sense anymore and the lines between
...more
Justine
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.

I’m not familiar with Luke Arnold’s acting career, however I was still intrigued by his debut novel, The Last Smile in Sunder City. I had heard good things about it and was incredibly curious to try it for myself. I admit I was a little wary going in because the book seemed to have some similarities to The Dresden Files, a series that I very much dislike, however
...more
Kristen
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This story takes place in Sunder City, which is a city not so much unlike our own at one time or another. Well, kind of anyway. The world is peopled with all kinds of magical beings. Vampires, Werewolves, Wizards, Banshee, Sirens, and so on, but the magic is gone. Humans killed it. So we see a city of magical beings learning to live without the magic that sustains them. Vampires are slowly dying. Banshee are mute. Werewolves are very much half human and half
...more
Estefanía
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Smile in Sunder City is not a book I would normally read- I'm not very familiar with the fantasy genre except for some of the classics, so I approached this book with few presumptions and was happy to appreciate a novel so outside of my usual genre wheelhouse. A few have already gone at length about the use of setting- I think this is what surprised me most about the book. There's some necessary exposition at the beginning of the novel that very clearly, very pointedly lays down some of ...more
Sean Morton
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exciting debut from Luke Arnold.

From Long John Silver and Michael Hutchence Fame, Australian actor Luke Arnold has turned to writing with his urban fantasy novel The Last Smile in Sunder City. The magic is gone, and in the six years since various magical beings have had to come to terms with their changed bodies and minds. Fetch Phillips, a guilt ridden human, tries his best to make up for his mistakes by helping the denizens of Sunder City. So when a frail vampire goes missing, it is the
...more
FanFiAddict
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 7.5/10

Thanks to Libro.fm, Hachette Audio, and the author for an advance listening copy of The Last Smile in Sunder City (The Fetch Phillips Archives #1) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Last Smile in Sunder City is a splendid debut; one that is a breath of stale air, grit, and blood in a city where the magic is all gone and the drinks can’t come quick enough. What we end up with is an entertaining urban fantasy romp
...more
keikii Eats Books
To read more of my reviews, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books!

Quote:
I hadn't changed his mind; I'd just made his whole vigilante act a lot less fun. Fetch Phillips: professional party pooper. If there's a thing he can't ruin; buddy, we ain't found it yet.

Review:
The world sucks, and everyone hates it. And it wasn't always this way. War happened, and the result was that magic left the world in an instant. Creatures that lived for centuries lay dying or were dead soon after magic left.
...more
Joana Morais
“A man might falter but his words, once written, will hold.”

*3.5 Stars

The Last Smile in Sunder City is a mystery set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Admittedly, that sounds like a little much, so let's break it down:

In Luke Arnold's debut we follow Fetch Williams, a cynical man-for-hire tasked with uncovering the truth behind the disappearance of a vampire. This plot is set to the backdrop of a world that recently lost all its magic in an event called Coda, leaving all magical beings to
...more
✰  BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰
ARC received from Hachette Australia for an honest review

I was excited to start reading The Last Smile In Sunder City after I read the blurb. It is not really a genre that I usually read, however I was intrigued.

Unfortunately, the book did not hit the expectations that I had for it.

It started off with a great noir feel to it, and I could kind of picture our main man Fetch Phillips walking the dystopian, post magic world in a trench coat, cigarette hanging from his mouth and a hat slouched over
...more
Amanda
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
If you are familiar with my blog, then you know I am a HUGE fan of pirates. So when I found out that Black Sails actor, Luke Arnold wrote a book. I could not resist. The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold is the first book in an urban fantasy series called the Fetch Phillips Archives. Magic has been torn away from the world, but the creatures are still there. Everything is upside down. Fetch Phillips is human. He holds so much guilt. Once a soldier now a man for hire. One job he picks up ...more
Nadine
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
The Last Smile in Sunder City has an interesting concept, but fails in in execution. Arnold focuses on his world at the expense of the plot.

The Last Smile in Sunder City features a lot of fantasy elements making the world rich and colorful, however Arnold relies heavily on the telling the reader about his world instead of showing. There are pages upon pages of the main character directly explaining to the reader why things are the way they are or how things got to be a certain way. It almost
...more
Annie
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fetch Phillips is a familiar kind of detective. He drinks hard. He has no money. Most people want to punch him on sight. Above all, Fetch has a lot of past mistakes to atone for. Those mistakes are slowly revealed over the course of Luke Arnold’s wonderfully immersive novel, The Last Smile in Sunder City. But all that comes later. At the beginning of the novel, Fetch is hired to track down a missing vampire and he means to do his best in spite of his addictions, people trying to hit him, and a ...more
Andrew S
Feb 08, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
nope. Just the latest in a string of publishing houses betting on b-list celebrities to bring in enough sales of their crap books to justify publishing them. A books success shouldn't rely on the number of 'fans' or followers the author has. This one could be the worst yet. Tropey, boring, and exceedingly poorly written. Please for the love of God, start publishing books on merit.
Elke
Review coming soon!
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold has a lot of potential to be a great urban fantasy noir, but it never quite makes it there. Noir is one of my favorite genres, both film and books, so I jump at the chance to try something new. It's can be a lot of fun when combined urban fantasy which is one of my other favorite genres and this story has quite a bit to like about it, especially when it comes to the atmosphere of the
...more
Leo
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great fun. Perfect for that noble intersection of fans of Raymond Chandler and Terry Pratchett.
Stacie
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book via Netgalley and would like to thank Little Brown books for the opportunity.

What’s it about?
Fetch Phillips is a private detective with a past, a down-on-his luck alcoholic with a bed that folds into the wall of his office, and nothing but regrets to keep him warm on those cold, dark nights in Sunder City. The world used to be a brighter place, brimming with magic and teeming with wonderful
...more
Swords & Spectres
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Smile in Sunder City is the debut novel of Luke Arnold (one of the stars of the TV show 'Black Sails'. Fortunately, for me, I don't really know anything about Luke from his acting so my thoughts on the book aren't sullied by fandom.

That being said; Luke Arnold can write. He can tell a really good story in a really interesting and informal way. It's a refreshing way to read a novel and it made the pages fly by.

Fetch Phillips
...more
Susan
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, netgalley
This is the most fun I’ve had reading in a very long time! In an interview at the end of my copy the author discussed his influences for this book listing some classic noir detective authors and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and I can see both of these in this story. It has the humour and slight ridiculousness of Pratchett but with a darker, grittier tone that take it into noir territory. I was reminded somewhat of Butcher’s Harry Dresden but Fetch and this world are a unique creation all their ...more
Carolin  Doupagne
(3,5)

Soooo I have mixed feelings about "the last smile in sunder city"...


What I liked:
- I kinda enjoyed the first few chapters and the very fast introduction. The story starts immediately.
-I liked the second half a lot more than the first and would give it 4 stars. It was easy to see that Luke Arnolds writing improved a lot through the story
- I think my favorite part of the book was Fetch's Backstory. The little chapters that showed his childhood and early years. It gave him much more feelings
...more
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“A good man is made through a lifetime of work. Great men are made by their monsters.” 0 likes
“So, you’re a Man for Hire?” “That’s right.” “Why don’t you just call yourself a detective?” “I was worried that might make me sound intelligent.” 0 likes
More quotes…