Uncanny Collateral by Brian McClellan | Review | Booksmagick

What’s it about?

Alek Fitz is a reaper, collecting the souls of those who decided they’d rather not part with it even though they struck a deal with one demonic agency or another. Alek receives a special assignment to investigate the theft of over a hundred souls and while he knows he shouldn’t mess with whoever took them, he doesn’t have much of a choice.

What I think about it

Click image to be redirected to author’s page

I love the cover! It looks like the perfect urban fantasy read for a rainy afternoon. Promising premise with cool characters but my excitement diminished rather quickly as the story progressed. The characters felt flat and not fleshed-out enough for my taste. I’m not sure I can even describe what was missing because it’s more like a feeling and not something specific.

Alek is a Dean Winchester type: cool, tough, clever but more in the practical sense, and he definitely punches first and asks questions later more often than not. All the same, Alek is the best of the best and he can’t refuse Death himself when he asks for his help in recovering these stolen souls.

I think what I didn’t like was the abundance of almost casual violence; goblins torn apart, explosions, monsters mauling people. ‘Uncanny Collateral‘ definitely had to many body parts flying around. The atmosphere of the book was somewhat shady – I don’t know how else to describe it – or dirty as though characters would start telling dirty jokes at any moment.

The hilarity of death and hell being some sort of a business with offices and agents and beaucracy had something deeply ‘Terry Pratchett‘ but without the actual humour. I said that I liked the premise but the author lost me at the execution. It turned too dark too quickly.


Looks amaying, has a super cool concept but disappointed on the actual story. The characters felt flat and it was too violent for my taste, especially since it was quite pointless violence that didn’t do anything for the plot. I admit to skipping towards the end and was relieved when I reached the last page.


  • Author: Brian McClellan
  • Pages: 151
  • Publisher: Self-Published
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781386240051

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