When growing up I believed in fairytales, much like every other kid. I remember watching Peter Pan and seeing Tinker Bell come across the screen. I had my first idea of how such a magical creature is supposed to look. Her fair image gave most kids including me that all faeries must be good. This changed when I saw True Blood, which gave readers first, and then viewers, a wholly different view of the mythical creatures. It also featured the idea of them not being so good. Charlaine Harris changed how these creatures were looked at creating a mythology that would only make them endure by becoming as fallible as humans. This very idea would continue in different books, tv shows and movies. One of my favorite examples is the TV show Lost Girl which used this same lore and made it very modern.
In Eric Palicki and Vinnie Rico’s brilliant Fake Empire, we get introduced to another world full of these magical beings where things like murder creep up ever so often.
We first meet a fairy, Jill, who has lost one of her wings and much of her way, as she contemplates her life, she is looking to end it all, but before she does, someone shoots her. We also meet Charli, a newly minted NYPD detective, who just so happens to be the dead fairy’s sister, and who gets a call in the middle of the night, from their father advising of her death. We also meet one of their other sisters, the black sheep of the family, Lucy, who lost her wings and is passing for human. As the reader gets introduced to the history of fairies and why they went into hiding in the first place and that Jill, was the chosen Tooth Fairy, an important position. We also find out that their father Oberlin, is King of all fairies, as there may be more to the murder than meets the eye. The two sisters decide to join forces and find out who killed their sister and why. Charli starts working the case like a detective, trying to establish a timeline, and wondering where Jill’s bodyguards were when she got slain. We also find out that Lucy, has a secret life, as a vigilante who goes after criminals and uncovers the last picture Jill took on social media. Meanwhile, King Oberlin, makes a fatal move and a key betrayal which may kill one of his daughters, as he sends his hitman, Puck after Lucy. As the sisters begin to bond, Lucy lets Charli in on the real reason she left the kingdom, one that gives Charlie even more insight to who their father really is. By story’s ed, we find out who really killed their sister, leaving the reign of the kingdom in new hands and forging a new path forward for all fairies.
It’s an interesting take on urban fantasy that both reinvigorates the genre and treats fans to what they like about it the most. The story by Palicki is brash, brilliant and action packed. The art by Rico, is lucid and elegant. Altogether, a fun story that effectively uses detective noir and urban fantasy, with a dash of palace intrigue that will has made this reviewer, a fan of Eric Palicki.
Story: Eric Palicki Art: Vinnie Rico
Story: 9.8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy