A cynical, disabled film director with borderline personality disorder gets recruited to join a secret organization that oversees relations between Hollywood and Fairyland in this Nebula Award–nominated and Tiptree Award Honor Book that’s the first novel in a new urban fantasy series from debut author Mishell Baker.
A year ago, Millie lost her legs and her filmmaking career in a failed suicide attempt. Just when she’s sure the credits have rolled on her life story, she gets a second chance with the Arcadia Project: a secret organization that polices the traffic to and from a parallel reality filled with creatures straight out of myth and fairy tales.
For her first assignment, Millie is tasked with tracking down a missing movie star who also happens to be a nobleman of the Seelie Court. To find him, she’ll have to smooth-talk Hollywood power players and uncover the surreal and sometimes terrifying truth behind the glamour of Tinseltown. But stronger forces than just her inner demons are sabotaging her progress, and if she fails to unravel the conspiracy behind the noble’s disappearance, not only will she be out on the streets, but the shattering of a centuries-old peace could spark an all-out war between worlds.
Fully articulated, flawed, and fascinating characters combine with masterly urban fantasy storytelling in Baker's debut novel. Millie, a former filmmaker, is a lost soul in soulless Los Angeles. A suicide attempt has left her body broken, and a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder both shatters and relieves her. She's at loose ends until a mysterious woman named Caryl comes to the mental institution where Millie lives to offer her a job with a secret group called the Arcadia Project. A fae noble has gone missing, and Millie's unique skills and perspective are needed to bring him home before interdimensional war breaks out. Not only does Millie have to learn to navigate life outside an institutional setting, but she also has to transition to a new normal, one that incorporates both mental and physical challenges. The richly nuanced presentation of Millie's multiple diagnoses allows for a deeper knowledge of the character, which, in turn, serves to enhance an already beautifully written story that is one part mystery, one part fantasy, and wholly engrossing.
Fantasy for the real world. Dirty raw and fresh
A book of fey and witches for those of us grounded in the reality of the insane twisted world we actually live in. The truths are raw and real, while the magic feels natural and belongs. I don't think that anybody with real problems and anxieties could find fault with the fantasy the lies with in. It's too honest.