cover image Three Kinds of Lucky

Three Kinds of Lucky

Kim Harrison. Ace, $28 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-43747-6

With this ambitious if unwieldy urban fantasy, bestseller Harrison (Demons of Good and Evil) launches a new series in which magic and luck are inextricably linked. Petra Grady is incapable of working magic, but able to see and manipulate dross, the misfortune-causing waste produced by magical workings. She finds work as a sweeper, cleaning up after careless mages and keeping the magical world secret from mundane society. Despite the necessity of her job, she’s looked down upon in the hierarchy of magic users in St. Unoc, Ariz. That changes when her long-estranged best friend, Dr. Benedict Strom, requests her assistance on a project that could alter the balance between magic, dross, and shadow—dangerous energy attracted to dross. When catastrophe strikes, Petra discovers she may be the only person capable of saving the city from further disaster. While the premise and characters have promise, this opener expends a lot of ink setting up the series at the expense of the story at hand. Between establishing the world, exploring the complex magic system, and radically upending Petra’s status quo, the results feel overstuffed. Hopefully future installments will take more time to breathe. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary. (Mar.)