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  • The Last Smile in Sunder City

  • Fetch Phillips, Book 1
  • By: Luke Arnold
  • Narrated by: Luke Arnold
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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The Last Smile in Sunder City

By: Luke Arnold
Narrated by: Luke Arnold
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Publisher's Summary

The Last Smile in Sunder City is a brilliantly voiced contemporary fantasy for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Rotherweird or Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and the debut novel from high-profile actor Luke Arnold.   

Fetch Phillips fought on the wrong side of a war between humans and magical creatures, and his actions helped to drain the world of enchantment. Now he works on the streets of Sunder City, taking what odd jobs he can while trying to help those whose lives he ruined.  

His first case is to find a missing teacher. Professor Rye is a 400-year-old vampire with a heart of gold in a husk of a body. In a world without magic, most vamps have already crumbled into dust, but Fetch is happy to go looking for some dirt with pointed teeth if it gets him his drinking money. Then, when a young siren disappears, Fetch finds out that this dark world still hides some monsters - and he'd better clean up his act before they come into the light.

©2019 Luke Arnold (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about The Last Smile in Sunder City

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A pleasant surprise!

Luke Arnold dose himself proud as both author and performer.
I usually steer clear of audio books, particularly fiction, performed by their authors. In my experience they generally showcase the writers over estimation of their skills as a narrator, the narrators over estimation of their skills as an author or, all too often, both.
This is one of the occasional refreshing exceptions to that pattern.
What we have here is a playful salmagundi of genres, engaging characters and an author who has fun with language.
All presented by a genuinely talented voice actor.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good fun

This is the first audiobook I’ve been truly hooked on from the beginning. An enjoyable read. Old school detective trope but with a fantasy twist. Very well narrated and engaging from start to finish.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 09-10-2023

A bit too predictable

ok, but couldn't really hold my interest. The voice acting was really good, and so was the world building. Many of the interactions seem forced and awkward, just there to push the plot forward. And far too much exposition and cliches. But, overall still ok, makes for a good book to have going in the background.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastical Expertise

Urban Fantasy for this generation! Luke Arnold does an exquisite job of building a gritty and under trodden fantasy scape with an even more compelling protagonist.

Narrated perfectly. And I mean perfectly with emotional depth given to scenes that only the author could elicit.

Perfect addition. No criticisms. It’s added to my favourites.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly well done!

Like the previous reviewer at first I felt like it was yet another already done story. But as it wove on the surprises hit and it became so much more. I’m a complete Fetch fan now, this is so well written and well performed by the author. Give him a chance, it takes a while to reveal itself, but it’s so worth the listen.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling story brilliantly voiced

I started listening to this story before I had allowed myself to absorb any spoilers, teasers or any information about the plot at all. I hadn't even looked closely at the cover art (don't do that yet!) For a while I thought I was on a familiar journey, but a couple of hard turns and face slaps later and I learned different. If you want to experience that surprise for yourself then click to buy now rather than read anyone's spoilers and lose the opportunity.
I've not read any other reviews before writing this, but I assume most felt the same. I can't imagine how badly this story could have been butchered if it was voiced by anyone other than Luke. His willingness to commit to different characters' accents, inflections and personalities turns this book reading into an enthralling voice performance which adds to the vibrancy of the image of the characters the brain conjures. That said, although I created in my head a detailed image of each and every character, I can't imagine Fetch being cast as anyone but the author himself, so Luke please get that written into any film contracts :)
Can't wait to sink my ear-teeth into the next two books in the series!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly amazing!

I loved Black Sails so when I saw Luke Arnold had written a debut novel that was described as a mix of discworld meets rivers of London (both fantastic series) I was cautiously intrigued. I didn't know what to expect of him, and was mostly just curious to hear how well his acting translated into an audio medium.
I tried to temper my expectations, but I admit the novel sounded interesting and I was excited. Every expectation was exceeded!! What a fantastic debut! I'd describe it more as Raymond chandler meets discworld in the most fantastic possible way. Such delicious hard-boiled, grungy fantasy, the simile laden prose was a delight to devour, and the protagonist a guilt-ridden, jaded and alcoholic gumshoe who surprisingly not exhausting in his self-loathing. Fetch has committed his Sins and was punishing himself accordingly, but he's is far from perfect and that makes him such a well developed, unexpectedly kind, yet also unapologetically selfish protagonist I can wait to watch develop and grow as I eagerly follow him on his next adventures. Every character introduced was so interesting and piqued my immediate curiosity and I couldn't wait to hear more. The tone was gritty but light and funny when it needed to be, I was holding in snickers in bed!
I can't leave a review without raving about Arnold's incredible narration. What amazing range he has - which of course he should, he's an incredible actor - but I hope he feels proud of just how brilliantly he has brought his world to life. Every character sounded so different and amazing, it felt like an ensemble of voice actors. I'm blown away that Arnold is not only an accomplished actor, but his first novel can also be this excitingly fresh, well developed, and fully realised, PLUS his narration was possible the best I've ever listened to. Feels like too much power for one man.
In any event I am now an eager devotee of Fetch's antics yet to come. So very delighted to know I have two more novels ready for me dive right into.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly Good

Took me completely by surprise. I was expecting a 6 out of 10 to wittle a few hours a way whilst at work but its a solid 8 maybe 9.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great!

Loved it and Luke has a very soothing voice. He does good character voices. 👏

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fantasypunk meets Dresden Files

This was a cool concept and well executed. It had a similar feel to the Dresden Files but also a steampunk? fantasypunk? feel to it. I’ll probably pick up the next book in the series.

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