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The Neon Court (Matthew Swift #3)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  2,435 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point towards their ancient enemy - The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone loses.

But Matthew Swift has his own concerns. He has been summoned abruptly, body and soul, to a burning tower and to the dead body of Oda, warrior of The Order and known associate of Swift. There's a hole in her heart and the symbol of t
ebook, 512 pages
Published March 24th 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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Rick You'll miss background information - how Swift became who and what he is, etc. The result is that some things won't really make sense, esp since…moreYou'll miss background information - how Swift became who and what he is, etc. The result is that some things won't really make sense, esp since Griffin doesn't really do recaps. (less)
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Feb 22, 2014 Carol. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy
Recommended to Carol. by: Carly
One of my problems with reading books in a completed series is the tendency to read through the books back-to-back. I did that with the Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin, and I think my first read of The Neon Court suffered, strictly because of a surfeit of Matthew Swift, along with surprisingly similar plotting and characterization to the prior book. Had I been waiting a year between books, I wouldn’t have minded. But I didn’t, so I did. Luckily, my second read was much more enjoyable.

True t
The first Matthew Swift novel to get 5-stars from me. It was like Griffin was listening to my gripes with the first two books and answered them comprehensively. Truly excellent - and even more impressive as I wasn't at all convinced it was going to happen! :-)

After this I read: Tigerman
The third in Kate Griffin's Matthew Swfit series was my favourite by far. Describing why might prove a bit tricky due to spoilers - especially for those unfamiliar with the series - but I'll do my best.

By now I was totally up to speed with this particular take on London and the urban magic that infuses it. As before, this concept continues to develop and expand with a level of creativity that at times touches the 'inspired' level. Anyone capable of harnessing the concept of the Night Bus so well
Dec 29, 2014 Carly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you really have to read Madness of Angels and Midnight Mayor first....
Recommended to Carly by: Me! I'm on a self-recommendation roll!
Matthew Swift, partially deceased sorcerer, symbiotic host to the electric blue angels of the wires, Midnight Mayor and protector of the city, is not an entity to be summoned lightly. But when he disappears in a blink and awakens in a conjuring of blood, it looks like someone has taken the chance. One perilous rescue, one fight to the death, and one burning building later, Swift's troubles have only begun. Oda, his sometime-enemy, sometime-ally, has been stabbed through the heart, but she seems ...more
Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin
May 31, 2011 Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, Emma Bull
NOTE: This review was originally published at The King of Elfland's 2nd Cousin on March 29, 2011. If you like it, check out some of my other reviews there!

Like many of my favorite fantasy finds, I first came across Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift novels while on a business trip to London. This is kind of appropriate, considering how central London is to Griffin’s impressive urban fantasies. In her third Matthew Swift novel, The Neon Court, Griffin continues to impress with her unique take on contem
Jul 27, 2011 Scruffy rated it it was amazing
Mathew Swift is a dead sourceror who has been inhabited by the supernatural force of the Blue Electric Angels. So in concept he is similar to other urban fantasy characters like Felix Castor and Preacher's Jessie Custer. However the way Kate Griffin has handled the character is quite different. Mathew Swift and the Angels are not two separate personalities they have merged to form one new personality. Some one who is not quite sure if he is one or many, I or we. It's quite a unique piece of char ...more
May 26, 2011 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Matthew Swift is the epitome of the urban sorcerer. Proof: he takes the bus. But there are ways he's not your usual sorcerer, the least of which being that he serves as the Midnight Mayor of London. You see, he also shares a body with the blue electric angels. And he's got a conscience.

Being the Midnight Mayor is not all roses and bon bons. Sure he's got a fleet of aldermen to do his bidding...assuming they'd listen to him (it's hard to take a guy seriously when he wears t-shirts and grubby jean
Another amazing addition to the series. Griffin brings delightful new concepts and characters as well as cleverly working in old ones in each book. Though it would be very hard for her to top herself with the previous two books in the series, The Neon Court certainly remains on par. These books are by far my favorites. Their inventiveness, emotion, setting and description, characters and amazing new ideas are only a few of the reasons why I love them. I would recommend the Matthew Swift series t ...more
Feb 20, 2011 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This set of books is a bit like Marmite. You either love them or you hate them.

Fans of the previous two books in this series will be well satisfied. I personally was somewhat worried that 'The Neon Court' wouldn't meet expectations. However, my worries were shortlived. As soon as I'd read the first page it was like putting on a favourite pair of comfy shoes!

As always, Griffin's imagery is brilliant and paints a great picture in the minds eye. 'The Neon Court' certainly doesn't lack imagination.
Aug 18, 2015 MLE rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series just gets better and better. The plot of this story is nicely complicated, and I loved seeing Matthew trying to figure out exactly what is happening and why. I really love his interactions with his apprentice Penny, and I love what she has brought to the series. I appreciate that there isn't a hint of romance to the series. Matthew and Penny care for each other, but she wasn't brought in as love interest, and I love the family feel to their banter. The plot was fast paced, and the re ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Mitticus rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman
Matthew Swift books are magical and maniacal London-trips.

Canary Wharf grew and grew in front of us until the tops of the towers were no longer visible from inside the bus. I leant back against my seat and remembered to breathe, forced myself to take it one steady gasp at a time as the magic of the place, silver, glass, light, razored edges, a buzz at the back of the eyes, an ice that ran to the end of the fingertips and turned them blue, washed over me. Every part of the city had its own magic
Nov 03, 2015 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
5 Stars

Neon Court by Kate Griffin is book number three of the Mathew Swift series. Even though this is the third adventure of our urban sorcerer, Griffin uses poetic writing to keep things feeling fresh and new. God damn I love this series. I love Kate Griffin (Catherine Webb). I love Matthew Swift and the Blue Electric Angels.

First and foremost it is the writing style and word play of Kate Griffin that fleshes out this series into a truly high Def world. She has created an Urban Fantasy world
Feb 03, 2013 Shdnx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Kate Griffin (the author) keeps rocking. This form of writing is really like art - although unfortunately you wouldn't be able to tell from the instant-mindless-entertainment books (like urban fantasy and paranormal romance today).

The Matthew Swift series is exactly what an urban fantasy series should be like, but only a very few - so very few, like The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher - manages to provide: thoughtful, mind-expanding entertainment.

I only very recently discovered how deeply
Apr 06, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I LOVE THESE BOOKS! They're so good you don't want to put them down and, yet, so good you want to put them down. Because you know if you keep reading you're going to finish and if you finish you'll have to go back to the monotony that is OTHER books.

I love the ideas born from this authors imagination! Kate Griffin obviously has a deep love for, and knowledge of London; a unique way of seeing the city and, literally, bringing it to life in the pages of these books.

This book, the third in the se
Jan 09, 2012 Alytha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's the description from her website:

When the city was founded, he was the mad native spirit that waited in the dark, on the edge of the torchlight. When the streets were cobbled over, he became the footsteps heard on stone that you cannot see. When the Victorians introduced street lighting, he was the shadow who always shied away from the light, and when the gas went out, there he was. The shadow at the end of the alley, the footsteps half-heard in the night.

A daimyo of the Neon Court is dea
Apr 03, 2012 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Night Watch or Neverwhere
Matthew Swift was a sorcerer's apprentice, but he died.

Then he came back.

Now Matthew Swift is the Midnight Mayor, with responsibility for all of London. So when a mystical war threatens between the Neon Court (the fairy court, transformed by the modern age, who prize beauty over truth and style over freedom) and the Tribe (self-mutilating transhumanists whose magic derives only from themselves), he has to deal with it. And when a "chosen one" is prophecied, he has to find her, no matter how sill
Jul 09, 2014 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I enjoyed this book immensely. It grabbed my attention from chapter one and held it captive right up until the end.

Book three was definitely settling into a established pattern though; our reluctant hero, Matthew Swift, finds he has Mega Problems on his hands (again), gets beat up trying to reason with parties who don't want to be reasoned with (again), is saved by a friend, situation deteriorates badly (again), and he saves the day. Literally in this instance. Plot design is same as first two
Apr 21, 2011 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read the first three of the Matthew Swift series and enjoyed them: The Madness of Angels, The Midnight Mayor and The Neon Court. Swift was a human sorcerer who was killed and brought back to life infused somehow with the Blue Electric Angels of the telephone wires. The magic Griffin gives us is Urban Magic, born of the pulsing life and power of the cities.

Griffin’s style will have a lot to do with whether or not you like these books. It is dark, chaotic, almost stream-of-consciousness. He
May 21, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f, uf, hum, horror-bits
This is my favorite (so far) of the Matthew Swift books.

a. For once he is being assisted by a couple people who are not hoping that he and the big bad will take each other out. (The "we'll use you until you die" mentality of the other two books made me sad. Characters keep saying the angels are crazy dangerous, but have they noticed how Matthew spends his time? He eats cheap street food, lives out of a bag, and seems to mostly occupy himself by wandering the city as rhythm dictates and occasiona
Oct 30, 2011 Princessjay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy

A third installment in the same dark, intense, urban-fantasy style of grime and grit. If you liked the first 2, you will like this third.

However, reading three iterations of this series, the flaws are becoming more obvious through repetition. There is little to no character growth. Individual lives are rather worthless -- potentially fascinating characters drop like flies through out. Breathless, driving-ahead action without a chance to rest; no rhythm and flow, but one head-long rush.
J.D. Robinson
Mar 14, 2011 J.D. Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: favorites
This is the third book in the Matthew Swift series, and you can tell that Matthew is more comfortable with who he is and his role as the Mayor, and that the angels are still adjusting to being mortal. But of course, chaos seems to follow his every step. Oda's walking around with a hole in her heart, The Neon Court and the Tribe are at each others throats, the sun won't rise, London's shrinking in on itself, and Matthew's looking for the "chosen one".

I absolutely LOVED this book. If you enjoyed t
Aug 04, 2011 Rosemary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I continue to clutch my fantasy writing friends by the collar or some other exposed part of their anatomy and bang their heads against the wall, shouting: "You must read the Matthew Swift books." Brilliant, funny, nasty, wicked good use of point-of-view for maximum impact, and truly urban fantasy. Go, get the first one, now...spare yourself a concussion.
For now I am just going to say it was wonderful!
nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope nope
Nov 10, 2016 Nicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone has summoned the Midnight Mayor. Matthew Swift, reluctant holder of the title, finds himself coming to in a burning building, called upon to rescue the sometime-ally with a habit of occasionally calling for his head. But when they escape, something else comes with them, something that nestles in the emptiness of vulnerable souls and tears the light from the skies and the sight from your eyes. Meanwhile, a vague prophecy about a chosen one that can destroy one of the city’s supernatural f ...more
Nov 06, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book drops you in the middle of a literary action sequence and then barely lets up pace. It's hard to put down because it just keeps going and going.

The multicultural London that exists in reality and in the other books in this series is still here (and is great). The ideas behind it are solid. The fridging of another character who is a woman is again problematic (though slightly less so than the first book).

I had fun reading this book. The main character is mostly likeable and the suppor
Oct 04, 2012 MsSherlocked rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
In summary: Part 3 of the saga of Matthew Swift continues in the same wonderful vein as its predecessors, and is a must-read for fans of the series.

Recommended for: Anyone who has read the first two books. This is not something that can be picked up and truly enjoyed without context.


Detailed review: The Neon Court follows the standard formula used in A Madness of Angels and The Midnight Mayor; Matthew is attacked at night at somewhere that is not central London, gets his arse kic
Sean the Bookonaut
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Neon Court is the third book in Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift series, which starts with A Madness of Angels. In my review of the second book, The Midnight Mayor, I mentioned that I was particularly interested in seeing where Oda’s character would go. Which, apparently, is into the grave in the first chapter of The Neon Court in order to create a plot. I am so frustrated by this. Then again, this series has a history of fridging female characters, so maybe I should have known what I was gettin ...more
Lindsay Stares
Mar 14, 2011 Lindsay Stares rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Premise: Matthew Swift, Midnight Mayor of London (that's a sort of magical enforcer/leader/diplomat) has just a couple of problems. First, two of the larger magical factions, the Neon Court and the Tribe, are on the brink of war over a murder. Second, an sometime friend of his seems to have a nasty case of should-be-dead-but-somehow-isn't. Somewhere in all this is a prophecy, a conspiracy, and an encroaching evil dangerous enough to give the most powerful beings in London nightmares. Can he save ...more
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Kate Griffin is the pen name under which Catherine Webb writes fantasy novels for adults. She also uses the pen name Claire North.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Kate Griffin...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Swift (4 books)
  • A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1)
  • The Midnight Mayor (Matthew Swift, #2)
  • The Minority Council (Matthew Swift, #4)

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“It's the new me," I explained, waving my hands jazz-style in greeting. "Matthew Swift, Midnight fucking Mayor - I've got multicoloured highlighters and everything.” 21 likes
“You know, yeah, it seems to me like there are two kinds of chosen one. There's the kinda who gets chosen for a thing without any say, like someone who gets picked- kings and queens and shit. Then there's the other kind of chosen one; the guy who stands up when everyone else is afraid, when no one else can decide. Guy who chooses to fight, or do the thing that no one else will, 'cause it has to be done, yeah? I mean, most times, that guy's a total shit. And sometimes he's the hero. Seems to me that you're a bit of both.” 13 likes
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