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The Neon Court (Matthew Swift #3)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,993 ratings  ·  117 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
Paperback, 509 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 22, 2014 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin
May 31, 2011 Chris King Elfland's 2nd Cousin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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.
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
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
Dec 14, 2014 Mitticus rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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

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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Ryan G
When I reviewed The Midnight Mayor, the previous book in the series, I promised myself that I would wait too long before I read this one. Instead of keeping that promise, I think I waited even longer for this one. Almost two years has passed since I wrote that review, and I wish I could say the wait was worth it.

I still love Matthew and the London of his world. His is a London full of magic, but not the magic of nature and pixie dust. His London is made up of a magical world that inhabits the ci
Like the other books in this series, you are dropped straight into the action as Matthew is dragged into yet another mess, this time concerning a so called "chosen one", two diametrically opposing groups and something about footsteps at the back of a dark alley.
The multiple plots and groups tied together well, and as always we were introduced to some new facets of the urban magic world. Each new character and spell built upon the depth, complexity and pure intriguing beauty that made this unive
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.
The thing I love about this series, aside from the topnotch highly interesting magic system, aside from how London plays such a big part of everything it's practically a character in its own right (true and embodied in the 2nd book), aside from the wry and laugh-out-loud humour, is that this series would always always have a heart. That in the middle of all that shit that Matthew Swift has to slog through, the flash and bang and neon lights of sorcery, the intricate rules of living in the city, ...more
After reading the prologue, I assumed that this was set up similarly to the first two instalments – as an urban noir where Matthew Swift is the reluctant hero who is at first believed by everyone to be the villain but at the end, he saves the day with a little help from his frenemies friends – be it life or a position in politics. And in a way, I wasn’t wrong. The entire series is renowned for its unconventionality in terms of characterisation and a flawless combination of urban London and the d ...more
Isabel (kittiwake)
Eventually truces were made. London was not the only city with a Midnight Mayor; every city had its own mechanism for dealing with the turbulence of the Neon Court's arrival. But still the Neon Court continued, a fire below the decks, waiting for a chance to spring into an inferno. And while most of the time the fire was contained, if there was one thing guaranteed to send it into a fury, it was the arrival of that queen of the court, Lady Neon.

Even though it involved Matthew Swift and the Alde
So a quote from the final pages of the book : My shoulders shook, which I guessed meant I was trying to laugh. “That’s me,” I sighed. “Bit-of-both Matthew. Bit of both, bit of everything, bit of nothing really whole.”

And that pretty much tells us all we need to know about the hero in this book. I've started to really dislike Matthew Swift (the perfect image of the hero who always survives even when you start to wish he didn't!). He's certainly not your cliched all powerful hero (not in the typic
YA is a valuable genre, and this is ENGLISH, which I have a history of adoring, but in the end I was not very entertained by this fantasy. (It probably doesn't help that I'm just recovering from a relationship with another Matt, a one who teaches maths at Delco.)

I briefly appreciated not really having to pay attention to push forth in the book, but if I'm not really paying attention, then why am I reading it at all? It's much more worthwhile to read something interesting and useful, for example
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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.” 20 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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