This was another terrific book by Mike Carey. It's a pleasure to read a book written by such a talented author. His use of language is just a step abo...moreThis was another terrific book by Mike Carey. It's a pleasure to read a book written by such a talented author. His use of language is just a step above most authors. When he describes a scene, I see it clearly. His descriptions are original and extremely vivid. He uses language in an extraordinary way; unfortunately I can't describe it was well as he does it. I put a few references in my comments, but I'd have to quote almost every page to capture the number of times I was amazed and impressed.
The story continues the tale of Felix Castor as he gets wrapped up in another adventure through his job as a "spiritual adviser." Fix used to be an exorcist, but he now feels uncomfortably aware that he doesn't know where he's sending the ghosts he exorcises, so has an uneasy relationship with his skills and basic nature. I think the book would work well as a stand-alone, but it helps to know Fix and his back story. This tale is dark, funny, thoughtful, mysterious with a touch of adventure.
Felix is still a bit of a mystery to me, sort of a typical mystery lead male character, sarcastic, stubborn on a case, loyal to his friends, and reluctantly heroic. There are several stories in this book that weave together to a satisfying whole, with some nice foreshadowing of an even bigger story to come. The parts about Felix's friends Pen and Rafi might seem a little out of place to a new reader, but to those who've read the previous books it would have been very out of character for him not to have followed up with his friends. I thought it added a touch of realism, that no matter what extraordinary things happen in life, the rest of the world still carries on and needs to be dealt with. The exploration of Juliet's nature and character are sure to be fan favorites, she's a terrific character.
Overall, it's a great book and a great series. Any fan of dark mysteries or urban fantasy is sure to enjoy Mike Carey's books.(less)
I liked this book even better than the first in the series. I read some reviews of the first book that said they didn't believe the main character, Ma...moreI liked this book even better than the first in the series. I read some reviews of the first book that said they didn't believe the main character, MacKayla. But I liked her the first time around and like her better and better now. She's been thrown into the deep end of very scary and dangerous waters and is doing her best to not only survive but to do the right thing. The other main character, Barrons, is very intriguing. No knowing if he's good or bad or some of both is frustrating and classic and terrific. If you like dark urban fantasy, this would be a good series for you.(less)
The MaryJanice Davidson book is great; it was fun to read a story about another character in the Betsy the Vampire Queen world. I really liked the Ang...moreThe MaryJanice Davidson book is great; it was fun to read a story about another character in the Betsy the Vampire Queen world. I really liked the Angela Knight story and went on to read the rest of the series. Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake story is good, but I'd read it before so it was hard to judge. The Vickie Taylor story didn't do it for me. The Charlaine Harris story was intriguing and made me look forward to the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse series even more than I already was.(less)
The series keeps getting better. The relationship between Mac and Barrons is a classic will they-won't they. The peripheral characters are enjoyably d...moreThe series keeps getting better. The relationship between Mac and Barrons is a classic will they-won't they. The peripheral characters are enjoyably distinct and believable. And the pace of the story is fast and intense. The only problem is that the next one won't be out of a long time and it's a heck of a cliffhanger. (less)
Cute for the teen set or those who enjoy really silly teen style writing. I read a lot of teen lit, but this was almost too much for me. On the other...moreCute for the teen set or those who enjoy really silly teen style writing. I read a lot of teen lit, but this was almost too much for me. On the other hand, it also had some stuff that made me (a pretty darn liberal lady in most ways) not too keen about recommending it to younger teens, with many casual references to teen drinking and sex. Yes, I know they almost all do it. But when it's in books written by adults for teens it feels like saying that it's OK to do it, go ahead, have fun! Of course, the fact that our heroine gets in the worse trouble of her life while fooling around with a boy and drinking could be considered a cautionary tale, but I'm not sure a 13 year old would see it that way. Overall, a cute fast read primarily for the teens only, most adults wouldn't like them nearly as much as Kenner's Demon hunting soccer mom books (and probably visa versa). If you just can't resist a perky but smart heroine, vampires and high school dramas, go for it, you'll get a few chuckles. (less)
Sillier than the first in most ways. The romance stuff was very lightweight but had some genuine moments that women would recognize. Overall story pre...moreSillier than the first in most ways. The romance stuff was very lightweight but had some genuine moments that women would recognize. Overall story pretty lame. But the main character is still charming somehow and it has a good cliffhanger, made we want more.(less)
***mild spoiler alert - please let me know if anyone thinks this should get formal spoiler alert. I think I've avoided anything inappropriate while st...more***mild spoiler alert - please let me know if anyone thinks this should get formal spoiler alert. I think I've avoided anything inappropriate while still giving info I'd like to see as a potential reader, but if I'm wrong, please let me know!***
I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot of debate among LHM fans about whether the books should be more about Anita's developing vampire powers and the paranormal underworld, or more like typical thrillers/police procedurals. This book had a very good combo of both. Personally, I prefer the paranormal stuff to the police stuff. I know that thrillers about serial killers and evidence are super popular, but I'm more interested in character development, relationships, and magical stuff.
I really liked the focus on the conflict between Anita's ever developing paranormal abilities and her commitment to her job as a Marshall. It lead to so much character development and introspection, in addition to the action. The author really used the police stuff to explore how Anita's changing powers have impacted this part of her life. Every plot in the book was multi-purposed and fascinating. Even the supporting characters were well developed. In addition, as one of my friends commented, I really liked seeing Anita's increased control and focus, being less of a victim to the craziness and more the tough leading lady we love so well. There is also a lot of debate among LHM fans about the sex scenes, whether they are too frequent, too hot, too many men, etc. I always felt like they supported the stories, in this case one about a woman who needs to be in control but is getting into these situations so deeply that control isn't an option. I thought this book handled that conflict well, also.
I was very pleased that this book was so long, and the story was complex and multifaceted. I felt like the last few entries, like many books several steps into a series, were too short and kind of lightweight. (Less so than with some of my favorite authors, but still true to some degree.) I hate when authors/publishers get us hooked, but then start offering books with wide line spacing and tons of blank pages, more short stories than true novels. But with both this series and LHM's Meredith Gentry series, the latest entries (this book and Merry 7) were more substantial stories. More bang for the buck, so to speak, and I do appreciate that very much.
That said, the end was super-rushed. It felt like the publisher got freaked that it was so long and made her cut a lot. And I'm totally over Olaf in every way. I don't care if he does some good things some times, he's a disgusting murderer and I want him gone. I don't want to read about him any more.
Finally, once again, this book was set out of Anita's home town and had very little to do with her family/boyfriends and normal life back in St. Louis. I understand why authors do that sometimes; it gives them a chance to explore different facets of the character's life, create new stories with more plausibility (how many crazy things can happen in one town with no one noticing, right?), etc. But I miss the St. Louis men and am very eager for Anita to interact more with them and solidify those relationships more. I'm hoping the next book with deal with that more.(less)
I liked it, it was funny and charming to a degree. But I got a bit bogged down in the middle and had so many other things I wanted to read first. I'll...moreI liked it, it was funny and charming to a degree. But I got a bit bogged down in the middle and had so many other things I wanted to read first. I'll flip through and see how he gets to the end, but after reading the original so many times there isn't much suspense. The author sticks very closely to the original text, just switching out or adding phrases to add the zombies and fighting. It's really quite clever. But I doubt I'll follow up by reading the other books being rushed to publication in this new mini-genre. This seems like the best of the bunch.(less)