Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides's Reviews > Wicked City

Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson
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's review
May 08, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-fiction, historical-fiction, cover-faceless-female
Read from May 08 to 09, 2012

I enjoyed the atmosphere, but at the same time, I found myself periodically stopping to Google. Is "I don't give a fig" a period expression? Yes. Was spontaneous human combustion a known phenomenon, or idea of a phenomenon? Also yes, to my surprise. (Charles Dickens even wrote a scene that included it.) Was the machine politician mayor a real (historical) guy? Yeah. Is Elspeth a plausible name for an immigrant Arab Christian woman? It seems unlikely, but I can't completely rule it out.

So, I really like the setting. And the story is well told. We get an explanation for why Zephyr is immune to vampires. Unfortunately, about halfway through I realized there was a continuity issue that made it hard to focus on the story. The leader of the vampire-hating group is introduced as Archibald Madison; later, he's referred to as Archibald Warren. Either that, or I really got confused while reading. Or maybe if I remembered more of the prequel, Moonshine, it wouldn't actually be a problem. I thought that Johnson made it very possible to read this book without having read Moonshine, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Reading Progress

05/09/2012 page 123
40.0% "Okay ... apparently there is one guy named Archibald in here. But apparently the author couldn't make up her mind whether his last name is Warren or Madison. And while I am on the subject, Elspeth seems like a very strange first name for an Arab Christian woman who was not born in the melting pot."
05/09/2012 page 123
40.0% "All right. The bad guy is Archibald Madison. The police commissioner is Joe Warren. But sometimes the bad guy is specifically referred to as Archibald Warren. Something went wrong somewhere."
05/09/2012 page 144
47.0% ""He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pocket pistol." Just sounds weird to use pocket twice in that sentence."

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