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The Devil You Know

(Felix Castor #1)

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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  15,201 ratings  ·  1,202 reviews
Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist, and London is his stamping ground. It may seem like a good ghost buster can charge what he likes and enjoy a hell of a lifestyle--but there's a risk: Sooner or later he's going to take on a spirit that's too strong for him. While trying to back out of this ill-conceived career, Castor accepts a seemingly simple ghost-hunting case at a ...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 6th 2006)
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Adam Yes. While each story features a main plot resolved over the course of the book, there are details that carry over from book to book that would be con…moreYes. While each story features a main plot resolved over the course of the book, there are details that carry over from book to book that would be confusing if read out of order.(less)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Stephen
4.0 stars. This book was much better than I had anticipated it to be which was a very pleasant, if UNEXPECTED, SURPRISE.
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I thought this was going to be a decent, but somewhat cheesy Urban Fantasy knock-off of the Dresden Files. While certainly these two series share many basic themes (as most UF does), this was a TERRIFIC READ. In fact, in two very important respects I thought this book was actually SUPERIOR to the Dresden books. Given that the Dresden books are the current “standard” at lea
...more
carol.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: urban fantasy lovers, hard-boiled detective fans
Recommended to carol. by: Goodreads, of course
Solid three and a half stars. I'm rounding up in Carey's case, because I think his hero is suffering from comparison to Carey's own Constantine, and Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden. I too thought of Harry Dresden while I was reading, but I found Felix Castor to be more likeable, and the overall story more enjoyable. It is clearly a "first book in a series," meaning that there is a great deal of world building. I felt it was worthwhile, and not excessive to me, but I enjoy a well-thought out world an ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The tone of this novel is bleak, saturnine, and wry. Shades of horror and dark urban fantasy blended into a noir mystery that kept me guessing until the end. I love when a writer is able to pull all the elements together that he introduces to me, from beginning to end. And that's what Mike Carey does here. Tight plotting and subtle characterization. Even the characters that would seem stereotypical have depth and intensity.

Felix Castor gets added to my roster of male lead urban fantasy go-to cha
...more
Felicia
Sep 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-paranormal
Yay, this was on my Kindle for a long time, and since my romance-kick has cooled, I picked it up. VERY HAPPY I DID! Felix Castor is an exorcist in an alt-London, attitude-y and very enjoyable. This is a non-romance-type paranormal, so it was a nice break from my usual, and I really loved the mystery aspect of the book, it was well done. In addition, it kinda creeped me out, so I had to check the closet twice before bed-time. Ghosts can be creepy even in print!

Jim Butcher fans will like this seri
...more
Bradley
Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's something about all detective novels that provide a very nice pace for the prospective reader, a gentle lulling between beatings and the solving of murders, and this is only enhanced by the inclusion of ghosts and Succubi.

I only learned later into the reading of this that he's the author of other Constantine stories, so my initial connection made perfect sense. Hell, I like Constantine, so this is pretty much perfect for me.

I know I'm going to like the rest of the series, if this is a g
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, I picked this up on the strength of a recommendation that if I liked Jim Butcher's Dresden series, I'd probably like these. I can't say that. There is a huge difference in this character, the world he functions in and the overall "feel" of the book. When I say the world is different I'm sure some thought (or said aloud) well of course the world's different, did you expect it to take place in the same world?

No. My meaning there was that the world is a much darker more negative place. "Fix"
...more
Rosa, really

Great urban fantasy (Urban Fantasy?) but man does it move slooooow. Also, it's one of those books where the main character does a lot of thinking and explaining to the audience and I'm left wondering what the other characters are doing when he's taking 10 minutes to explain demons or whatever. Playing All Hail the Queen [*headdesk*] God Save the Queen with their armpit? Making a trip to Burger King? Summoning their own demon?

However, it was quite nice to a have a different type of Rosa (a charac
...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

“You move on. You move back. On because you're always getting older, back because there's always a set of habits and routines to catch you and suck you back in when your guard is down.”

I loved Mike Carey's writing style, it's sublime - colorful, poetic flow, funny when it's supposed to be, dramatic when it's supposed to be. Not all of the British terminology is familiar, but I adore the British writing tone as long as it's not bone dry. And hey, learn something new every day?

The protagonist Fel
...more
Emma
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
This was excellent, darker than I thought it would, but better for it. I will definitely be continuing with this series.
David - proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party
This book was a major disappointment :( I’m a huge fan of Mike Carey’s work for DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, and I thought he did a masterful job crafting new tales for characters created by Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore. So when I heard he was working on a series of novels, I was eager to see what he could do with a world of his own creation. Sadly, the answer turned out to be…not very much.

The premise of following the exploits of an exorcist-for-hire sounds promising, but Carey just doesn’t do eno
...more
Alex
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Cover: 3/5
Story: 5/5
Action: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Favorite character(s): Felix, Rafi/Asmodeus, Scrub
Most annoying character(s): Juliet, Gabe, Rich, Damjohn

Loved this book. However, I'll take away 1 star because of the bad ending. Seriously? (view spoiler)

4 stars!

This big expert on paranormal phenomena is doing a lecture tour of the UK, and he gets to Aberystwyth on a Friday night. And he goes into the hall, and it's packed. Shuffle
...more
Sonja Arlow
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-read, fantasy
To be honest I cant be bothered to write an extensive review on this.

Sometimes readers and books just don't click.

I started reading this in the hope of lining it up as my next urban fantasy series as I am running out of Dresden books but the plot was too slow, the characters bordered on boring and it was too light on the fantasy elements.
Amanda
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid 3.5 stars but I'm rounding up for series potential. There was a ton to like here I just felt it bogged down a little in the middle but for a series book the ending was really good.
Liz Barnsley
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a reread for me, huge fan of the Castor novels so the next little while will be loads of fun while I revisit that world. They are brilliant. So this is less a review and more a "read them - read them all!"
Karen
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the masses, as long as they like the supernatural
I'm seriously supposed to write down "what I learned from this book"? (I am not impressed by this review form but as this is my first review I should probably curb my disdain a bit.) Very well then.

What I Learned from This Book: I learned that I very much enjoy books about ghosts and other supernatural creatures that have infested our modern world. I learned that I especially like books of this nature when they are narrated by sardonic and somewhat seedy male narrators who make their livings pe
...more
Devann
This is probably more of a 2.5 stars but I'm gonna round up this time, completely arbitrarily and also based on the fact that I've been rounding down so much this week and it's depressing. This book wasn't necessarily bad but it was 1. entirely too long and 2. fairly uninspired.

I feel like coming from comics into novels Carey overcompensated a bit and included a lot of random details / inner monologue that wasn't really necessary to the story because this book just dragged on and on for me. It
...more
Sarah
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's extremely tempting to give this book five stars simply because this is easily one of my favorite series of all time. The writing, however, is a bit rough and it definitely has the feel of a book where the author is setting up his world and character rather than just telling a story.

It may be a bit flawed, but man this is such a great book. I love Felix, I love the supporting characters, I love books that involve supernatural aspects anyway, as long as those aspects are not vampires and were
...more
Carly
~4.5 (Original first read rating was 4.)

Despite the etymology of his name, Felix "Fix" Castor feels anything but happy or lucky. In his altered world, in which the dead have risen and now pace the streets as zombies and ghosts, Felix's skills as an exorcist are at a premium. After a terrible accident in which he helped to bind a friend's soul to a demon, Felix is trying to take early retirement from the ghostbuster business. With money tight and fear on the rise, it's just not that easy for Feli
...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
I have so many conflicting feelings about this complex book I don't know where to begin. The overall feeling of the book is sadness and loneliness which works really well but still left me feeling sad myself at the end. the next book is much less depressing which is good. The protagonist is believable and multi-layered and I really liked him. The bad guys are really bad but still not flat. The good guys are regular people. All of the characters feel real to me. The plot is good and had me guessi ...more
Jason
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2017
4.5 Stars

The Devil You May Know by Mike Carey is the first book in the Felix Castor series. I have to confess that this is a series that is made for my guilty pleasure. This is a story and a series about an exorcist named Felix. This is an urban fantasy and a detective noir twisted together. Like all great urban fantasy it takes place in a world very much like our own.

This was a great start to the series and I felt that Felix did an okay job at carrying the weight of the book. I am always lookin
...more
Chris
Good London-based urban fantasy about an exorcist who's been on hiatus but takes an innocuous sounding job because he desperately needs money. I tried reading this 18 months ago and quit at 1/3 because I couldn't get into it - no such problem this time!
Petertpc
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A darker, edgier version of the Dresden Files, with a more sophisticated, mature plot than the more crowd-pleasing Dresden stories. I really liked Felix Castor and the more gloomy world created by Mike Carey. I think I'm a fan, and am going to check out book 2 to confirm.
Kasia
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was an entertaining read, a detective story that involved solving something other than your usual crimes; this time the supernatural is involved and who better to battle it than Felix Castor, a freelance exorcist with musical talent.

Witty, charming and intelligent, he maps out the grid of the ghosts he's getting rid by playing music on his tin whistle, but this time something else is going on, for once Felix starts to care about why the ghost is haunting the Bonnington Archive, a posh liter
...more
Lightreads
Dec 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Urban fantasy, same general map references as The Dresden Files -- loner magical protagonist with a tragical past, a supernatural mystery, that sort of thing. And if you line them up for comparison, this book is:

*Three times better written on a mechanical prose level,
*Approximately 50% less sexist,
*Equally creative on the magical front,
*Immeasurably more mature, philosophically.

And yet, I cared about it roughly a third as much.

Sometimes trying to feed the emotional centers of my brain something
...more
Bill
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF’d at 36% :(
There’s something about noir that just doesn’t do it for me. I was excited about where this story line was going to take me, but the writing style got in the way.
I found the flow of the narrative uneven, and there were some turns of phrase that lost me on occasion, forcing me to re-read the context of it.
Not a free flowing reading experience for me, so I’m cutting it loose.
And the noir thing? I find in this context it took away from what could have been a spookier read.
Too bad. T
...more
M Hamed
May 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2016
what makes a writer-especially a well established writer-sits down and wastes his life writing mediocrity.

to write hundreds and hundreds of CW TV episodes material
maybe this is all he got to give ,maybe he wants to Pay the bills and raise the kids .

i really should start lowering my expectations.no one is going to give me what i want ,no war between a modern day shadow and light ,humans and others vong and republic .
one day i will write it and i will piss on all of them .
Bandit
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it
I don't care for paranormal detective genre, I don't appreciate its ubiquity and the way it comes across as a cop out/sell out option for many good authors instead of them writing original fiction. I also don't particularly like series or mysteries, but that's just a personal choice. Having that been said, I can appreciate a good book regardless of a genre and this was a good book. Mike Carey is a talented writer, capable of nicely turning out a phrase or fleshing out a character or creating sus ...more
Lindsay
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A slow-paced detailed urban fantasy murder mystery.

Felix Castor, "Fix"" to his friends, is an exorcist in a world where ghosts and spirits have become commonplace. However, he hasn't practised in a year because he made a critical mistake a year ago and hurt his friends. But now he's at a financial dead-end and he ends up taking a job to exorcize a ghost from a document archive. But nothing is simple about this job, and he receives a warning that the job will be the end of him.

Through most of the
...more
Cindy Newton
This is a good, light paranormal mystery. I enjoyed the snarky main character, the British accents on my audiobook, and there were twists that I didn't see coming. I plan to continue the series, so that counts as a ringing endorsement in my book!
Rosa
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, books
This is interesting. It has a Dresden Files vibe which at first I wasn't fond of because I was waiting for Harry to appear or for Felix to behave like him, but as the story progress, mostly in the last part, the differences become more clear. It's a good interesting starting point, so let's see how it goes from here.
I also discovered I'm not up to date to my British English slang... that's what happens when you only learn proper English words at class XD
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Urban Fantasy Afi...: Felix Castor Series / Mike Carey 88 18 Aug 23, 2017 07:13AM  
Song list 1 15 May 14, 2014 12:37PM  
What happened to Felix Castor? 2 83 Dec 06, 2013 10:54AM  
Urban Fantasy ser...: July BOTM: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Mike Carey 37 61 Sep 14, 2013 12:05AM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Mike Carey was born in Liverpool in 1959. He worked as a teacher for fifteen years, before starting to write comics. When he started to receive regular commissions from DC Comics, he gave up the day job.

Since then, he has worked for both DC and Marvel Comics, writing storyli
...more

Other books in the series

Felix Castor (5 books)
  • Vicious Circle (Felix Castor, #2)
  • Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor, #3)
  • Thicker Than Water (Felix Castor, #4)
  • The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor, #5)

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