The Midnight Mayor: A Matthew Swift Novel by Kate Griffin
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|The Midnight Mayor: A Matthew Swift Novel by Kate Griffin|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: A rollercoaster ride of a novel that exceeds expectations set by the excellent first instalment, A Madness of Angels. Brilliant stuff!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: March 2010|
A telephone rang.
Sorcerer Matthew Swift does not especially like danger. In fact, after the events that led to him destroying the Tower and his former teacher, Robert Bakker, he'd prefer it greatly if danger would leave him to mind his own business, thank you very much.
But Matthew is not just sorcerer. He is also the blue electric angels, creatures of the phonelines, and when the phone rings, he has to answer. And this particular phonecall brings him nothing but trouble.
For the ancient wards that protect the city – the ravens at the Tower, the London Wall, the London Stone – have all been killed or destroyed, defiled by the same cryptic graffiti. Matthew once again finds himself hounded by mystical enemies as he tries to work out exactly who, or what, is powerful enough to threaten a whole city.
For those of you who haven't read the first instalment of Kate Griffin's Urban Fantasy series, A Madness of Angels, go do so now. It was easily the best book this reviewer read all last year. For those of you who have, The Midnight Mayor lives up to every expectation you might have.
In fact, arguably, it's better. Where A Madness of Angels dumped you right in the deep end of a confusing and highly detailed world, you come to The Midnight Mayor with all that prior knowledge. Reading the first few pages are like slipping back into a comfortable chair. The characters, the rules, the style are all familiar, which allows you to get to the important thing – the story.
And it's a very good story. Griffin writes with such confidence, revealing only the tiniest scraps of information as she drags you across London and back again at breakneck speed, trusting entirely that you'll stick out the ride. About halfway through you'll realise you still have no clue what's going on, but somehow it doesn't matter – you'll be so completely engrossed in the world and characters that you won't want the journey to end.
The world Griffin has created around Matthew Swift is such a vibrant and exciting place, made even better by telling observations about life – for magic is life, and life is magic – such as being able to drown anything in the bottom of a beer bottle. Literally. The vampires and werewolves we've come to associate with urban fantasy have been replaced by hoodie wearing spectres, listening to bass beats on their iPods, and Saturates – a disgusting creature made of all the things washed down the drain. Oh, and an ASBO is a powerful warding spell. Everything is so brilliantly observed, the most fantastical things happen, yet you find yourself thinking, you know what, that makes perfect sense.
And if that isn't a mark of the most highly skilled craftsmanship, I don't know what is.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Midnight Mayor: A Matthew Swift Novel by Kate Griffin at Amazon.com.
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