|The Glass God (Magicals Anonymous) by Kate Griffin|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Magicals Anonymous are back for a second outing, again joining forces with The Midnight Mayor, or they would if they could find him! More urban fantasy from Kate Griffin at her action packed best.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: July 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
Sharon Li, former coffee shop barista and current community-support-worker-cum-apprentice-shaman, continues to run Magicals Anonymous, a self-help group for those with mystic issues. It sounds a simple life, however there there's one factor that ensure that 'simple' remains an illusion: her acquaintance with the Guardian of the City, Defender of the Gate and so forth, The Midnight Mayor, aka Matthew Swift. Matthew's workload includes investigating a number of supernatural disappearances. Or at least it did till he too went missing. So who ya gonna call? No, they don't call them; they call Sharon and along with the mission comes unwanted promotion: Sharon Li, Deputy Midnight Mayor.
The YA Carnegie Medal nominated author Catherine Webb is better known among we adults for superlative urban fantasy written under the pen name of Kate Griffin. The Glass God is the second in the 'Magicals Anonymous' series that burst across our consciousness back in October 2012 with the wonderful Stray Souls. Perhaps not as 'laugh out loud' funny The Glass God raises quite a few smiles while settling nicely into a vibe of excitement, suspense and some very clever re-interpretation of the City of London.
This story is darker from the outset with the level of humour to which we Matthew Swift acolytes are accustomed. Indeed, this is also more of a cross-over novel as the Electric Blue Angels that inhabit the once-dead Matthew return to their elemental state causing more than a bit of consternation.
Like fellow urban fantasy author Ben Aaronovitch, Kate is firmly tethered to the English capital seeing a purpose and place for each of her characters in its fabric and, often, its history (as we see with, for instance, the scary plague guy).
This novel is set a little while after the first and things have moved on. Sharon is much more at home being at one with the City, hearing its voice and walking through walls. The deliciously gruff Sammy the Elbow (goblin, mentor and the second best shaman in the world) is also very much around and Sharon sees a new side to him which draws her attention with a jolt to the darker responsibilities of her gift.
The rest of the crew (Sally the Banshee who writes everything down to save the world from her fatal scream, Mr Roding the necromancer with skin problems, Kevin the vampire/picky eater, Ingrid the gourmand troll et al) are there but not as much. That isn't a gripe: one gets the impression that Kate doesn't want to wear out their welcome and will, perhaps, feature them in different combinations as the series goes on. Where The Glass God is concerned, it's definitely Sharon and Rhys' book. (You remember Rhys – the nature-worshipping druid who's allergic to nature?)
I've had a soft spot for Rhys for a while and it's lovely to see him develop. He insists he's just IT but he proves himself to be so much more, leading to a not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house ending. Also watch out for the chatterbox Personal Assistant Kelly and Alderman Miles who strikes me as the literary twin of The Apprentice's Nick Hewer.
The baddies (yes, we're treated to multiples!) are great. Just wait till you meet The Tribe and as for the chap of the title… He leads to a wonderful moment of realisation at the beginning of chapter 80. (No cheating!) Nice touch Kate!
The Glass God works as a stand-alone but why would you not want to back-read into the Magicals Anonymous heritage? Please treat yourself by reading Stray Souls and it would also give you a richer understanding if you inhaled the first Matthew Swift novel.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Glass God (Magicals Anonymous) by Kate Griffin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Glass God (Magicals Anonymous) by Kate Griffin at Amazon.com.
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