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carols

book reviews forevermore

Goodreads refugee and wordpress blogger

 

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

The Devil You Know - Mike Carey 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 and the investment is worth it as I plan to continue with the series. The worldview itself isn't that unusual, but it's set up nicely, so that we are gentle immersed in it, feeling it build around us. I prefer that over the "throw you in the deep end and let you figure it out" mentality. London geography has me lost, but I don't mind.Felix is a thoughtful hero, and I appreciate his ability to reflect on his values and perhaps even change. His self-reflection lacks the self-indulgent, whining, "why-me?" tone that some heroes have (I'm talking to you, Harry Dresden). Humor is present in daily interactions, but it is not so ever present that storyline and character are sacrificed for the witty response.An interesting comparison to Dresden that no one seems to mention is that there is really very little supernatural politics to date. The plot is along the lines of a "resolve the mystery and figure out how the pieces fit together" with a fair amount of action keeping the pace going. However, Castor doesn't take beating after beating until he's so battered you wonder how he is still standing (Harry? You again), which helps sustain a more believable pace.