The British Books Challenge is a reading challenge that will be running on Fluttering Butterflies between 1st January to 31st December 2015 and the main focus of the challenge is reading and reviewing books by British authors.If you sign up for the challenge you will be aiming to read at least 12 books by British authors (which works out to one a month).In terms of what books would count towards the challenge – the books can be in print or out. Old or new titles. They can be from any genre and for any age range.
Here are two more for my British Books Challenge. I am not sure why Urban Fantasy appeals to me so much – I am not in the usual way a fan of the supernatural, magic and all that cling to them. But one day an unknown voice on the other end of the phone line recommended Ben Aaronovitch to me (she was helping me with an enquiry and we got chatting about books – as one does:) I tried the book and haven’t looked back. I obviously prefer the ones set in London as I was brought up there and know the places these magicians inhabit, but have occasional ventured across the pond to USA.
If you have not indulged in Urban Fantasy or physiological thrillers before be warned, neither of these books are for the faint-hearted, murder is nasty, graphic and there is a lot of it in both books:)
The Neon Court (Matthew Swift #3) by Kate Griffin
ISBN 13: 978-184499017
Goodreads Blurb: War is coming to London. A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point towards their ancient enemy – The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone is in trouble loses.
But Matthew Swift has his own concerns. He has been summoned abruptly, body and soul, to a burning tower and to the dead body of Oda, warrior of The Order and known associate of Swift. There’s a hole in her heart and the symbol of the Midnight Mayor drawn in her own blood. Except, she is still walking and talking and has a nasty habit of saying ‘we’ when she means ‘I.’
Now, Swift faces the longest night of his life. Lady Neon herself is coming to London and the Tribe is ready to fight. Strange things stalk this night: a rumored ‘chosen one, ‘ a monster that burns out the eyes of its enemies, and a walking dead woman. Swift must stop a war, protect his city, and save his friend – if she’ll stop trying to kill him long enough for him to try.
I am a big fan of Kate Griffin and am following her two series.
The Midnight Mayor aka Matthew Smith is an amazing creation, with his Blue Electric Angels. From the first word, of the first book, in the series I have been seriously hooked. This is the third in the series and I turned to it for light relief from Confessions and Mabinogion last month. This is my escapism.
If you have not read the first, the narration might take a little getting used to. Matthew alternates between himself and a collective within him. The Blue Electric angels took over when he was killed and now he has them as well as himself – switching from ‘I’ to ‘we’ is confusing unless you know this. As this also happens to Oda his friend, (she is possessed as well) one needs to keep on top of the narration.
In this episode of the series, Mathew is engaged unwillingly in a battle to save a friend/enemy from a mysterious ‘chosen one’ and subsequent hell. At the same time he struggles to save London itself from all out war between two factions of the magical underworld. A war between magicians is not good news for anyone and in true magical tradition the death toll mounts rapidly and nastily. There is a subplot between him and his apprentice which just gets better, each book.
I have sung Kate Griffin’s praises before and am doing so again. Splendid read.
Acid Lullaby (Underwood and Dexter #2) by Ed O’Connor
Amazon Blurb: A deranged predator on the rampage, a man with a terrible, drug fueled obsession, a monster who thinks he’s a god. The discovery of a decapitated body signals the start of a living nightmare for Inspector Alison Dexter. As she struggles to co-ordinate the manhunt, Dexter is suddenly forced to confront two demons from her own past: the arrival of a man that poisoned her career and the resurrected memory of a life she had to destroy. Returning to New Bolden CID after medical leave, John Underwood learns that Jack Harvey – the police psychiatrist that saved his own sanity – has been murdered. Events take on an added urgency when Harvey’s wife is savagely abducted. Baffled by the killer’s crazed modus operandi, Underwood becomes entangled in Dexter’s investigation and eventually finds assistance from the unlikeliest of sources.
I hadn’t read the first of this series, this was a book from a charity book stall. One of my recycled finds. I will certainly be reading the first and any more that come. Not an urban fantasy but good old fashioned police story – well maybe a little different, this is more psychological thriller than an ordinary who done it. I wasn’t sure the first few pages – I am not a great fan of detective books but I soon swam into the current, with great enjoyment.
Ordinary beginnings within the hallowed and suspect halls of the financial markets in London, the story very rapidly swoops out of control and bodies begin to pile up. What was a just to be a one off act of revenge spirals way off beam and we end up with a kind of gothic horror, fantasies of Hindu gods and what may be supernatural or hallucination episodes. With the continuing disintegration of a mind rotting from within.
The characters were rounded and interesting, the plot complicated enough to keep attention with a touch of dark humour in the blackness. I kept on reading, not quite in one sitting, one has to live, but in two sittings. Great fun.