London Falling, Fated: British Books Challenge


68f2e-bbc2bpointed2bshadedThe 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 the last two of February’s British authors/books.  More of the same I had a real escapism-fest:)


London Falling (Shadow Police, #1)

London Falling by Paul Cornell (Shadow Police #1)
ISBN 076533027x ISBN 13: 9780765330277

The dark is rising …Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law — until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a ‘suspect’ who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game – and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

This again, I wasn’t sure of at the beginning, when it still was a normal police procedural story. Then the magic kicked in and I sat up and began to enjoy the usual mayhem of these books. Talk about stacking the odds against the police. Akin to sending babies out to fight the giant, blindfolded and with hands tied behind their backs. Added to the excitement.

There is a great deal of detective routine slog here; it is after all the only weapons they seem to have against a very dark side of London involving, although they hesitate at first to admit it, magic and the supernatural. They have no guns, at the start no magic powers to fight back. Just normal procedures, shifting through hours of records, collecting data and clues and acting on hunches.

A dark overlord and a witch with a passion for football. Revenge killings, child sacrifices and dark doings. What’s not to like in this unusual story. I enjoyed the police work in this one because of what they were up to and it was a good twist, more like Ben Aaronavitch’s work without the whimsy.

There are more to come- aren’t I lucky.

Fated (Alex Verus, #1)

Fated (Alex Verus #1) by Benedict Jacka



Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop, the Arcana Emporium in London. And while Alex’s own powers aren’t as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future–allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.

 But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever is inside must be beyond powerful. He now needs to foil the forces of the Dark side, outwit the Light, and investigate a mysterious relic that has just turned up at the British Museum.

And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none. . .

This is a new author for me and counts for New to Me Challenge as well as British Books. I haven’t heard of Alex Verus before but I am pleased to make his acquaintance. I didn’t get into the flow immediately, it seemed a little slow at the beginning then all was well.

This is a different type of urban fantasy, Alex’s magic is not as fantastical as most, the mayhem he causes is less, but he manages to handle himself well. He is an old-fashioned hero here in this book, he gets involved to save a lady – a friend who possess what others want. He has another friend – air, wind or a magical will ‘o the wisp, capricious and altogether charming. And for the first time in I don’t know how long a spider creature I could warm too. I don’t like spiders, normally but this one is fun. There is, amidst the mayhem a slightly humorous or whimsical air which is refreshing in this genre. Have ordered my next in the series.


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