Stray Souls (Magicals Anonymous) Paperback – 25 Oct 2012
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Griffin's writing is as fluent and enjoyable as always, with a hint of humour that verges on Pratchett-esque (SFX)
Kate Griffin flawlessly balances horror and humour to . . . pull off a funny yet frightening read about the supernatural-induced demise of London . . . both unique and addictive (SCIFI NOW)
The first book in a new urban magic series from the author of the Matthew Swift novels set in London's hidden otherworldSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is written in multiple viewpoint, with no first person narrative, so we get a ringside seat to witness the struggles of Rhys, a druid forced to shelter from Nature due to his chronic hay fever; Gretel the troll, who wants to cook; Sally the banshee, who writes everything down on a whiteboard so that her magically-enhanced voice doesn't drive men mad; Kevin, the vampire who has major issues with blood - along with any other fluids that may pose a risk of infection... Even Matthew Swift, the Midnight Mayor isn't particularly effective - his specialty being to blow things up in a messy destructive manner, whereas this job requires finesse. I've enjoyed all the Midnight Mayor books and come to admire Griffin's writing talent - however my misgiving was that with such a very powerful main character, the forces ranged against him also had to be equally huge, or there was no real plot. But, the motley crew surrounding Sharon certainly don't fall into that category.
I expected an action-packed plot wound full of tension and vivid descriptions of some of the less wholesome parts of London, which I certainly got - but what was a delightful surprise were the laugh-aloud moments. And this book is full of them. Griffin's humour is pitch-perfect and a wonderful counterpoint to the full-on action and pathos. A book that leaves me with a lump in my throat while making me laugh always has a special place in my heart - it doesn't happen all that often.Read more ›
This book was a little bit slow to begin with while the reader was getting to know the characters and the London in which they live. However as the book progressed I found myself getting more and more involved and was really quite sad when I finished it! The underlying plot is fairly basic - magical people/creatures need to save the city from a bad magical creature, in this case a wendigo. Yes, I had to google it too! (other search engines are available!). By keeping the basic plot quite simple the reader was able to enjoy the characters that were created without frantically trying to keep track of the twists and turns. I wonder if the next in the series will have a slightly more complex plot as we have now got to know the characters? I look forward to finding out.
The characters in this book are simply wonderful - Sammy the Goblin who also happens to be the second greatest Shaman in the world, the Midnight Mayor, Sally the art loving Banshee, Gretel the cookery loving troll, Rhys the allergic druid, Kevin the OCD vampire........a fantastic collection of characters from what can only be described as a most unusual imagination!
There is also a lot of humour in this book - well the character list gives that away for starters. I found myself chuckling out loud and received some strange looks from my family (not an altogether unusual event!).
This book was very individual but there are slight similarities with the Harry Dresden books by Jim Butcher, the odd hint of Terry Pratchett's work and a dash of the Rivers of London Series by Ben Aaronovich. If you liked any of those books then this series is definitely worth a try. In fact, whether you have read any of those books or not why not give this a try?
The book follows Sharon Li, a beginner Shaman, who sets up a self-help group for confused and conflicted magical beings. She, and eventually her support group Magicals Anonymous, get dragged into a saving the city from some rather evil property developers backed by bankers.
I enjoyed the story and the way the plot rattled along well.
The author doesn't choose a single perspective to write from but each (sometimes very short) chapter reflects the perspective of a different character. This is an interesting approach which works well in a book with quite a large number of characters - you get a really clear sense of who they area and what motivates them. The characters are essentially a succession of slightly comedic archetypes: the vampire with massive hygiene issues and a problem with blood and a very grumpy, smelly goblin and a terribly polite art-loving banshee but they are well-written enough to be sympathetic and engaging. There are some points when things start getting quite silly, but just stay on the side of being fun and entertaining.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Could there be anything better than a Matthew Swift novel? Yes, this!Published 1 month ago by captain scapegoat
I bought this after reading and enjoying some of Kate Griffin's novels, under her other pen name Claire North (Touch and The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August). Read morePublished 9 months ago by S Martin
Loved this book,really loved it.If you know London at all......or even if you don't........I think you'll be as enthralled by this "magical"take on it as I was. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Barnaby B.
This is like trying to do a Rubik,s cube, when it will only work on the blue squares of the quilt of life....I know WTF!Published 22 months ago by Jenny Hayden
I have been ploughing through the Matthew Swift books (which makes it sound like hard work, and it ain't) and I commented that The Minority Council was fitting the formula Griffin... Read morePublished on 10 May 2014 by Crossmouse
The first few short punchy chapters seemed appealing but it soon stopped holding my interest and I was frankly bored half way through. Read morePublished on 28 Mar. 2014 by C. Goodwin
A fabulously ironic and tongs in cheek twist on the urban fantasy genre.
Definitely well worth 5 stars and loved it
I promise you won't be disappointed with... Read more
I found the language rather trying....that's the working class London lingo, coupled with swearing (which I find boring). Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2014 by BarbaraM