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on 27 April 2017
Really enjoyed this conclusion to the series of four Mathew Swift stories, although I am really disappointed that there are no more.
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on 21 April 2012
Firstly, let me say I may be a bit biased, as I love all the Matthew Swift Books since I first read A Madness of Angels, and I always wait impatiently for the next one to be published .I particularly like that they are set in London, a much older, more arcane and haunted place than any of the American cities usually featured in Urban Fantasy. It seems to me that London itself is just as much a living entity in the stories as any other character, human or otherwise.
This is a much darker episode than the preceding books, but then it is about a powerful addictive drug that ultimately brings death, the misuse of power, betrayal and revenge. Matthew himself stumbles around attempting to right immense wrongs, and regretting that the Blue Electric Angels are no longer entirely human. Don't let this put you off - it is also fast and furious, and about loyalty, doggedness and friendship freely given.
Ms Griffin's writing is powerful and in parts lyrical, and made me feel sympathy for her monster as Mary Shelley made
me feel sorry for Frankenstein's monster .But then, who are the real monsters?
I don't go to London often, but next time I will be looking out for the landmarks mentioned in the series, and craning my neck to find the Silver Dragons.
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on 27 February 2012
With more than its fair share of Magic and Monsters, Kate Griffith's offers up plenty of clever ideas and characters wrapped in a London that is recognisable, but never in a tour guide book kind of way.

For me, part of the fun in reading these books is recognising the places I live and play in all neatly wrapped in a believable, evolving mythology. It is this growing mythology that lends itself to smart turns enjoyed through surprising plot twists and the different and unexpected characters and groups who populate this magical London.

Swift is a character who would sit easily as a supernatural counter-point to the BBC's Dr Who (sci-fi), Sherlock Holmes (crime and logic) and Dirk Gently (the metaphysical). He's an urban magician, in the vein of John Constantine, though less cynical and with perhaps more of a sense of community to the London he resides in, though never quite rules over.

An alloy of man and magic, Matthew Swift is a character comfortable in his own (shared) skin, sometimes naïve in his dogmatic approach, but not all together innocent. He has a sense of how difficult life can be for your average, and less than average Londoner, and how magic, more often than not, only adds to that difficulty.

In this book Matthew seems to have put his own stamp on the role of Midnight Mayor, and the fractious relationship with the Aldermen has developed its own rhythm and expectation. Griffith builds on familiar themes of the powerful and mighty being out of touch with, and caring little for, the low and lowly. While Matthew Swift's social conscience is more in the fore, Griffith seems to be having more fun with him as he increasingly grows into his prestigious role.

And just like her man, Kate Griffiths writing is developing with each novel to become what is an enjoyable and readable writing style.

My only gripes are that occasionally characters I've gotten to like (or at least gotten used to) disappear just as they become familiar links into a particular magical group.
Some groups and characters can seem a little familiar and touch on the clichéd but I guess you don't need to reinvent the wheel when the rest of the vehicle is so interesting.
There are also touches of Harry Potter in the way the common world has a magical parallel (Night buses and magical NHS) though these are generally handled quite well and can be amusing.

Lets face it, at only 24 years of age Kathy Griffiths (her `nom de plum') generally comes up with something fresh and unexpected which, for the most part, all works fine, and she seems willing to put the pressure on herself to come up with a new take on an tried idea. Her writing and ideas are already good, and with this book you can really feel the kind of great writer that experience could make her.

I've found all four books a real treat to read, liked this one a lot, and look forward to more from Kathy Griffiths.
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Whilst the previous books bring supernatural London to the readers, they've always felt a little lighter than this title which is the darkest of the set. Within the pages, the reader is taken on a journey into the darkest recesses of the drug addled mind as hero Matthew Swift delves into his city's problem where walking drug labs (ordinary humans) are grabbed by the Supernatural community to feed their fix.

Its fast paced, the characters outstanding and when you add some wonderfully deliciously evil twists alongside great prose the reader is in for a real treat. Finally throw into this the author breaking out from her comfort zone with a newer style that keeps everything flowing and overall it's a title that was a treat for me.
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VINE VOICEon 10 April 2012
As of writing, this is the first 5 star review for this book. Everyone has their own personal opinion - I get that, but having read the other books in the series, I don't understand why.

This book is great. I'd waited for what seemed like forever to get this book, and knew instantly that I would love it. And I did.

The writing is as usual, brilliant. I love the style Kate Griffin uses, although I still maintain (as I have throughout the series) that this needs smaller chapters. I hate having to stop reading partway through a chapter, but there you go. Probably my only gripe with this book.

If you've enjoyed the first books, then you'll enjoy this one. Go, read it. Now.
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on 28 February 2017
Having read and enjoyed the others in this series, for some reason it took me years to get round to reading the final instalment, The Minority Council. The idea behind this one seemed quite different to the others, with more real-world parallels with the problems of drugs, addiction, corruption and homelessness. I also liked the way that the two strands – the dusthouses and the culicidae – tied together very naturally. Kate Griffin’s knowledge of the geography and atmosphere of different parts of London is exceptional, and the fantasy world fits convincingly into the landscape of the city. I also liked, in this book, the brief hint of romance with Meera – while it doesn’t go into detail, arguably it’s the reason for the entire plot, as Swift takes on the dusthouses due to his drive to save and then avenge Meera. That makes a nice change as, while Swift becomes close to various women in the other books, there is no hint of anything of a romantic or sexual nature.

However, the characters are killed off so quickly that neither Swift nor the reader gets to know them very well. That’s probably my main criticism of the series as a whole. Whether good or bad, friend or enemy, characters tend to enter and then leave within the same book; I think the only exception is Penny who has become Matthew’s apprentice. I like that Griffin isn’t afraid to kill off her characters, but it would have been nice to see some regular characters throughout the series.

In this book, I also found Penny’s dialogue a bit over the top; I don’t object to the use of swearing at the right moments, but at times Penny’s every other word was a swear word and I wished she could have expanded her vocabulary a little. It just seemed very unnecessary. I can’t remember what that was like in the other books but it stood out in this one.

On the whole, I think this is one of the best urban fantasy series. But, it still doesn’t match up to Griffin’s first novels (written under her real name Catherine Webb) – Mirror Dreams and Mirror Wakes. These will forever be among my all time favourite novels. I plan to go on to read Stray Souls next.
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on 4 March 2012
There's a drug on the streets of London destroying magicians and a shadow killing children and it's going to be up Matthew Swift to do something about about it, but can he trust his own council to help? Matthew has been settling into the job of Midnight Mayor in his own unique way, but it's not one which has gained him many allies among his own staff, or so he thinks.

I'm continuing to enjoy this series, though I think this installment was much darker in many ways than previous books. Also, the author's writing style seems to have changed a little in that it doesn't seem to be quite as witty as the earlier books. Matthew is at his most interesting in many ways when interacting with characters such as Penny who we already know and I'll be glad when this series gains a few more regular characters again after the events in [book:The Neon Court|8348904]. Overall, the ending makes me look forward to the next book in the series next year when I get my yearly dose of Matthew Swift. This is still one of the best urban fantasy series out there.
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on 22 March 2012
Like the previous books in the series - the strength of The Minority Council lies in it's unusual premise and fresh take on modern magic and how it would fit in with City Life.

Dust - the latest drug of choice for magic users is suitably grimm, but the secondary plot with the Soul eating creature did not really add a huge amount. interesting way that Matthew chose to wrap up the issue though - showing he is not that different to the minority council.

The character progresses in this novel, finally taking on the reponsibilty of his office - it wil be interesting to see how this develops in later books.

if you enjoyed the previous books in this series then you will enjoy this. if you have not read the other books however i suggest you go back and buy a Madness of Angels as new readers may get a bit lost without the backstory.
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on 10 November 2013
Again I feel very bad for the review of the first book and encourage any readers to at least sample the further ones as I have really enjoyed every other book since the first and am now reading the next series ( Magicals Anonymous ) where Matthew shows up as a guest to help a new shaman.

In this one we see him trying to take down corruption within the Aldermen and therefore affecting the city he is bound to protect.
The thing I really like is that he and the angels are now fully intergrated or appear to be and therefore everything that irked me about the previous ones where we did still see them 'take over' and waffle on is not present at all now. Perhaps that was a journey the character needed to make to grow into what I find more with each novel to be a great urban hero.
I look forward to reading more.
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on 3 June 2012
After the slightly disappointing _Neon Council_, Kate Griffin is back in form. Magical politics, magical vigilanteeism gone accidentally too far - never get a seventeen-year-old to design your ultimate embodiment of justice - magical crack-houses ... new problems set in front of Matthew Swift, Midnight Mayor with a tendency to get into tight corners and escape them by going spontaneously mega-mystic in a way that embarrasses (often into small pieces) everyone involved.

Tightly-plotted, with endearing characters and a marvellous vision of London by an author who really loves the place.
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