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Stray Souls (Magicals Anonymous) Paperback – October 30, 2012

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Stray Souls (Magicals Anonymous) + The Glass God (Magicals Anonymous) + The Minority Council (Matthew Swift)
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Product Details

  • Series: Magicals Anonymous (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316187267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316187268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,263,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Kate Griffin flawlessly balances horror and humor to... pull off a funny yet frightening read about the supernatural-induced demise of London... both unique and addictive."—SciFi Now

Praise for the Matthew Swift series:

"London's magic has seldom if ever been brought to life so electrifyingly and convincingly." --- Mike Carey

"I'm fully convinced that Kate Griffin is a literary sorceress. She weaves the most intricate spells with clever, artful, snarky, luxurious prose, characters who are both painfully human and gloriously badass, and settings so magical you forget they're real places. When I get my hands on a new Kate Griffin book I put down everything else. She's just that good." --- N.K. Jemisin

"Griffin's novel mixes fantasy and reality into a plot that brings to mind Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere." --- RT Book Reviews

"Griffin's lush prose and chatty dialogue...create a wonderful ambiance." --- Publishers Weekly

"I love a lot of things about this book....the narration has meat and vitality, and it sings. Griffin's updating of magic is simply brilliant." --- Charles de Lint

"You need to read this series. Hands down." ---

"Quite possibly the best urban fantasy novel I had ever read." ---

About the Author

Kate Griffin is the name under which Carnegie Medal-nominated author Catherine Webb writes fantasy novels for adults. An acclaimed author of young adult books under her own name, Catherine's amazing debut, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was only 14 years old, and garnered comparisons with Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman. She read History at the London School of Economics, and studied at RADA. Find out more about the author at

More About the Author

Kate Griffin read History at the London School of Economics, and is now studying at RADA. A Madness of Angels is her first adult fantasy novel, to be followed soon by The Midnight Mayor.

Customer Reviews

The story was fast-paced, and fun.
Amirra Dittfurth
Can't wait for the next in the series to be realeased, this is a great book and looks to be the start of a great series.
Teresa Pietersen
This makes the plot drag, but I never felt like this or that part should be cut.
Angie Lisle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By @Julia_ATUF on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

Defining your identity can be hard enough for any person, without magical "extras" making you feel all the more isolated and alone. Kate Griffin puts the epic and the mundane side by side in STRAY SOULS. As Sharon's support group bumbles through their neurosis in a crumbling city, a terrible magic is killing those around them.

Unfortunately, it was just this snapshot writing style that made it hard for me to get into STRAY SOULS. 100 pages in, Sharon was still a cypher and I resented only getting spare glimpses of the Midnight Mayor and his fight against the Dog. Sharon is a modern hero, armed with self-help books and Google, but I was more than ready for her to grow out of "overly earnest support group leader" into "kickass shaman" by the time she actually started driving the story.

I had to adjust my expectation from "Urban Fantasy" to "Hapless British Comedy with Magic" before I could enjoy this book. STRAY SOULS is a story of misfits, complete with point of view "confessionals" from supporting characters. I loved the dotty, powerful characters immediately, Dr. Seah ("...drugs are cool - I mean, like medicinal drugs - they're awesome."), Sammy the Elbow, and Matthew Swift. The neurotic members of Sharon's support group took a lot longer for me to warm up to. As Sharon's patience grows thin and her temper flares, however, I enjoyed her more and more. But even as the characters started to win me over, I still found myself skimming past most of the social commentary and therapy jargon.

This is a book that I liked despite itself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick R. L. Henry on November 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stray Souls is a brilliant progression on the Midnight Mayor landscape. While it can be enjoyed as a standalone, I would advise that readers will be denying themselves full enjoyment if they haven't read the predecessor Midnight Mayor escapades.

It is a riveting, funny, wonderfully-written romp that enhances Kate (Catherine Webb) Griffin's already enviable reputation for creating new, imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable excursions in urban fantasy.

Five stars for sure and I'll be standing in line for the Sharon Li's next jaunt.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hatbox Dragon on September 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
... Seriously. I got three-quarters of the way through Stray Souls and realised that I didn't care whether I finished it or not. I did, but found no reason to change my opinion by the end. This book is just not very good.

In what does its lack of quality lie? A main character with no appeal, for starters. Sharon isn't interesting as a personality, her self-help and don't-discriminate shtick quickly wears thin, and she bounces uncomfortably between shy and supremely confident, ignorant and absurdly magically powerful. It doesn't help that I'm still not clear on exactly what a shaman is. The other new characters are collections of quirks and problems rather than personalities, and the majority of them could have been dispensed with without any real impact on the book. The plot isn't interesting, and there are all sorts of unconvincingly contrived reasons why the magical heavy hitters of London can't deal with the problem Sharon and her rag-tag-bunch-of-magical-misfits have been tasked with solving. There are multiple points of view, which sometimes shift within a single scene without warning and to no good effect. The pacing is off, with scenes of combat and tension interrupted for clever-dick conversations and supposedly funny byplays, and the influence of Terry Pratchett is far too obvious. The city of London is far less of a presence than it is in the Matthew Swift books, which seems odd for a story about a character who is supposed to be even closer to the city than he is. Perhaps most unforgivably, those excellent established characters, Dr Seah and Matthew Swift himself, are deliberately diminished to make Sharon shine.

I suppose what I'm wondering is, why? Why write this book? Why diminish your own creation?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book kind of makes me sad. I love the Matthew Swift novels, and it looks like these are taking over, which sucks. I want Swift back. I mean Griffin can do both, I will understand switching back and forth between series.
So in saying that, this is why I gave this book four stars. I liked it, but I didn't like it as much as the Matthew Swift series.
Sharon is not Swift.
Sharon (Hello Sharon) is a new age, walking self help book, which can be funny at times; did get a little wearing. I love her group Magical Anonymous, some more than others. I really loved Sally the art loving Banshee, Gretel the gourmet troll, and Kevin the OCD vampire with acute Mysophobia. These characters were fun, chock full of Griffins writing idiosyncrasies, her odd way of seeing things.
I also loved the running gags in this, Griffin is awesome with the running gags. I have been fond of them since The Great Muppet Caper (what color are their hand now), and there are two or three of them in this.
I also liked that you get another perspective on Swift, one where you are not in his head and you can see just how fallible he is. That he can't do everything, that he needs help sometimes, and that he is really not a people person.
I also liked the theory that every place has a soul, and that maybe the reason that no business can stay in business in certain buildings is because the soul is missing. We have a few buildings like that where I live, its a running joke to guess how long the new place is going to stay in business.
I digress, I really liked the melancholy ending with the big bad evil, the way Griffin made you think, and maybe feel just a little bit sad for him. Yes he was evil, but maybe there, just maybe there was a reason why.
Just sayin'
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