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The Devil You Know (Felix Castor Novel Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B000QRIGVM
- Publisher : Orbit (July 10, 2007)
- Publication date : July 10, 2007
- Language : English
- File size : 2375 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 417 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #89,094 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"…Well, sometimes cruelty is kindness in disguise. Sometimes pain is the best teacher. Sometimes it does you no harm to realize that there’s a limit to what you can get away with."
"The party guests milled around like a decapitated squid—lots of appendages, no brain, faintly suspect smell."
"He was an elegant parasite who managed to make you feel you should be thanking him while he scrounged off you."
"But if God had meant us to climb the mountain in a day, he would have put in a chairlift."
This series has every possibility of making me completely obsessed, and I’m excited to see where this goes.
The really boiled down plot is basically about an exorcist, Felix, who is hired to get rid of a ghost. I’d consider this more of a supernatural mystery. It starts out pretty simple but takes on some nifty twists and turns along the way.
The setting is an alternative London where ghost are common. There’s some otherworldly creatures that make a showing and up the action. I think Carey did a great job introducing us to the world without pages of lengthy explanation where every nuance is revealed regardless of its association to the current story. I had everything I needed in order to understand what was happening. With ghosts being a common, known part of life, it created an interesting take on what is commonly hidden from the general public in other such books. It’s out there, and Felix’s profession is used and recognized, to a certain extent. I was going along with this just fine until a friend pointed out that for a world where ghosts were supposedly so common, there were a few people who hadn’t seen them or didn’t believe in them. Looking back, I would have liked that explored a bit more. Or perhaps I missed something.
I liked the characters in this book. Despite the cast surrounding our main protagonist, Felix was by far my favorite. He’s been through some stuff that’s made him a bit unsure of himself, and it’s given him a rather grim outlook. For me, I loved the voice of Felix. It drew me in quickly and held me the entire time. He has a bleak outlook sometimes, but it’s delivered with subtle humor and cynical sarcasm, but it’s not overly done. Even better, I could actually feel him growing in this book. By the end, he’d changed, and I’m a huge supporter of where he’s heading. I guess I was drawn to him so thoroughly that it made the other characters a tad bland. They all have their own quirks, but they felt standard: a plucky, adventurous girl; a long-time friend that’s there for him; a bad mobster type villain. There’s a few characters that have huge potential, such as his brother and a conspiracy zombie nut. I’m thinking since this is just book one, those characters will unveil deeper meaning as time progresses.
As I said, I loved the voice of Felix which led me to enjoying the writing. It moved quickly. The pace was nice. The action great. My only negative comes down to the very very lengthy descriptions. I don’t live in London, so a lot went right over my head. None of it helped me imagine the setting, probably because I grew too bored too quickly to take the time to let it. Moreover, it bogged everything down.
I won’t compare this to Dresden as many have. The characters and world are different enough that I’m not inclined to do so. And I feel this is very different from Constantine, which is another comparison I read. Right now, Felix is very ghost oriented, whereas Constantine is more heaven and hell focused. These might eventually converge—I can see the potential of it—but as it stands now, they’re different.
So overall, if you like the supernatural and mystery, I highly recommend this book.
My problems with the book begin with the main character, who really did nothing to make me care much about him. At the end, when he had his encounter with the succubus, i didnt care if she killed him or not. While the author had Flit say and do the right things, there wasn't much emotion or feeling in the writing that came across to me, the reader. it's like he had all the blocks laid out for it to attach emotionally, the murder victim, the bad guys, etc, but the writing skill to pull it all together and emotionally impact the reader was missing and missed badly.
It wasnt a bad book--i finished it. but i have no desire to see what comes next for our exorcist. I asl felt that having a succubus volunteer to join his team when she had the entire world to do her thing to was beyond ridiculous.
Both live in London and thrive in all the seedier corners.
Both had a life altering “failed” exorcism which still haunts them today.
Both are right bastards especially with the fairer sex.
Hmmm, I’m pretty sure I could go on but most importantly both were written by Mike Carey. He wrote for DC Vertigo for years, I remember very much enjoying his work on Lucifer and Hellblazer. His Constantine stories rank up there with those by Ennis. Perhaps he felt he had more stories to tell with the character and created Castor as a way to tell them since Vertigo is no more and DCs current take on Constantine is at best a watered down version.
It took me awhile to get into this book. It didn’t immediately grab me like “ The Girl with All the Gifts” did but I eventually did get into it and enjoyed it.
Felix is an anti-hero, a bit beaten down by life, somewhat misguided, but with a good heart. In this first novel, he has an awakening of sorts, which paves the way for the future novels. Though, this IS a complete story and mystery which develops nicely throughout.
I first read this series back when it was published in the early 2000’s, and now I’m rereading it because I recalled how much I enjoyed this world and these characters!
This book was as good as I remember it being. On to the next Felix Castor mystery/murder/mayhem novel! Did I mention the mayhem?! Fix (Felix) really knows how to explode just about any situation! He’s quite funny.
Highly recommended to all who enjoy dark fantasy.
Top reviews from other countries
It's difficult to say what era these stories are set - it doesn't come across as quite present day; there's a 1980s London twang to it and the Internet is barely mentioned. I liked the character of Fix, even though he inhabits that private eye cliché, a cynical but self aware character often struggling to come to terms with the moral consequences of what does. He's well read, has a nice line in sardonic humour and is unafraid of a fight, but is no hero, is occasionally petty and will break the law to get what he wants. It was not much of a surprise when I realised Mike Carey wrote many tales for Hellblazer, aka John Constantine. If you are familiar with the doings of Constantine, you'll know the sort of thing to expect here.
Felix is an exorcist but you kind of get the feeling he really doesn't want to be. Well, amongst other things he did kind of lumber his best mate with a demon for a soul mate, but that wasn't all Felix's fault.
A crime story, an urban fantasy myth, or just a bloody well written story - however you slice it, this is worth the cover price.
So do yourself a favour - buy it. I sincerely doubt you will ever regret it. But if you start looking more closely at the shadows, don't blame me.
I will be continuing the series.
Onto the positives : - Its a well-written , humorous and exciting story and introduces some great recurring characters who you'll be happy to see again in the series.
Having read through a couple of the other stories now its also obvious that there is an overall arc being developed which is also good news.
Bad news is that I thought I was buying one book and have been forced through the sheer entertainment of this one to get the lot to see what happens.
That'll teach me -- in a nice way. !!