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The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor) Paperback – January 5, 2011
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
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"There are some authors that guarantee a good read. Mike Carey is one of them . . . although it can be read as a standalone novel, you don't want to miss out on the previous four . . . The novels just keep getting better." www.sfrevu.com
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Of the four previous books, I enjoyed this most. The witty, dry sense of humor that is a hallmark of his writing style is always a pleasure to read, but in _The Name of the Beasts_ Carey includes what at first glance are red herrings to the central conflict that soon show to have broader implications to the story. Several loose ends and dangling plot points from previous books are also tied together, making finishing the book somewhat bitter-sweet: I wonder if we have seen the last of Felix Castor (I sincerely hope not).
While several of the books can be read as "stand-alone" stories, there are a number of references (and connections) to previous novels. If you are new to the author, this isn't the book to begin with, although you are certainly in for a real treat. Felix Castor is cut from the same cloth as Jim Butcher's Dresden Files ( Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) ), but with a little less noir and a little more sass. While it is a light, entertaining distraction, the series - and this book - are recommended.
The Naming of the Beasts is the 5th book in the Felix Castor series, and it's just as good as the previous four. No one writes like Mike Carey. He has created an alternate London full of ghosts, zombies (not of the brain eating kind), loup-garous, demons, and other supernaturals that lovers of urban fantasy and noir will want to visit again and again. Fix is tough and smart, but certainly not superhuman, and it's his rumpled charm that will get you every time (at least it does me). We get to wrap up a huge storyline in this one, with explosive results, but I have no doubt that Mike Carey has plenty more in store for Fix and his friends. There are endless possibilities with this series, and I hope Mr. Carey keeps Fix's world alive for some time to come. If you like Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, or Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant novels, you'll want to dive into this one head first. Superb writing, fascinating characters, and a haunted London steeped in history make these books a must! Very highly recommended.
Top international reviews
Although we get a completion of the Rafi story, aside from the usual blood loss and Felix withstanding no end of bodily punishment, it does feel a bit underdone.
And it’s all starting to get very familiar.
That said Mr Carey, outside of the Castor books, has written two of the best Zombie apocalypse novels going imo. He’s a great writer, the Castor books are just a tad too formulaic.
Mike Carey's final book in the FELIX CASTOR SERIES is a satisfying conclusion to the overall arc, tying together various plot lines but maintaining enough tension and twists to keep you turning the pages.
Felix has never been an easy character to like and he really tested my patience at the beginning of the book. His brush with alcoholism does fit his character but he's so self-pitying that I wanted to slap him. Things perk up when he hooks up with Jenna-Jane's Institute and I liked the way Carey shows the uneasy nature of their alliance and the double-dealing going on in both sides. I also liked the return of Trudie who's swapped the Anathema for the Institute and her sparring with Felix gives him a much-needed kick up the backside.
Asmodeus is really given free-rein here and for the first time I found him a fitting villain and a genuine threat. The way he sets about taunting Felix and Pen is cruel and chilling and he's an expert manipulator, able to get under the skin of Juliet. It's actually the Juliet storyline that didn't work for me - the breakdown in her relationship with Susan was so out of character that I did wonder why it wasn't ringing alarm bells with her (although Carey does explain this). I was also disappointed with its easy resolution, given that the situation is bad enough to involve domestic violence.
Carey manages to pull together all of the strands together for the finale, setting up a confrontation that kept me turning the pages waiting to see how it ends and which was a fitting conclusion to the series.
All in all, this was a great conclusion to an excellent series and I look forward to reading Carey's next work.
Picking up shortly after the events of 'Thicker Than Water', we find Castor being torn between self-pity and self-loathing. Having taken to the bottle, he is almost prepared to give up on everything, until enemies and friends conspire to drag him out of his funk.
Asmodeus/Rafi are on the run, causing random acts of savagery and havoc, Juliet is going mental, and human enemies are all over him...
I won't go into detail about the plot as it would spoil the ending, and seeing as there is one more book left (according to Carey), it may give you clues as to who/what his nemeses (plural) may be.
Excellently written, we get a feel for Castor, a laconic, sarcastic and down at heel exorcist with a clear sense of morals in a world that is being torn apart. The support sharacters are well drawn out too, from his undead version of Huggy Bear, to the new allies he amasses.
Possibly best read immediately after 'Thicker Than Water', this is the best book in the series by far and when Carey finally does finish up, I can only hope his next hero/anti-hero is as well realised as Felix Castor.
It was good to meet Trudie Pax again (a little romance there? I think so) in a much more engaging aspect. The foundations of an exorcist partnership between her and Fix has some interesting possibilities. The bit where they encounter Super-Self for the first time is wonderful thriller writing as well as clever tying together of strings that will be pulled later.
I preferred this book because it moves at a quicker pace and has plenty of action: the encounters with Asmodeus are adrenalin provoking, whether it be creeping through dark houses or being pursued at high speed towards a dead end. There's just enough blood and violence too; Carey is never too graphic with this, playing it as Fix's squeamishness, but with enough detail for the reader to construct a reasonably disturbing picture.
This writer has a great style when on true form (four books out of five, I would say). His prose conjures the most cinematic pictures and his evocation of atmosphere is calculated for suitable effect - that sounds a bit academic - he is exceptionally good at it, in other words.
Jenna-Jane has been rounded out into an admirable villain - your flesh crawls when you turn the page to find her mentioned. There is something of the Nazi scientist about her, cleverly done and which makes her detestable in a way mere description couldn't.
As always, I look forward to the next, and with Asmodeus "dealt with" (?) the opening up of new possible encounters with the hell-kin.
Read the books in order there are previous references to past books that could spoil it for you otherwise.
If you like Stephen leathers Jack Nightingale, Jim Butchers Dresden, or Kim Harrison the hollows series read this.
From other reviews I've read the audio books are excellent too. I will definitely be placing them on my wish-list.
Thank you Mr Carey thoroughly enjoyable romp through all 5 books so far.
Highly recommended, some really good ideas, excellent characters and great plots ... go on treat yourself, buy the entire series, you'll not regret it !!!