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Vicious Circle (Felix Castor (2)) Paperback – April 24, 2018
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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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"A treat . . . Castor follows up his excellent debut with this even better sequel . . . Genre-bending at its best."―Booklist (starred review)
"[A] deftly crafted, can't-turn-the-page-fast-enough read."―Kirkus (starred review)
"The Devil You Know is a spectacular novel, one of the best supernatural thrillers I've read in years."―Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of the Dead on The Devil You Know
"An imaginative spin on the hard-boiled detective . . . mixes horror and humor in a way that spells good omens for future Castor novels."―Entertainment Weekly on The Devil You Know
"Carey transcends his comic roots in this quirky, dark and imaginative tale that compels reader to keep turning pages long after they should have gotten to sleep."―Kirkus (starred review) on The Devil You Know
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I don't give plot spoilers in my reviews of fictional work, so I'll give my impressions of the book. The key element of how Castor's universe differs from our own (besides demons, ghosts, zombies, etc., being real) is that in the book, ghosts and zombies are becoming more populous and are noticed by mostly everyone, to the point that legislation is being considered that would afford the dead some rights and protections. Not everyone who dies returns, but many are, and no one knows why they are becoming more and more frequent.
As with his first novel, I found this book to be enthralling, well written, and with characters that engage you more and more as Mr Carey continues to flesh them out (heh). The plot is outstanding, with no major logic holes, and although unlike the first novel, you can occasionally see part of what's coming ahead of time. The book is long ... over 500 pages in the paperback I bought ... but I was sorry to see it end, and it doesn't feel anywhere near that long. There is a good bit of humor and clever dialog in the story, things I greatly enjoy.
The only thing I don't like, and it's more of a personal preference, it that it seems Mr Carey "over-writes" some scenes, and the book can occasionally feel a little ponderous as a result. But that's really a small personal nit, not a major problem.
While I liked the first novel a little better, this one is still a great read. While I think you could read this one without having read the first novel, I'd recommend you read the "The Devil You Know" first, so as to better appreciate the characters and parts of the story line. Five Stars.
Good characters, excellent writing for both atmosphere and dialogue, enough action to keep things moving right along, and some twists along the way.
Juliet and Nicky are great supporting characters, and the brooding sense of London that Carey injects onto each page is one of the things that makes this stand out for me.
What resonated with me was Carey's maturation as a writer: the red-herrings were subtle and difficult to readily identify, and the intentional misdirection and double-dealings (so reminiscent of noir writers and one of the features that attracts me to his writing) are more sophisticated than in _The Devil You Know_. An added treat is Carey's dry hhumor and snappy dialogue ("That's what Ilve never been able to get about religion: that charmless combination of altruism and insanity. Give me a cynical, self-interested bastard any day of the week; at least you can play chicken with him and know he'll stick to the rules.")
Having recently discovered the "supernatural detective" sub-genre, I am both pleased and impressed with Carey's writing and his characters. A fun, diverting read.
Top international reviews
Fix is approached by grieving parents, seeking the ghost of their dead daughter who has been snatched by another exorcist. And thus begins another satisfying thrash through London as Fix deals with (or runs away from) ghosts, demons, necromancers, paranoid zombies, were creatures, religious fanatics and the police, most of whom seem to have it in for him one way or another. You'll guess some of the well worn twists easily enough but it doesn't really matter - most of the entertainment is in watching Fix trying to untangle the web and extricate himself from his various troubles.
This one is a step up.
A biggish step up.
It is starting to look as if Mike Carey might be the new Robert Faulcon.
I read his Nighthunter series every few years, when I want some light (i.e. dark) entertainment of the pulp horror variety.
I came to Felix Castor via The Girl With All The Gifts which is full-on ace.
Looking forward to more Felix now.
Carey builds on his "universe" and it continues to be credible and compelling. I like the characters and this time out of the gate I think they're even better than the debut Castor novel; which is itself pretty damn decent. This one delivers even more and doesn't have a sour note, except for maybe just how brave and competent Castor is. How did he become so accidentally kick ass? Maybe the next book will tell.
I recommend without reservation.
As far as the story goes, I'm only a quarter through but it is hard to put it down. Fix is such a cheeky character who you end up liking so much and rooting for! Thank you Mike Carly.
Curiously, I picked up on the 'hero' being from Liverpool before it was described. I'm from the same place ,but a previous generation of escapee. I think it was the speech patterns, but I'm still trying to figure that out.
Up the good work
Well written, erudite and very well paced.