The Naming of the Beasts

Felix Castor, exorcist for hire although lately he’s been dealing with some personal issues.  Namely how to stay so drunk, he can’t sober up.  Reality comes calling though and he crawls out of the gutter, cleans himself up and starts answering some of the message that have been left for him.  Instantly he wishes he hadn’t but all is not right with the people he likes to be able to call friends.  Gary Coldwood wants him to read a crime scene, something is very wrong with Juliet, and Pen has been looking for Rafi on her own. The not so well loved Jenna-Jane Mulbridge is sniffing about with an agenda all of her own and then there is Asmodeus.  It’s enough to drive a man back to drink but Castor is nothing if not a masochist.

I enjoyed this book far more than I did the previous one.  Not only was it a little lighter in tone, getting back the feel of the first three books, but the subject matter wasn’t as close to home.  All the major players feature, some loved, some not so, one by one coming on to the scene to start building towards the crescendo.

I felt the first half dragged a little bit, as the scene was being set up and things were put in to place.  The second half however was a rush and I couldn’t put it down.  It grabbed me and ran full pelt towards an end I thought I saw as inevitable.

The whole thing was cleverly written and hints given very early on in the book came to fruition much later and you start to wonder how on earth Mike Carey managed to keep all the different threads straight, let alone come up with them in the first place.  There were a few OMG moments which blind-sided me and I had to re-read those sections in case I missed anything in the run up.  I think one of those moments was an especially bold and brave move on the author’s part and it will be interesting to see if it has any future impact on the character.  If you’ve read the book, you’ll know exactly the part I mean.

Felix Castor has to be my favourite character in the book, irreverent, sarcastic and determined, you have no doubts he will get the job done or die trying.  I liked that you learned more about the other major characters, some of them proving that leopards can’t change their spots and others surprising me with their growth and realisation that not everything is black and white.

A good, solid and entertaining read, I look forward to the next instalment!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Mike Carey
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Thicker than Water

Being an exorcist means Felix Castor can usually be relied on when there is something ghostly going on.  It comes as a bit of a surprise when his name turns up written in blood by a man he hasn’t seen or heard of for nearly twenty years.  Called to the scene as a consultant with the Met, he now finds he has to defend himself from accusations of assault and no clue as to what happened.  And something strange is going on in the surrounding estate.  Names and faces from a painful past come to the fore and Fix finds himself in the middle of something that just might be bigger than he is.

If I could choose a word to sum up this book it would be: Bleak.  That’s not to say it’s not an excellent book with the story both engaging and absorbing, it’s just a tad on the bleak side.   I love the character of Fix but I do want to smack him round the head sometimes, he carries far too much guilt imposed by himself and others around him.  Maybe that just makes him all the more human.  I also found one of the main themes of the book very challenging from a personal point of view and while that coloured how I felt about it, I thought Mike Carey wrote about it with tact and made it integral to the story rather than a ‘oh look how bad I can make it’.  All in all it’s an excellent book but for me, not an easy read.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Mike Carey
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)