A Madness of Angels (Griffin)

Next up: “A Madness of Angels” by Kate Griffin.


A start to a new series.  The blurb on the front is right, it’s got a similar feel to Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”.  It’s probably therefor unsurprising that it wasn’t my cup of tea.  I won’t be reading the rest of the series.


Matthew Swift wakes up two years after his supposed death with three concerns: who was responsible for his resurrection, who killed all his fellow magicians/friends, and what are the ‘electric blue angels’ who now inhabit his body?

Swift takes us on a journey through a magical London to search out the person responsible for his death and the deaths of his friends.  He believes this person to be his former mentor, Robert James Bakker.  Fortunately, Swift is not alone in his determination to hunt him down.  There is a group who wish to stop Bakker and his organization “the Tower”, and they invite Matthew to aid them in taking Bakker down.  What follows is the search for the man and the battles that result.

My thoughts

I love urban fantasy and I really liked the premise of this book, but I couldn’t get into it.  It was so incredibly boring, and the prose was so incredibly bloated.  It’s really quite purple at times, so unnecessarily extravagant that I spent a lot of time just wanting them to get on with it.  Everything is described so ornately, but the characters aren’t developed.  You can see everything quite well in your mind’s eye, but you don’t feel anything for the characters because they’re just cardboard cutouts of people.  I love the idea that things develop their own magic over time, and that in cities the magic takes a very urban sort of form.  Monsters made out of trash, and creatures that live as electricity in phone lines.  These are so neat and imaginative, but the world they comprise was completely let down because the flat characters make it so inaccessible.

The book really could have done with less florid descriptions of the things surrounding the characters and more development of those characters’ voices and motivations and persons.


Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 2.51.15 PM

3/7 stars


Very brief mention of rape.


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