|Submitted by Anonymous |
(Sep 02, 2011)
I’d like to start this review by saying that humour in a fantasy or sci-fi novel is underrated and oftentimes overlooked. Humour has the power to keep a reader engaged and a lack of it is probably what deters many readers, including myself, from reading the really epic fantasies like those of George R. R. Martin. This book manages to weave humour into the story and also provide a great take on the ‘magical world in the real world’ format.
The world Green creates is of a fairly familiar theme- a select few know about magic in the real world (in this case, mainly England) and work to keep away the “conspiracy theories, monsters under the bed, ghosties, ghoulies and longy-leggity beasties.” In this case, the main force for good is the Drood family, who have quietly worked behind the scenes for centuries to keep Earth, and the 3rd dimension in general, as a safe place. This is achieved through the torcs they wear around their necks, which activate to become impenetrable golden armour that gives them superhuman abilities. However the Drood family are not without their secrets, and have grown so large that factions and rogues have started to pop up within it.
One of the best aspects of the book is that it is written in the first person and the character, field operative Eddie Drood, has a witty and interesting view of the world that he has been born into, and keeps that humour going even in the more dangerous situations he gets entangled in. His story is engaging as well, as he is declared rogue and pursued by his own seemingly all-powerful family. He must evade the forces of the Droods and become caught up in the seedy magical underworld to find answers and uncover the secrets of his own people.
This book is easy to read, and provides action and laughs in equal measure. The characters are well-imagined and the magic and creatures are original. This is a must for any fans of Jim Butcher’s Dresden files, as it runs in a similar vein. Very enjoyable.