This tale of necromancer Felix Castor gives listeners a different type of mystery. Fix, as he is known to his friends, is an exorcist. In this first of a currently short series of two novels, Fix is engaged in exorcising a ghost from the Bonnington, a local archive establishment. A seemingly routine matter, Fix begins his queries in order to establish where, exactly, the ghost is and is surprised to find that the ghost is violent, an unusual characteristic for the "undead." The job begins to unravel, putting Fix in danger from the living, the undead, and a demon succubus named Juliet who has been contracted to kill Fix. Throughout all of it, Fix remains calm and the listener sees him turn from a necromancer seeking to make a buck to a necromancer righting a wrong. The tale keeps the listener engaged and overall it's a fun read. The birthday party scene at the beginning of the book is not really necessary to the tale, so it takes about three chapters to settle in. Nevertheless, the book is relatively well edited and there isn't a lot of filler after that. Narrator Michael Kramer has a good range of character voices, so it's easy to know who's talking. The listener does have to believe in a netherworld in order to enjoy the book. The ending is nicely done. It's not rushed, nor elongated, and sets up book two, Vicious Circle. Mike Carey develops his characters well and the listener has just as good a chance at solving the mystery as Fix does.
Mike Carey wrote more Castor novels after this, but The Devil You Know is the best of the series so far.
Michael Kramer is an excellent narrator, giving life to each character and fitting the tone and style of the novel superbly. (I found him so good that when I read the next two novels of the series in paperback, I could hear Kramer's voice in my head - wonderful!)
The birthday party is a fitting opening to Castor's story, giving just the right glimpse of his lifestyle, motives and sense of humor. All in all, an excellent alternate reality tale, putting a great spin on the concept of "were" kind. Succubus Juliet is beautifully rendered for all five senses.
Sadly, Vicious Circle and Dead Men's Boots are not as good, but I liked The Devil You Know so much that I will give Thicker Than Water a try, even go so far as to order from the UK before it is even released in the states...
I love most of the work Mike has done in the comic book world, so when I found out he had writen a novel I jumped at it with great enthusiasm. I enjoyed reading Lucifer and Hellblazer and was pleased to find that The Devil You Know was of the same vein. The Protagonist Felix Castor is enough like John Constantine to feel familiar with but just different enough to avoid law suites.
The story drags you along on a thrilling but plesant roller-coster ride of a murder mystery, with plenty of twists, without over doing the action or "fantasy" elements. It is well balance and writen in that perfect way that sucks you right into the reality in which Felix lives. Along with the serious themes their is a good smatering of humor and sarcasm. Best of all there is plenty of back story, character development, and foreshadowing to leave you craving the next Felix Caster book.
Come on Mike give us more...
I have not read something so imaginative and tactile since reading american gods by niel gaimen. The story very much reminded me of the neil gaimen book 'Neverwhere' but was a considerable lighter read than American Gods. If you love science fiction, you will love this story.
No. Unlike most reviewers I didn't get the book's dry English humor. The first half of the book was a lot of work and I didn't understand many of the references. I am a lover of the dresden files, and I was hoping this book would be similar. I just couldn't connect with the characters in the same way. The book did redeem itself somewhat in the second half because it did involve a good mystery. That said, I don't think I'll read the next in the series. Sorry folks. Couldn't jump on this bandwagon.
Fake English accent.
By Mike Carey, yes--and I have, in written form.
No good ever comes of having an American actor fake British accents. Ever. I've enjoyed Kramer's readings in the Wheel of Time series, so I know he's talented. This was a very, very bad case of the wrong person for the job. The book's narrator is supposed to be from Liverpool, the story is peopled with all sorts of characters who should have nuanced UK accents, and yet they all sound like--well, like Americans faking what they think English people sound like. Cringeworthy, frankly.
Clever, original, dark and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, this is a fantastic start of an urban fantasy series with an overarching story that the author never loses sight of. I deleted the truly unlistenable audiobook and paid for the Kindle edition instead, and am happily reading the whole series. Sad that the audio version was so wrongly cast.
I feel kind of bad for comparing this series to the Dresden Files, it's just that it's my Urban Fantasy Gold Standard. In the story we are introduced to Felix Castor who is an exorcist. He doesn't recite any rites or preacher the word of good, instead he plays a recorder to remove bad spirits.
There are many concepts that are immediately familiar for any Urban Fantasy fan Werewolves, demons, and supernatural powers all move the story along with a hunger for more.
In the Devil You Know Mike Carey spins a wonderful mystery that we questioning until the very end. The events of this book bloom even further as the second book, Vicious Circle, builds on great characters.
Author. Audiobook lover. UberGeek.
The Story itself was alright. A little slow to start, there is a lot of set-up and I found it took away from the story instead of being seamless in the narration. Vanquishing ghost via wistle idea is not that sexy, but I honestly thing most of my dislikes of this story were made up by the truely fantastic turn of phrases. Carey paints a picture with his words and his dry witt had me enthralled. The story has a real noir feel to it, all dark and stormy. The characters are gritty and not really fleashed out, there is lots of room for growth. Overall I'm looking forward to reading the next.
This audiobook is the perfect storm of narrator meets protagonist meets plot. Michael Kramer IS Felix Castor. He hits all the right notes here. And the story-Mike Carey does a great job of genre-bending. I do not care for Jim Butcher and this series is in the same vein but the writing here makes all the difference to me. Not for the faint of heart; there is gore galore but the witty dialogue and interesting plot twists make this book well worth while. The entire series is highly recommended.
From the very beginning---a wonderful scene of a horrible boy's birthday party and Felix dressed weirdly---I was enthralled. I absolutely adore Michael Kramer's sardonic narration and Mike Carey's excellent, descriptive writing.
I'm so glad I found this book and even happier that there are more books about Fix!