Trouble is, the more he discovers about the ghost in the archive, the more things refuse to add up - and the more deeply he's dragged into a world he wants no part of. What should have been a perfectly straightforward job is rapidly turning into a "who can kill Castor first" competition, with demons, were-beings, and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize. But that's okay. Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It's the living who piss him off.
©2007 Mike Carey; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"[An] ingeniously multilayered tale." (Publishers Weekly)
"A funny, frightening, thoroughly absorbing thriller set in an alternative London where ghosts and other supernatural things go bump in the night - and day." (Kirkus)
"An imaginative spin on the hard-boiled detective....Devil mixes horror and humor in a way that spells good omens for future Castor novels." (Entertainment Weekly )
The story is essentially a mystery investigation with some magic. The characters are engaging and the story was not predictable. That is what really matters in a mystery. I look forward to this detective in future stories. I would like to get to know him better.
Michael Kramer is a great story teller, his English accent slips alot, and while I did notice I was suprised that I really did not mind. He was a pleasure to listen to.
This was the best urban fantasy audiobook I've listened to ever. I bemoan the fact that Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series isn't available here, and up to now, I've had to make do with Kelley Armstrong and Charlaine Harris. Both of the latter are competent writers, but they always bog down the plot with romance elements.
Then along comes Mike Carey and melds the world of urban fantasy with the quirky, cynical narrative voice of the hard-boiled detective novels I loved as a teen. The characters are sharply drawn, the plot moves along swiftly and had me guessing right to the end, and the hero is someone I would like to spend an evening drinking with.
I agree with other reviewers that the voice actor did an excellent job of narrating the story, hitting just the right balance between snarky and straight-on suspenseful.
I just wish it were July already, so I could listen to the next book in this series.
Well done, brillian and funny with lots of ghostly warmth, delightful characters. I'm looking forward to the next Felix Castor adventure.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
I don't like the Dresden Files books so when I saw this one compared to it I was leery. I'm glad I gave it a whirl anyway. I guess I can see the similarities - Dresden and Castor both live in an urban fantasy world, with the ability to interact with supernatural creatures... but...
Firstly, Felix is not nearly as smug (full of himself/world rotates around him type attitude) as Dresden.
More importantly though, Carey's story is much more mature, darker, and quite serious. He tries to lighten it with some humor (which doesn't fall completely flat), but the topic and storyline is dark. And Carey has a huge "detective" component to this story - sure, it's an urban fantasy, but Felix is trying to solve a crime/mystery throughout and the plot and characters are all used toward this end. The story isn't spent introducing this supernatural creature, then that one, then another... it's spent with Felix trying to solve a crime - before he was even convinced there was one.
It's primarily a detective novel that includes ghosts and it was good enough, and mature enough, that I bought the rest in the series. Oh, and it had an interesting/original take on the origins of were-creatures which made a nice change. The narration is good.
You'll be glued to the headphones as the delightful Felix Castor has his latest adventure.
Crackling good characters, laugh out loud humor, delightful twists and tight plotting.
This was a wonderful surprise. Could not "put it down."
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.
I loved this book. Perhaps it isn't the most engrossing plot, but it was engrossing enough. It's the quick wit and humour that make this book and have me wishing for more from Mike Carey like his second work, Vicious Circle and his third, Dead Men's Boots.
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.
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