Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Dead Mens Boots Dead Men's Boots
by Mike Carey

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Katie Boyle

 Felix Castor is an exorcist in a world where the dead have started rising relatively recently, and no one knows why. To further confuse things, demons have also started to cause problems. It is a dark and frightening world.

When the story begins, Castor is at the funeral of another exorcist who shot himself. Through a series of seemingly unrelated events, a bigger picture emerges, and Castor and his allies have to fight to stay free of frightening and mysterious enemies. By the end, all the stories are neatly tied together and resolved.

On one level this is a typical noir novel. The world is grim, dark powers are ranged against humanity, and in solving his problems Castor is becoming ever more like his enemy. The danger of noir novels is that the writer can become so tied up in showing the grimness of the world that reflection weights heavier than plot or character development. However, Carey manages the story skilfully, and the grimness of Castor’s world is balanced by his own thoughtfulness and humanity.

I look forward to reading more books in the series.

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