Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Madness Angels A Madness Of Angels
by Kate Griffin

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

There is something about London, England, that creates myths and urban fantasy and inspires writers. London is a city that people who write about it either love or hate, there is no middle ground. Kate Griffin loves London. This love became apparent when I realised that of the two fully formed characters in her debut book A Madness of Angels one of them is London – the other is Matthew Swift, a back from the dead sorcerer who wants revenge on the beast that killed him.

A Madness of Angels is interesting first book, reminiscent of Mary Gentle’s Rats and Gargoyles and Simon R Green’s London underground series, but, unlike the former, is set in the here and now and has more heft than the latter. Ms Griffin has created her own sophisticated world of subtle distinctions, where magicians create spells but sorcerers use magic, where were-creatures can be pigeons and bikers know the short cut from A to C by bypassing B. And Matthew Swift is a sorcerer resurrected with the connivance of the blue electric angels that dwell in the static ever present in the telephone lines.

If I have any complaints about the book they centre round lack of brevity – the trip from A to C frequently involved not only B, but a detour via the scenic highlights of D and sometimes E. But it was a very pleasant trip nonetheless.

If you like your urban fantasy bold and brassy this could be the book for you.

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