Monday, October 26, 2009

A Madness of Angels (Kate Griffin)

This book came very close to losing me.

It opens in first person, a rather frenzied, unexplained narrative, the main characters performs inexplicable acts and heads round London, engaging in a fairly unexplained magical combat with a creature made entirely of litter. Its meant to draw you in, but it failed with me. There was no tension, because I didn't really know what was going on, and I had no certainty that the story would make any more sense.

Luckily I was on a plane to America, so was forced to persist. I'm glad I did, because once our main character is forced to engage in some actual dialogue, the narrative actually takes shape, and its lovely. Set in a modern day London, with the idea that life itself spawns magic, it features such marvels as a creature of shadows begin kept back by a spell invoked by the terms and conditions of an oyster card, which manages to be hilarious and rather tense at exactly the same time. When the author takes her time to tell us whats going on, you find yourself in an involving and inventive narrative, that really does grip you all the way to the finish.

Its interesting though, how close it came to failing, to losing me entirely, by not grabbing me at the start, but almost actively repelling me. I would definitely recommend it, and indeed, give it a hefty chance to draw you in.

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