Happy hump-day! Today, I’m looking at a new urban fantasy, The Neon Court, or The Betrayal of Matthew Swift, by Kate Griffin. Fans of YA books such as Timekeepers or the Horatio Lyle series will know the author Catherine Webb–well, Kate Griffin is the pen name under which she writes her adult Matthew Swift series. So, here we go–and as always, you’ll have a chance to win at the end!
ABOUT THE BOOK: War is coming to London. A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point towards their ancient enemy – The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone loses. But Matthew Swift has his own concerns. He has been summoned abruptly, body and soul, to a burning tower and to the dead body of Oda, warrior of The Order and known associate of Swift. There’s a hole in her heart and the symbol of the Midnight Mayor drawn in her own blood. Except, she is still walking and talking and has a nasty habit of saying ‘we’ when she means ‘I.’ Now, Swift faces the longest night of his life. Lady Neon herself is coming to London and the Tribe is ready to fight. At the heart of it all is a rumor of a ‘chosen one,’ a monster that burns out the eyes of all who look at it, and a walking dead woman. Swift must stop a war, protect his city, and save his friend – if she’ll stop trying to kill him long enough for him to try.
MY THOUGHTS: I began reading this book without realizing it was the third in the Matthew Swift series, so there was a learning curve–and it’s why for the giveaway I’m offering up a choice of the first book in the series if you’d prefer. But, having said that, I really liked this book. If you’re a fan of Simon R. Green’s Nightside series (and I am), this story of an alternative, concurrent version of London will appeal to you, as will Griffin’s sharp, edgy voice and dry wit. The thing to know about it–that took me a while to figure out–is that Matthew Swift, the urban magic practitioner who is a resurrected being, inhabits his body with some angels. So occasionally, he shifts from saying “I” to a royal kind of “We.” This threw me until I went looking for a synopsis of the first book in the series to see what was going on. Still, this is a smart, funny read and I like it well enough that I’ll now go out in search of the first two in the series, A Madness of Angels (2009) and The Midnight Mayor (2010).