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I liked the storyline - it was different and was spun out with a light and amusing touch. The characters were well-crafted, and I actually found myself caring about their outcomes. I had guessed the ending before we got there, but it didn't spoil the twist at all. Overall, a very enjoyable tale.
But (and it's a big but) the narrator is truly awful. Think Lloyd Grossman channeling Dick Van Dyke and you've got it! Other reviewers have pointed this out and I have to agree with them. He mangles the English language and comes close to totally ruining the story - every few minutes I was wrenched out of the illusion by a dreadful American-style pronunciation. This jars with the characterisation in the book - and I feel sorry for the author who (I hope) probably had no choice in the matter.
If you can tolerate the narrator then go with it - it's a fine piece of story-telling with a different slant on life (and death). I would have given it 4 stars but for the narrator.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I would have happily given this book 5 stars. I love Mike Carey's graphic novels and I was pleased to see that his writing style works equally well in novel format. Felix Castor is an interesting character, the plot was intricate and the world he created believable. My problem was with the narrator.
He is obviously an American trying to do a British accent. The one bit of personal information we learn about Castor is that he is from the north of England so quite why we get a fake cut glass posh accent is a mystery. The supporting cast fare even worse with accents ranging from Australian to Irish, often in the same character. Words are pronounced in the American way - Zee instead of Zed, docile becomes dosil etc. It was so jarring and kept throwing me out of the novel. He has no understanding of some of the British phrases and at one point he says A.S.D.A (as a series of initials) instead of Asda. It was awful. All we needed was a guest slot from Dick Van Dyke!
As written this is a very British novel but it ends up feeling as if Felix is a complete stranger to the UK. Contrast this to the wonderful narration of Ben Aaronovitch's 'Rivers of London' series.
I see that the narrator changes for books 4 and 5 - I hope it's for the better!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful