Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know (Felix Castor)The Devil You Know by Mike Carey is the first book in the Felix Castor urban fantasy series that takes place in a world that is populated with the undead. Felix, Fix to his friends, had been making his living as an exorcist, ridding the living of their undead neighbors or stalkers until a tragedy that left his friend Rafi possessed by a demon and living in an insane asylum. Fix doesn't take on cases any more, but he needs to pay the rent somehow, so when he is presented with an easy looking case in an archive for historical papers. The mysterious ghost seems to be wearing a hood that covers the top half of her face and has recently gone from benign appearances to striking out violently at an employee. Fix is hired to just exorcise the ghost, but as he starts investigating, things aren't exactly what they seem, and then a local crime boss gets involved. Felix is very similar in ways to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. They are both misanthropes with unusual abilities with a mysterious past. Fix, like Harry, is self-deprecating, but he doesn't have the same wry sense of humor, and the books is a bit darker for it. Carey has created a very unique world in Fix's London where zombies hover around schoolyards, and were-creatures are like nothing I've ever imagined. It's a fascinating world, but it's really Fix that carries the story. He has a deep sense of justice and the desire to make things right. His inability to save Rafi has put him on a quest to save everyone else he can, and this makes him an empathetic and heroic protagonist. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.