Hello! It’s Thinking Thursday, and that means it’s time for a review 😀 This is another book club read for me, and I have to admit that that I didn’t finish it in time, which is why this review is later than anticipated. Sidenote: one of the members of the book club said that the writing was reminiscent of young adult fiction (which Kate Griffin apparently wrote before) but I personally would still classify this as an adult book.
Title || A Madness of Angels (GoodReads)
Author || Kate Griffin
Published || 2010 by Orbit (Reprint)
Form || Paperback
Genre || Urban Fantasy, Adult
Rating || 4/5
Yay || Writing style, the worldbuilding (especially the magic system), London
Nay || The pacing, Dana Mikeda
Summary || Apparently brought back from the dead, sorcerer Matthew Swift seeks revenge on his killer.
I’ve been waffling over what I should rate this book, to be honest. Gut instinct said 4 stars, in part because I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I loved the worldbuilding and magic system. Logic suggested that the issues I had with it ought to drag it down more, but I kept coming back to the fact that I just really enjoyed it. If not for having to do actual things, I think I could easily ave devoured it in a sitting or two.
So I’m sticking with 4 stars.
I’m sticking with 4 stars even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the plot. The way the pieces fit together frustrated me. I felt like certain things were supposed to be red herrings—and then they weren’t. I felt like something was being built up to, but there was no realization of it—the biggest offender here is Matthew’s relationship with Dana Mikeda. I found it really disappointing.
I’m sticking with 4 stars even though it felt like the pacing was dragging and dropping and yanking me around a little bit. For a while, there would be a lot of interesting “nothing” and then the “something” that came was a dull, drawn out action scene. It’s a matter of personal taste, definitely, and another reader may not mind what I found to be the occasional boring spot in an otherwise really entertaining novel.
I’m sticking with 4 stars even though I thought the characters deserved more attention. They weren’t as deep or multifaceted as I would have liked, especially considering the paperback is just over 600 pages. The book had so much room to devote to character development, and it wasn’t capitalized on.
In part, I think that was because so much time was spent on the setting and the worldbuilding, and I loved them both enough that I don’t mind as much as I would otherwise. It wasn’t until after I finished reading that I realized I continued to read not because I wanted to know, necessarily, what happened to Matthew (I was convinced he wouldn’t die) but because I wanted to learn more about the world itself. The magic system was an amazing mixture of old myths and urbanization, and I adored every moment of it.
Even if, for the first 100 pages, I felt like a British Harry Dresden had lost his mind.
The disorientation of the writing style was absolutely perfect; because of character reasons, the first person dialogue is filled with “we” as well as I. I found this disorienting in an amazing way—it paralleled so beautifully with the actual disorientation of the character, and Griffin pulled it off so well, so naturally, so fluidly, that I can do nothing but applaud her for it.
I will, without a doubt, pick up the next book in the series. I want to know more about this magic system. I want to experience more of this lovely, poetic writing.
And that is why I’m giving it 4 stars.
Recommended for? Fans of the Dresden Files, lovers of interesting magic systems, people who have lived in London
Have you read A Madness of Angels? What did you think?
If you haven’t, do you now want to?
How do you feel about setting a novel in a real location?