A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin

4 Jan
After turning the last page of this chunkster (not too bad – 613 pages), I felt out of breath, like I had just run a mile. (Let’s be serious – I’m out of breath after running a block.) Kate Griffin definitely knows how to bring the action. I really loved this book, and I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about it in the blogosphere. A Madness of Angels was just so…different. Totally unique (at least to me) in its world-building, A Madness of Angels starts off by dropping the reader into the middle of some dire, life-or-death-type circumstances and continues to manhandle you until the gripping end.

Matthew Swift awakens suddenly, naked and aching with pain, in his bedroom. Except it’s not his bedroom anymore. Because he died two years ago. Something has happened to Matthew, the only physical evidence of which are his new, bright blue eyes. Matthew was a sorcerer in London, once the apprentice to the most powerful sorcerer in London. Hints are dropped here and there, but it’s not until at least a hundred pages in that you begin to understand why Matthew refers to himself as “we” instead of “I.” Matthew has to figure out what he’s doing alive again, what happened to all his friends, and how he’s going to survive to exact his revenge.

I really appreciated the slow release of information in A Madness of Angels – you must figure out what is going on almost at the same speed as Matthew. The poor guy is in danger from page one, and between attempts on his life, betrayals by friends, and an ever-increasing list of enemies, I felt sorry for him but admired him for his pluck. Also, Griffin’s idea of urban magic and drawing power from the electrical lines, the subway tracks, the very beat and rhythm of city life is ingenious and surprisingly logical. Rarely have I felt such a sense of place in a book. Griffin knows London in a back-of-her-hand sort of way; London is easily a main character, with its own personality, likes, and loyalties. This is an excellent read for someone who likes action and wants to be kept on their toes.

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2 Responses to “A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin”

  1. Rebecca January 4, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    I’ve heard nothing of this book, but it totally sounds like my kind of novel!

    • Amanda January 4, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Rebecca, I thought of you a million times while reading this! I thought it was really unique (at least, to me) and I think you’d be really impressed with her writing style.

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