Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Review - Street Magic

Street Magic


Caitlin Kittredge

I bought this book back in June of 2009. I remember it was one of those books that I just had to get, right away. I read the first two pages when I got home, and then put it down and read something else....At first I was a little put off by it, not sure why. Maybe because it was third person narrative, maybe the beginning just wasn't doing it for me, maybe it was because I had another Devon Monk book to read or something. Don't remember really. I didn't get back to it until I realized that I had a new series by Caitlin Kittredge {one of the League of Reluctant Adults participants} that would work in the New Author Mini Challenge. I like her Nocturne City books. So I grabbed it up this week and started to read it late one night, right after I had finished reading Three Days to Dead. I remember it was late, and I thought, I'll just read the first chapter or two. Next thing I knew it was past two in the morning and I had read over 120 pages. I finished the book last night.

It's funny - I usually prefer first person narrative, will even put off buying a book if it's not first person. The exceptions to this are Terry Pratchett, Patricia McKillip, Robin McKinley, or Neil Gaiman. Pretty much any other book I get, I'm looking for first person.

Street Magic is a dark, dark fantasy. The main character is so flawed. The secondary character is extremely flawed, in fact, he's a straight up asshole. Pete (a female cop) has issues - issues that I think a lot of women have (falling for the wrong man). She's also pretty tough and in some serious denial about her abilities. This is not one of those books where the "bad" character isn't really bad, this guy has some issues and uses to self-medicate (that's all our excuses!). There is no sudden soberness for him either, this guy screws up a few times. Jack, her sister's former boyfriend is an addict. A strong magic wielding lost little-boy heroin addict. They end up working together, feeling strong dislike for each other to help find some missing children. Somehow, all this works. The story is full of surprises, dark fantasy figures, and bad things happen to people. There is also a nice mix of modern life, mixed in with legendary fae mythology.

There is a lot of action in the novel, and Pete begins to come to an acceptance of herself, as well as slowly learning that there's more to life than meets the eye. The dialogue between the main characters is wonderful. They say some nice things to each other, they say some horrible things to each other. There is absolutely NO sex in this book. Refreshingly, the characters aren't suddenly falling into bed with each other at an odd time, or suddenly making out with each other, although you can tell that at one time they were attracted to each other.

I was reading about very flawed people, who do some not very nice things, and I wanted to keep reading. I was really enjoying the not-so-perfect characters. I think that this book is way better than Caitlin Kittredge's Nocturne books (which I do enjoy). Even though the characters were so....broken and flawed, they still persevered. They egged each other on, and all the way through the book there was just the teeniest bit of possibility that things would work out.

The sequel to this, Demon Bound is available now, and I'm so glad that I won it in a contest, because it's sitting on my shelf right now. Until I finished Street Magic, I wouldn't have felt like buying the sequel, and I would have missed out on a very good series.

A good book to have your fantasy shelf

Book Challenges

new author mini-challenge
2010 Countdown Challenge (last book for 2009)
Speculative Fiction Challenge

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