❮Reading❯ ➷ A Madness of Angels Author Kate Griffin – Motyourdrive.co.uk



10 thoughts on “A Madness of Angels

  1. says:

    Sometimes an author captures my imagination, and as long as they fail to become blazingly incompetent, I m along for the ride So it was with A Madness of Angels.Matthew Swift wakes up from death, lost, confused, unaware its been two years since he died, as for him it feels like moments ago The terrible and fascinating hook to his story is that as a sorcerer, he was dialing the phone as he died and the phone lines are the home of the electric blue angels, the bits and pieces of humanity spun out over the wires and taking on life of their own When Matthew is brought back to life, he is no longer alone in his familiar body he shares it with the electric blue angels, along with their talents We be light, we be life, we be fire We sing electric flame, we rumble underground wind, we dance heaven Come be we and be free Griffin s concept is given life pardon the pun by a fascinating use of language, a type of lyricism rarely seen in urban fantasy and which reminded me as much of scat and bebop as a written narrative And, as I pointed out in a Booklikes post, than a little bit of Fame s I Sing the Body Electric Although I enjoy a wide range of music, my reading experience and my musical listening experience are almost always two separate things Griffin provided me a rare experience and enjoyment with her lyrical writing With the musicality of the narrative, all I needed was a semi coherent plot and I was sold Thankfully, the rest of the details were than competent.A hallmark of many types of urban fantasy and mysteries are the emphasis on location The setting is virtually a character, providing mood, spiking thought, inciting action London is a chief player in this series, and with loving and full detail, it is clear Griffin is no mere tourist I once read an apocalypse book set in a New York that the author very clearly had only visited if seen in person at all Some places are so iconic that they take on a role beyond their actuality Hollywood is one of those places dirty, dingy, filled with the outcasts of humanity and cockroach infested diners, the imaginary Hollywood bares little resemblance to the reality Not this London This one is very real,with tired commuters, overflowing rubbish bins, and confusing and obscure tube system I liked it, and because the angels are new to the corporeal experience, their joy in the details, in all their glamorous and dirty variety, was contagious.If the rest of the characters weren t quite as developed as Swift Angels and London, they were still reasonably done There is a nice ambivalence surrounding Matthew s former teacher Bakker, for his role in teaching him the craft and his ultimate path Oda, an anti magic fanatic, has little finesse to her arc, but is done well enough that it added an element of tension Sinclair and Charlie were very interesting and not at all predictable There s a nice amount of dialogue, occasionally delightfully described Yes, she said, in the weary voice of someone who knows where this conversation is going and can t believe she has to wait at the traffic lights to get there Magic has an unusual flair as well It is supposed to be urban magic, evolving to its place and time, and one of the first malevolent creatures encountered is a trash beast Then there s the magic of the city the rituals of public transport gating, the mystery of the ATMs I loved the graffiti magic angle and a perfect twist on the out front yet underground language of the city, decipherable to those in the know The magical healer connected to the NHS cracked me up The city creatures are perhaps not precisely magical, but echo real life cities with an abundance of pigeons, rats and foxes The Beggar King and Bag Lady were nice magical elements, echoing the parable of those least among us Griffin cleverly avoids the over powered magical protagonist as well As Matthew is so new to his body and abilities from the electric angels, there s believable limits on what he is reasonably able to accomplish, despite the abilities of both sorcerer and electric angels Plot is perhaps the least unusual aspect of the story, but with so much going on with narrative and magic, it s rather nice to have something sort of straightforward Swift and the angels seem to agree on revenge, and part of toppling a mighty sorcerer means toppling the pillars that support him I m not entirely sure this worked logically in any sense of the word, since everyone was on the defensive after the first went down, and because the sorcerer seemed than capable of taking care of himself without said supports The mystery surrounding Matthew s death was rather unsurprising, as well as the ultimate denouement.That said, I ll undoubtedly read it again a story that hinges on narrative, character and world building is enjoyably revisitable The enthusiasm Swift and the angels have for life is contagious, and make it a moderately uplifting read This is one that needs to be was added to my personal collection Highly recommended, but only for those that can tolerate a certain poetic laxity of narrative.


  2. says:

    Hands down, one of the most God awful books I ve ever read Ever The edition I read had 458 pages It could have easily been whittled down to 150 Really The descriptions of mundane things went on and on and on forever I feel like this book has sucked years off of my life Ok, maybe a couple of weeks Every night I kept trying to finish it, and every night I fell asleep after about 15 minutes I honestly think I deserve some kind of a medal for reading all of it To be perfectly honest, I had to have a few drinks to fortify myself before I finally managed to slog through the last few chapters um, so please excuse any spelling errorscause I can t see so good right now The plot could have been really cool A sorcerer wakes up two years after his death, and we get to be there while he unravels the mystery of his resurrection Sounds good right No It s not Matthew Swift is not so much unlikable as he is not even sure how to describe this a non character He didn t even seem like a real person No one in the entire book did There was not one single character that I felt anything toward Do you know how hard that is to do I couldn t have cared less what happened to him or anyone else by the end of the book Oh, wait I see this is part of a series snort One that I definitely won t be reading


  3. says:

    I had high hopes for this book, and it has some splendid ideas Ultimately, however, two things about it annoyed me so much I can t give it an enthusiastic thumbs up I do see how this can be a matter of taste, and perfectly respectable readers could give this five stars Bet here are my beefs Length and Plot The overall structure of the book is that our protagonist, newly resurrected urban sorcerer Matthew Swift has to destroy a chief bad guy gamers will recognize him as a boss who has rings of protectors and junior bosses to be gotten through first There are puzzles to solve, preparations to make, setbacks to un set back, and then a big fight scene where the preparations pay off and we see cool magic This cycle happens several times in the course of the book And it s just not enough If you re going 500 pages, you need There are interesting digressions, a couple of them, but they are just not really compelling as sub plots.Too LushIf nothing else, Griffin can write beautiful, lush prose The problem is that there s too much description, not just of settings, but also of feelings Now I like good settings and characterization, and I like lush prose But it needs to lead somewhere than it does here Griffin, for example, strings together long lists of seemingly disparate lexical nuggets in order to show the complexity of something she is describing This is a really great device, but it appears over and over, and I got sick of it The problem is not the particular string of attributions, but that the tenth such string ceases to inform us about the plot or characters And then there are the similes and metaphors Again, than we need An example Our hero summons a spirit, and we get a bunch of description, including His eyes were the amber of traffic lights, his breath the swish of traffic passing on a wet night his skin has the colour of old chewing gumCool, right But a couple paragraphs later, we get this, in the midst of some action His teeth weren t even solid, but lumps of pale, half chewed bubble gum that formed sticky fingers between his blue lips A wisp of breath that rattled like train wheels across shining new rails, a creak in his bones as he shifted his weight like the sound of a rusted gate banging in the windMe, I just get tired trying to assemble all those images and attach them to the spirit in the scene He s creepy looking and rickety, we get that, but how much does it matter that the rails are new Then, in my annoyance, I get picky why use chewing gum twice, huh Skin and teeth, unless he s a gum spirit, and we have no indication of that Then those rails To train wheels really rattle across shining new rails, or do they generally rattle along them, unless you really mean that our train is passig over switches or crossings, which makes the description of breath far too complicated Finally, that creak in his bones the bones can creak like a rusted gate swinging, but if the gate bangs, that s not the sound of bones creaking, is it Ack.Finally, because our hero is inhabited by electric blue angels, he goes back and forth between first person singular and first person plural I to we in the narrative Although this reveals his inner multiplicity, it s too cumbersome and confusing, particularly when he is doing something with another character when Griffin writes, we entered the disco, we don t know whether Swift is speaking for the angels within, or reporting that he and his friend both entered.Some good points The opening has that yummy confusion where you re dropped into the action in a strange environment, can t fathom what s going on, and get to come gradually to be able to follow the narrative Goes on a little too long, in my opinion, but I liked it The whole notion of urban magic is terrific, finding the magic in the city Swift often, for example, draws power from electric systems and the organization that arises from people living closely amid infrastructure creates its own peculiar magical enclaves, for example, the spirits of conversations that linger in the lines or the teleportational resonances between suburban streets that seem identical.


  4. says:

    I really love this book The premise is just so different I love the way magic works, and what it is to be a Sorcerer The Bikers were really interesting as well I love the complicated mess that is Matthew Swift, and the Electric Blue Angels I love how there is no real, clear lines between the two of them, and how often they merge and blend The plot is well done, and tightly paced The secondary characters are a varied bunch, and form an integral part of the story rather than just being an afterthought, or a foil for Matthew For me the stand out of this book is the writing It s vibrant, alive, and reminds me of what I love about British humor, and style There was a lot that reminded me of the feel of Doctor Who, Neil Gaiman, and Douglas Adams without ever feeling like the author was copying anything just that they shared a similar sensibility, and taste I loved the blend of humor, and darkness It s not a light read, but it s not an oppressive one either One of my all time favorite urban fantasy series.Oh, I can t resist one of my favorite quotes All part of the service, she said Now I m going to get bandages Please don t evaporate into you constituent parts before I get back.


  5. says:

    Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma which reading list to follow it up with Variety is the spice of life, so I ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES list.I loves me a good series But I m terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I ve got on the go.My wife and I found our way to A Madness of Angels through Mike Carey s Felix Castor books In the blurb at the back is the publisher s spiel, if you liked this you ll love Kate Griffin In our house, Castor is up in silver medal position on the Urban Fantasy podium, second only to the great Harry Dresden with Peter Grant currently picking up the bronze So we went hunting for a copy of the book.My wife started reading it, put it down, whinged about it, picked it up, put it down, whinged about being pregnant, etc and it took her several months to actually finish the damn thing, by which time I would have been happy to never to have to hear about it again, let alone read it myself Her main complaints were self indulgent, stream of consciousness prose found it hard impossible to connect with the main character the style of urban magic was too contrived cute My wife and I have similar taste in books something which drew us together when we met but every now and again we disagree completely There are some pretty mixed reviews of A Madness of Angels here on Goodreads More than a few people agree with my darling wife, but those who praise the book said enough to make me give it a chance.It took me while to get into, but by the end I was convinced I m a Matthew Swift fan Kate Griffin goes about her Urban Fantazy business a little differently to her peers For one, her hero starts the story dead kind of let s say disincarnated For two he s possessed kind of it s a symbiotic relationship For three, Swift is a sorcerer not a wizard like Dresden or Grant Those first two points are strongly connected and lead directly to the first two complaints my wife had with the book Swift is an urban sorcerer, but he was murdered a couple of years ago by forces unknown With his last breath Swift poured his dwindling life force into the telephone lines where his spirit was sheltered by the equivalent of an urban elemental spirit the electric angels born of telephone conversations When someone summons Swift back to the mortal plane the angels come along, tangled up with him.Because the story is told first person, the narrative voice is odd Mathew Swift himself is disorientated from death and reincarnation the electric angels have never been corporeal before, and take a childlike delight in every fresh sensory revelation Because every sight and sound his hitting the angels so hard, and Mathew is in such a mental muddle, the first couple of chapters are vivid and intense, but also a little tricky to get a handle on It seems like some readers who don t gel with this beginning, never really click with the book and don t enjoy it I was a little sceptical, but some of the prose is delightful so I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.Next, we move onto the fact that Swift is a sorcerer not a wizard these two words may seem interchangeable if you re not a fantasy aficionado but they represent two very different mind sets Wizards like Harry Potter, Harry Dresden, Peter Grant, Gandalf the Grey, etc increase their power and abilities through study, they come from a schools and traditions with systems of magic Their magic is rule bound, often using set tools and techniques wands, staffs, broomsticks, spell books, potions, etc Sorcerers are a very different kettle of fish to steal a Discworld definition a sorcerer is a source of magic Sorcerers fly by the seat of their pants, taking inspiration from their surroundings to create their magic on the spur of the moment To compare magic and music wizards are like orchestra musicians, working with others to learn and perform famous compositions, but sorcerers are like jazz artists, improvising on their own Or maybe wizardry is the science of magic, sorcery the art A good sorcerer needs to be aware of his surroundings A good sorcerer needs to see the potential in the world before him These qualities give Swifts narration a strongly lyrical quality, a somewhat tangential train of thought and stream of consciousness again, I can see why some readers didn t gel, but I found the positives outweighed the negatives comfortably.Matt Swift is an urban sorcerer, so the powers he s tapping into are the ebb and flow of city life Graffiti Cash machines Wheelie bins Tube stations Pigeons I love London and found it all delightfully evocative, there are some wonderfully imaginative scenes and concepts Because Matt is now twinned with the electric angels, he s now regarded by the magical big wigs of the city as something of a power player, opening some interesting doors.My only complaint really, is that come the end, the final antagonist is a little underwhelming It s a gradual build up Matt has to figure out what s happened while he s been dead, why he s been brought back and by who and then work his way up through various henchmen to fight the big bad I was right there, every step of the way, until the final showdown, which left me all meh I loved the badass dragon though Overall, I enjoyed A Madness of Angels a great deal and I m very much looking forward to the next in and the rest of the Matthew Swift series.After this I read The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents


  6. says:

    This book is interesting and has tasty bits like folklore, a very typical example of UF, interesting character interaction, a little bit of humor and fighting scenes It could have worked and I confess, there were times when I enjoyed reading this book, but the whole picture lacked a sharp hook enough to hook me entirely The beginning was quite good, but after30 pages I got tired of detailed sentences I did this, then I did that, I went there, then there Oh those wanderings and memories The remarks to run, run, run had almost worked for me and I had a thought to run, run, run from this book, but I guess it was a test cause after that I got interesting stuff with thrill, magic, secrets and intrigue D And then I found out that untasty things have a tendency to return as the writing felt excessively or unreasonably aimless sometimes Some dialogues or descriptions had no value for the story or the character On the other hand, this book has tasty things too It definitely has some interesting characters magicians, deadly killing machines Combined with mythic background, urban fantasy and action it s not so bad I quite liked Swift and his double personality though at first it annoyed me to read the I we interaction Swift is not a badly written character He is hard to kill, he has no home and no friends Though, the author didn t provide much about his personality or likes Of course Swift is arrogant, but caring for the living and morality It s strange but the evil master s four human chiefs helpers made a bigger impression on me I felt that their characters were developed and had interesting background and magic powers I loved how the author created and presented the necromancer with some hints to the history of Golems and the one, who was close to Swift in the past their dialogues added spices and fun to the story.Magic plays a great role in the story and it was presented in an engaging way Also I liked how the author presented London It s definitely the longing for Peter Grant D The ending was also very good, in fact I didn t expect such a gripping clash Ech, and now I m thinking, why oh why, the author didn t make Swift appealing in a magical and character way To sum up, this book has tasty bits to hook me for some time, but I think the story and the main character need to be fortified for their background I m leaving Mr Swift to recuperate his powers of mesmerism.


  7. says:

    Notes from a third read Matthew Swift is back, but no one is exactly sure that he is him He visits the shop of a prophet who once foretold his death You want to tell me that you re Matthew Swift Is this a bad thing You are a dead man, Matthew Swift You must have customers flocking to hear your predictions It was a statement of fact, of history. It pays for prophets to be cryptic, particularly in this litigious age, I wheezed The sorcerer Matthew Swift was killed or at least disappeared, leaving an extremely copious amount of his spilled blood behind two years ago, and has suddenly reappeared with an apparent personality disorder and magic than ever at his fingertips A visit to a nurse at a supernatural hospital sums up the problem No We wantno Please Help us Help us, or help me We are the same You sure she asked nicely Only it seems to me that one of you has blue blood, and one of you has red, and one of you knows about the things that were in the phone line and one of you, probably the clinically dead one, has a better grounding in the personal ego not that I want to speculate beyond my training, you understand You may share the same skin and the same voice, but I m really not entirely sure that you re working on the same track So serious, and yet there are flashes of humor here A temporary removal of the fourth wall made me laugh After all, we are talking urban fantasy For a ludicrous moment I wondered if there were any air ducts I could crawl through to get inside the office but life was not like the movies And a social statement, and why I consider Kate Griffin s urban fantasies to be something far substantial than candy bar reads If asked why they did not give charity to beggars , the standard reply is They would only have spent it on drugs Unkind as this is, the bastard s reply is even worse It s their fault they re here why should I waste my money on someone who can t be saved Thus, with a single swoop, the entire population of old, young, black, white, frightened, bold, subdued, cowering, cold, ill, hungry, thirsty, dirty or addicted are classified as self destructive, and every ignored face, every shadow blotted out of the memory of the stranger on the street can be classified by a single word failed.


  8. says:

    Matthew Swift wakes up on the floor of his apartment two years after he was brutally murdered Now he has no money, no clothes, and an otherworldly presence in his head Luckily, Matthew Swift is not your typical Londoner he is an urban sorcerer, and he has a few tricks up his sleevesI loved loved LOVED the magic systems in this book This book is one of the few with thoughtful, exciting, non traditional magic others that spring to mind are Hellblazer, Night Watch, Neverwhere, and the Books of Magic Another thing that surprised me was how much I liked Matthew Unlike pretty much every urban magician I can think of I m looking at you, Dresden and Constantine , he s not a jaded asshole He has a sense of wonder and delight in his city that translates to the reader The battles are exciting, the characters interesting, and if the climactic battle is a little less climactic than I expected, well, it was still an enthralling read I recommend this to anyone looking for an urban fantasy fix


  9. says:

    I really wanted to like this book especially since a friend here recommended itsorry It s not that it s a bad book The idea is fairly original, based on the concept that urban settings cities etc will or have developed their sort of magic Charles de Lint for example has worked with similar ideas The story is a pretty good one and the writing contains some very nice prose Somehow the book just never appealed to me however I couldn t get involved with him them I would recommend that if you like Urban Fantasy you might try this one for yourself Where I felt it was a bit meandering and possibly the writer liked his own prose a bit too much the opening sequence struck me as a bit stream of consciousness but not quite the best you might be drawn in As I said, this may be simply a matter of taste..try it yourself Not my cup of tea really, though not bad.


  10. says:

    Beautifully written, snarkily fun, deliciously literary urban fantasy Can t wait for the next book.


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A Madness of Angels download A Madness of Angels, read online A Madness of Angels, kindle ebook A Madness of Angels, A Madness of Angels 8c999fbcfe63 For Matthew Swift, Today Is Not Like Any Other Day It Is The Day On Which He Returns To Life Two Years After His Untimely Death, Matthew Swift Finds Himself Breathing Once Again, Lying In Bed In His London Home Except That It S No Longer His Bed, Or His Home And The Last Time This Sorcerer Was Seen Alive, An Unknown Assailant Had Gouged A Hole So Deep In His Chest That His Death Was Irrefutabledespite His Body Never Being Found He Doesn T Have Long To Mull Over His Resurrection Though, Or The Changes That Have Been Wrought Upon Him His Only Concern Now Is Vengeance Vengeance Upon His Monstrous Killer And Vengeance Upon The One Who Brought Him Back