The Midnight Mayor – Kate Griffin

Ok, so I lied. I’d forgotten I hadn’t written about The Midnight Mayor yet. But after this, then The Water Knife (especially because my next book isn’t even SFF so I have absolutely loads of time to get through my reviews). This is only going to be a brief post, because, like the last post, there’s not much to say about the book that I haven’t already said about its predecessor.

So, like the first book, we start in media res. In fact, very much like the first book. A dramatic thing has happened to Swift, but we don’t know what, just that he’s injured and wandering through London trying to figure out what happened to him. The parallel to the first book is perhaps a little too pronounced. And then, much like the first book, the whole story is a process of him figuring out both what happened to him and how to fix a massive problem for the London magical community. We get some fun new exposition of her magical London underworld, and some tension and drama at the high stakes, end of the world style danger. The danger has, in fact, escalated since the previous book. All in all, this sounds pretty hackneyed and repetitive and not at all worth bothering with… right?

Nope.

I mean, yes, on the face of it, this is basically the same book again but with the details fudged into something slightly new. And… well, that’s not wrong. But on the other hand, the formula is so good that I honestly don’t care that we’re repeating it. Everything is just as great as in the first instance, plus we get new bits of magical London. I am entirely fine with this scenario.

Swift’s character doesn’t really get much in the way of development, but there is a little. He has to deal with more power, and the consequences of that power, and how his existence affects those around him. It’s not as much detail as it could be, but it’s just enough to provide a little bit of a change from the first book, and a little bit of depth to his not-that-developed character beyond his sort-of-possession, which is what she chooses to explore first (not unreasonably). Swift’s attitude to power is pleasing for me (because I do like altruistic characters, mostly) but is also balanced with some measure of pragmatism, for a pleasing reality to his attitude. It could have done with being done in more detail, but still.

I also simultaneously liked and disliked the higher stakes peril of this book. Swift is no longer just dealing with risk to his own life, but to the whole of London, and it fits in well with his development and worries about power over others.

Essentially, it’s the same book as book one, but still sufficiently excellent that I really don’t care and I loved it just as much. Sorry for the uninspired post.

(This post brought to you by cider, wine and quince gin… this has had absolutely no effect on my eloquence. Nope.)

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About readerofelse

A student of a redundant, useless and thoroughly interesting subject and reader of many books, particularly fantasy, science fiction and plenty else besides.
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