Review: The Naming of the Beasts by Mike Carey (Orbit)


The Naming of the Beasts by Mike Carey
Published by Orbit and Out Now in Paperback

Felix Castor has made it to book five seemingly in one piece though not after more than a few scrapes along the way. You’ll have to read The Devil You Know, Vicious Circle, Dead Men’s Boots and Thicker Than Water for details of those.

This leaves me with a slight problem. How to explain the awesomeness of The Naming of the Beasts without destroying the enjoyment of reaching this point.

So the short review is; if you loved the series so far this is going to knock your socks off so read it! And if you haven’t had the pleasure yet let me introduce you to what you’ve been missing…

The dead of London aren’t staying dead and haven’t been for some years. The newly deceased are coming back to visit or moving back in if they’ve come back into their own bodies (Carey’s idea of zombies are more possessed corpses than the lumbering and brain eating movie variety). Though it’s not only the dead that are returning, things a lot older have also appeared, not only on the streets of London but all over the world.

And that is where people like exorcist Felix Castor come in. His special talents make him a sort of expert in the changes that are coming. Not that he’s enjoying it at the minute.The world hasn’t been too kind too him over the last few books.

In The Naming of the Beasts, his friend Rafi has escaped along with the demon that Castor trapped inside his body. Castor needs to stop the demon and find his friend but he can’t handle it alone. So he turns to the lesser of two evils to give him back-up and joins forces with an old adversary to try to stop the demon before he escapes Rafi’s body and becomes free in the world.

Now I’m a big fan of urban fantasy and I’m an even bigger fan of this series. For all the things going on we have in each book Castor trying to redeem himself by trying to do the right thing for his friends and family and failing because of other peoples agendas.

And Mike Carey is a master of putting Castor through the ringer each time. But he’s not rehashing the story in each book. He has the back story that’s been building from book to book until we get to this point.

And the answers raise more questions than they answer. The balance has twisted away from the living. And Carey plays with that. He takes each of main the characters away from their routines of normality he’s built up in the series so now Castor can’t work alone, Juliet is having more than a few problems controlling herself, Pen is well just Pen and Nicky, he’s wasting away, though he has a plan to save himself.

If this is the penultimate book in the arc then the ending to The Naming of the Beasts is a killer. Something just doesn’t feel right by the end. It’s almost too easy. It feels like Mike Carey has held a few cards back and I have a horrible feeling that Castor’s life is not going to go back to normal after this.

A true roller-coaster ride and a series that a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files or quality urban fantasy really can’t miss.

Oh and check the next post to win one of three copies of The Naming of the Beasts

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