Sunday, April 17, 2011

Review - The Devil You Know (Felix Castor, Book 1) by Mike Carey (4/5 stars)

The Devil You Know (Felix Castor)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: July 10, 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0446580304
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Felix Castor series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

I had heard wonderful things about the Felix Castor series and it has been on my book shelf forever, I finally got around to reading it.  It was a very enjoyable book.  Right now there are six books planned for the series and Book 5, The Naming of the Beasts, just came out in the US last year.  The sixth book is scheduled for a late 2011 release and is, as yet, untitled.  The book has a creative take on the paranormal world and Felix is snarky; and lots of fun to read about.

After a particularly bad possession Felix Castor has tried to give up exorcising as a job.  He is taking a leave of absence and trying to be a magician at children's parties...well it's just not working out.  He finally is forced to take a case because he needs the money to pay rent.  The case seems to be straight forward; the local Archive is being haunted by a female ghost with no face and they want Felix to exorcise her.  No problem right?  Well Felix is finding that this is no ordinary ghost and ends up getting into some pretty dangerous stuff very quickly.

I really enjoyed the world created here.  Basically all supernaturals are different types of possessions; as such exorcists are very important where ghosts and possession are a fact of everyday life.  The book all takes place in London, which is a wonderful setting.

All of the characters have depth and are interesting.  Felix himself is incredibly funny, with a dry sense of humor, and he is constantly getting himself beat up or stumbling into situations that are better left alone.  He is a bit of a anti-hero and constantly ends up trying to do the right thing despite his best efforts.  There are a number of laugh out loud points in this book.

The plot has many layers of deception and takes a number of twists and turns.  My only problem with the plot is that ultimately it was fairly predictable...I guessed what had happened in general terms in the beginning of the book and was kind of let down when I was right.

The action scenes are well done and the book itself was very readable.  Things moved at a pretty good clip, although there were times where it felt like Felix was kind of stalled on the main case and there were a couple times when the story went off on dubious tangents.  Still, it was very engaging and interesting overall.

This is definitely a solid urban fantasy of the investigative variety; no romance and not a ton of magic (besides the ghosts).  Definitely for adult readers only; there is a lot of swearing, violence, and sexual situations (talk about rape, hookers, etc.).  The book wrapped up nicely and I look forward to reading about more of Felix adventures in the future.

Overall a fun and engrossing urban fantasy.  I enjoyed the world that's built here, I liked Felix as a character, and enjoyed the humor woven throughout.  The plot was a bit predictable and the storyline lagged a little at points.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series; this world and the characters were just so fun!  I will be checking out Vicious Circle next.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Audio Book Challenge List can't link reviews
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge

The Devil You Know (Felix Castor)


  1. Great review. I have never heard of this author before, but it sounds great. Added it on Goodreads. Might be predictable. but I will give it a whirl, it seems worth reading at least once. Thank you hon :)

  2. Thanks for the comment :-) I am glad you enjoyed the review and hope that when you read this book you like it as much as I did!

    - Karissa