Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review - Vicious Circle (Felix Castor, Book 2) by Mike Carey (3/5 stars)

Vicious Circle (Felix Castor) 1st (first) edition Text OnlyReading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 592 pages

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: July 1, 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0446618717

Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Felix Castor series
Source: (audio book)
Rating: 3/5 stars

This is the second book in the Felix Castor series by Carey.  If you liked the first book, you will most likely enjoy this book as it is very similar in tone.  Last I heard there were 6 books planned for this series.  The fifth book, The Naming of the Beasts, came out in Jan 2011.  I listened to this on audio book and the audio book was well done (so please excuse name mispellings).

Felix Castor has changed from doing spirit extermination to spirit counseling and shortly thereafter he is approached by a couple who say that their daughter's ghost has been kidnapped.  At the same time a rash of violent crimes is plaguing the city and Juliet, has a strange case involving possessed church that she needs Felix's consult on.  Felix again ends up over his head and embroiled in events that both threaten the whole city and his life.

This book stands alone well, so you wouldn't have to read the previous book to understand what is going on here.  This is good for people that like to pick up a series in the middle.  The only thing I don't like about this is that there isn't an over-arcing story or goal that ties this series together.  I usually like my urban fantasies to have something resolved within one book, but also a broader story or purpose that is all-encompassing and you don't get that with this least not so far.

Felix is still as much of a smart-ass as he was in the first book.  This makes the book fun to read at times but can also be frustrating.  Felix withholds information that could prevent horrible situations with no real rhyme or reason.  Sometimes it is like he wants to be beat up.  Felix doesn't seem to really grow or change as a character at all.  He is just as dense, stupid, and determined as in the first book and makes a lot of really bad decisions.  I was disappointed that he hasn't really learned anything and that his ghost summoning powers remain somewhat lame.

Having Juliet play a bigger part in the book was nice; she is a more interesting character than Felix and actually does seem to be changing and learning.  Juliet can actually kick some butt, rather than constantly getting her own butt kicked (like Felix).  I hope she plays a large role in future books.  I also enjoyed learning more about Raffe and Asmodeus.  Pen remains a somewhat underdeveloped character and is discussed a lot but not present very much.

The other thing I found frustrating was the predictable plot.  Right at the beginning of the book Asmodeus leaves Raffe and violence breaks out in the city.  It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the two are connected somehow, but it took Felix the whole book to realize it.  I mean really it is a bit contrived that Felix was so completely blind to what was going on around him.

I did enjoy the writing style and the story was tied up well.

Overall while there were some things I enjoyed about this book, there were more things that frustrated me.  I enjoyed the humor and love how supernaturals are all forms of ghosts, I like the idea of music summoning ghosts, and I liked that Juliet played a bigger role.  I was frustrated with how predictable the story was and how dense Felix was, I was also frustrated by Felix's sameness throughout the novel (he never learns anything and withholds information for strange reasons, he always gets beat up and loses).  I am on the fence about whether or not I will read the next book in the series, Dead Men's Boots.  There are some things I like about this series but I am worried the third book will just be more of the same.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Audio Book Challenge List 

Vicious Circle (Felix Castor) 1st (first) edition Text Only 

1 comment:

  1. This series sounds interesting. And I have a knack for smartasses.

    Thanks for the review!