Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stray Souls (Magical Anonymous #1)

Stray Souls (Magical Anonymous #1) by Kate Griffin (which is the pseudonym of Catherine Webb) is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The Blurb
LONDON'S SOUL IS MISSING.

When Sharon Li unexpectedly discovers she's a shaman, it's not a moment too soon: London's soul is lost. Using her newfound oneness with the City, she sets about saving London from inevitable demise, but the problem is she has no clue where to start. Meanwhile, a mysterious gate has opened, and there are creatures loose that won't wait for her to catch up before they go out hunting. Now Sharon and her motley crew of magical misfits must find a way to save the world...

My Review
Stray Souls
by Kate Griffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a spin-off from the Matthew Swift series but Magical Anonymous is a stand-alone series. I will probably back up and read the Swift series even though it's not necessary for Magical Anonymous.

This is Urban Fantasy (maybe anti-UF, given the British humour) revolving around a support group for paranormal creatures in London. The paranormal characters have (very) human flaws that don't mesh well with supernatural abilities. This was a unique spin on a genre quickly becoming known for the theme becoming-supernatural-solves-problems. Still, the paranormal critters (may I call them that?) save the day despite their personal issues that, for many of the characters, aren't resolved at the end of the book.

Telling the story through the support group means that there's a lot of characters and a lot of set-up. This makes the plot drag, but I never felt like this or that part should be cut. Everything felt necessary for this book to spawn a series. I found myself stopping several times, wondering if this or that was a set-up for a future book (and imagining how it might play out, which is part of the fun of series). It took me longer to work through the material because the story lacked the action that drives a plot forward. Don't get me wrong - there is a lot of action in this story; it's just broken up by a lot of set-up.

There's a love interest that might be developed in future installments but there's no erotica or sex in this book, which I enjoyed because sex scenes are pages that I skim. I hope the author keeps that in mind if and when she develops the romantic interest.

I received a free copy of this book from GoodReads First Reads in exchange for a review.

View all my reviews

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