A stylish fantasy, with lots of glamour, sex and violence and some well-drawn characters. Perhaps a touch of 'Avatar' as charismatic demons rush around a mysterious, potent forest environment. The writing can lack precision, however, which means the many action and movement sequences sometimes lack clarity. The book also badly needs the services of a competent copy editor.
These are jolly stories. And the second novel is stronger than the first. The author becomes more interested in character, its ambiguities, and how characters shift and change - Thomas Delauncey, in particular. A nice example of how twenty-first century, western, preoccupations with the complexities of personality and identity are written out in popular representations of the ........ Ah - better not give it away and spoil it for other readers.
Wikipedia says that Hume was impressed by Gaboriau - and that Conan Doyle wasn't impressed by Hume. On the basis of 'The Pagan's Cup' that positions Hume about right. Nevertheless this has some nice bits of 'Olde Englishry' and I'll probably read another. Not for ardent feminists though - every older woman character in the book is unpleasant, unreasonable, scheming or just plain bad tempered. Nor indeed for anyone who's offended by characters whose physical disability seems to be the cause of personality defects.
More romance than mystery. Written with a light and effective touch. A satisfactorily happy ending. Through a plot involving a motor tour through southern England, and charming young representatives of the English aristocracy and the American upper class as leading characters, manages to whisk up an endorsement of England's history and class system at the historical moment just before the Edwardian age dissolved into the First World War.
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2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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