Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Stray Souls By Kate Griffin

Title: Stray Souls
Author: Kate Griffin
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Magicals Anonymous #1

Trade Paperback, 464 Pages
Published on October 30, 2012 by Orbit

Buy the book

Source: Publisher

'Don’t look back. It wants you to look back.’

London’s soul has gone missing. Lost? Kidnapped? Murdered? Nobody knows – but when Sharon Li unexpectedly discovers she’s a shaman, she is immediately called upon to use her newfound powers of oneness with the City to rescue it from a slow but inevitable demise.

The problem is, while everyone expects Sharon to have all the answers – from the Midnight Mayor to Sharon’s magically-challenged self-help group – she doesn’t have a clue where to start.

But with London’s soul missing and the Gate open, there are creatures loose that won’t wait for her to catch up before they go hunting.

Stray Souls is the first in a new series, ‘Magicals Anonymous’ by Kate Griffin.  This book takes place in the same world as Griffin’s Matthew Swift novels (Yes, the Midnight Mayor does make an appearance), but with a different narrator this time. Our main heroine, Sharon Li has just discovered that she is a Shaman, a seer, who can see the truth in all things, and can walk in the shadows (between worlds). Within in a couple of hours of finding out she’s a Shaman, she’s given the biggest task ever…find the missing souls of London. Someone is ripping souls out of London’s foundation, and among the souls missing is their lady of 4 A.M. Greydawn. Greydawn is one of London’s biggest player, she guards the wall between what is there, and isn’t there (creatures/things that live in the shadows, unseen to the human eyes).  It is up to Sharon and her band of misfit, Magical Anonymous support group to find the one responsible, and the missing souls.\

The layout of the book was extremely different than any other books I’ve ever read, there were chapters that were only one page long (did a double take at one point LOL), and chapter ‘confessions’ from the many of the secondary characters. While this is an urban fantasy, and one of the genres I love reading in..I had to put my normal expectations in the back seat because Stray Soul is written more with British humor. At the beginning of the novel, I was a little skeptical on whether I’d enjoy the book or not…since one had to get use to the writing style and humor.  As the story went on, and I met/learned more about Sharon’s Magical Anonymous group, I began to really love the plot, world, characters. Magical Anonymous is a support group for magical beings with issues. There’s only one word to describe these delightful bunch….Quirky. They’re all oddballs but it what makes them different and stand out. Readers will encounter an ‘almost’ druid, a gourmet foodie troll, a germaphobe-OCD vampire, and a goblin who’s the second greatest Shaman to walk the earth. 

Stray Souls was a great start to a new series; I enjoy this world and the characters and am thinking about picking up the Matthew Swift novels now LOL. I highly recommend this series to anyone who’s looking for different, and funny. While this isn’t your typical urban fantasy, (leaning more on the not too serious side), I’d say give it a try…I guarantee it’ll make you smile and laugh. 

Just to give you a little tidbit of what the book is about:

WARNING! There’s A LOT of cussing in the book lol. 

In this scene, Kevin our OCD vampire is letting the group know he’s only able to drink a “Certain” type of blood. 
“So I went to the doctor and she was all like ‘So you’ve got a syndrome’ and I was like ‘Are you fucking kidding me? I’m like the bane of the Immortal fucking night or whatever what the fuck do you mean I’ve got a syndrome?’ and she was all like ‘Yeah but it’s a cool syndrome’ and I was like ‘Lady, don’t give me this it’s a cool syndrome stuff, because I’ve gotta tell you I’ve got some real issues with personal hygiene anyways and if you’re about to tell me that my body is now, like, out to get me, well I honestly can’t tell you what I’m gonna do….’So when you were living your blood group was O negative and now you’re dead’-and you know she said ‘dead’ which I thought was just so prejudiced- ‘and now you’re dead your blood group is still O negative, so that’s like the only blood group you can drink.’”

“Is that a popular one?” asked Mrs Rafaat

“Like fucking no!” moaned Kevin, throwing his hands up in the air. “Only like fucking eight percent of the population or whatever!..”

The following scene Kevin is telling the group to get tested:
“Well, I’d say you should like get yourselves tested and signed up to the donor register,” exclaimed Kevin. “And I hope you’ve all got donor cards too because there’s like thousands of people on the organ donor register who die every year because they can’t get a part and I’m like, guys, charity begins at home, you know?”

A scene where the group is sneaking in to Burns and Stoke:
“I’m surprised we haven’t seen more security,” said Edna. “Surely if this wendigo character knew we were coming, he’d be trying harder to stop us?”

“Oh my God,” moaned Kevin. “Have you guys been living in like, the twelfth century? Never invite the wrath of God by wondering why things are going well!”

“Are you always this pessimistic?” asked Edna, ruffling within her purple cardigan. 

“Uh…undead, duh?”

As you guys can see I really like Kevin :D.


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