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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Neon Court by Kate Griffin (Matthew Swift #3)

The Neon Court (Matthew Swift, #3)The Neon Court by Kate Griffin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb: War is coming to London. A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point towards their ancient enemy - The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone loses.
But Matthew Swift has his own concerns. He has been summoned abruptly, body and soul, to a burning tower and to the dead body of Oda, warrior of The Order and known associate of Swift. There's a hole in her heart and the symbol of the Midnight Mayor drawn in her own blood. Except, she is still walking and talking and has a nasty habit of saying 'we' when she means 'I.'
Now, Swift faces the longest night of his life. Lady Neon herself is coming to London and the Tribe is ready to fight. Strange things stalk this night: a rumored 'chosen one, ' a monster that burns out the eyes of its enemies, and a walking dead woman. Swift must stop a war, protect his city, and save his friend - if she'll stop trying to kill him long enough for him to try

I enjoyed this book immensely.  It grabbed my attention from chapter one and held it captive right up until the end. 

Book three was definitely settling into a established pattern though; our reluctant hero, Matthew Swift, finds he has Mega Problems on his hands (again), gets beat up trying to reason with parties who don't want to be reasoned with (again), is saved by a friend, situation deteriorates badly (again), and he saves the day.  Literally in this instance. Plot design is same as first two in the series and this has the potential for pulling the writing down.

What I did like about Neon Court was the character development of several minor characters such as Matthew's apprentice Penny.  Flamboyant, outspoken, loudly defiant to everyone else's somber-hued approach, she was a refreshing drink of water in what could have been a standard story.  The inclusion of the Alderman, particularly Leslie Dees, gave some interesting insight into the City itself. The contrast between Toxik and Lady Neon was a nicely balanced study between light/dark black/white, especially how Griffin used text-speak to emphasize how Toxik was different. Neon Court gave some back story to how things came to be that I appreciated.

With the reappearance of a man thought dead, a somewhat unpredictable ending, and Penny's character, this was a very fun and engaging read.  Recommended.

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