All book reviews this week have come courtesy of Miriam at Hachette Book Group. Thank you, Miriam, for making sure I received these books.
Mike Carey’s Dead Men’s Boots was released last week and is the third book featuring Felix Castor aka Fix to his close friends. He’s a man who specializes in spiritual services. Felix lives in modern day London in an alternate universe. The dead have come back to life. Those who return as a visual echo of their living personages are ghosts. Some return to their dead bodies and become zombies. Zombie bodies are still decaying but it’s their force of will that keeps them moving. Rarer are the dead that invade an animal body. They are called werewolves or loup-garous. These dead have the hardest time holding onto their humanity.
The Breath of Life movement wants the dead to have rights. One of Felix’s acquaintances is Nick, a paranoid zombie data geek (paranoid and data geek are character traits he had while alive), who could have returned from the dead to absolutely nothing since he had siblings as next of kin. Nick hid his money so well in multiple foreign accounts that when he returned to his body he was able to live a lifestyle that would slow the decay process.
The Catholic Anathemata believe the apocalypse is coming and everyone should begin to arm themselves. As time has passed, Felix has noticed more than just the dead are returning. Demons have shown up and supernatural things not encountered before. For example, how can an American serial killer who has been dead for several decades start killing in London? It’s one of the questions put forth in this novel.
This is the first Felix Castor book I’ve read but I don’t feel this hindered my enjoyment. It’s equal parts detective novel and urban fantasy with a dash of thriller. Felix is not a lovable character who obviously has flaws. He is loyal, although he won’t admit it, and exceptional at his job. Felix is a man who wrestles with the moral dilemmas of his job but exorcising ghosts is part of his nature.
Carey is best known for his work with comics. He’s been nominated for several Eisner Awards (the comics equivalent to the Oscar). Writing comics and novels can be difficult as they are exercising different writing muscles. Carey scores a hit with this book.