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The Neon Court

av Kate Griffin

Serier: Matthew Swift (3), Urban Magic (3)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3381077,334 (4.07)35
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.… (mer)
  1. 00
    Rivers of London av Ben Aaronovitch (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Also known as Midnight Riot, Rivers of London is set in London and filled with unusual beings of Power and magical murders in a similar way to the Swift books
  2. 00
    Sixty-One Nails av Mike Shevdon (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both books are set in London that has a magical world that few see
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» Se även 35 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 10 (nästa | visa alla)
Kate Griffin takes our hero (though that's likely not how he would describe himself), Matthew Swift, on a more traditional adventure in this third book in his series as the host of the Electric Blue Angels, incumbent Midnight Mayor, and general saviour du jour of London. She introduces the idea of the Neon Court - a twist on the Seelie/Unseelie Court structure, with a reigning fey queen dubbed Lady Neon and a typical obsession with looks and glamour - alongside a more modern rival, the Tribe - a group who prides themselves on being the opposite of everything that the Court holds dear: the idea of being outcasts as manifest through bodily mutilations and general "ugliness" - who's most recent conflict stems from their mutual quest for a "chosen one." Like all things in the modern world, the concept of a "chosen one" is not as simple as in days of old; gods don't really make the calls anymore, and the general population has wisened up to the concept of divine intervention - both of which Matthew (in his infinite wisdom) rejected loudly from the outset, even as he set off in search of the child in an attempt to stop their impending war.

To complicate matters further, another antagonist is thrown into the mix - the horrifying manifestation of all the things in the darkness that humanity dare not speak of - and surprisingly it is Matthew's almost-constant companion Oda who is taken over by this magical concept. Her transformation into a magical being is seemingly the final straw in her damnation, but Matthew's keen observation that someone else is pulling the strings in both her downfall and that of the chosen one is right on target. It doesn't quite surprise me that Griffin made the Order (and its rather smarmy leader) the brains behind both issues, since he was showing signs of questionable doings from the very outset. Or maybe I just have a healthy scepticism of fundamentalist religious orders, and assume that at some point all of them will pervert the message of belief into one of "one belief, and our belief only" with a quick translation into violence as a means of persueding people to their cause. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
Just wonderful. Ms Griffin was in magnificent form with this volume of Matthew Swift's adventures, her prose sparkling, the characters vivid, the rising menace genuinely terrifying and delivered with effective implacability.

(And I think, of all the amazing facets of Swift, the biggest shard of genius in his construction is Dana Mikeda.) ( )
  cupiscent | Aug 3, 2019 |
Matthew Swift was a sorcerer's apprentice, but he died.

Then he came back.

Now Matthew Swift is the Midnight Mayor, with responsibility for all of London. So when a mystical war threatens between the Neon Court (the fairy court, transformed by the modern age, who prize beauty over truth and style over freedom) and the Tribe (self-mutilating transhumanists whose magic derives only from themselves), he has to deal with it. And when a "chosen one" is prophecied, he has to find her, no matter how silly he thinks the concept. And when the sun goes out, and London is cut off from the rest of the world, it's up to Matthew Swift to find out why.

The magic system is breathtakingly inventive. Swift is a city sorcerer, meaning he draws his magics from the rules and legends of London. He draws acid from rain and coalesces it into an attack; he transforms a discarded plastic bag into a flying eagle; he traps monsters on street corners with the rules of the crosswalk. The magic surprises me every time. But there's logic to it, a certain internal consistency that holds it back from just doing whatever would be most convenient for the story.

The characters are pretty fab, too. Matthew, whose idea of diplomacy is to let someone beat him up for a while. Oda, a modern-day palidan. Penny, a sorceress so powerful that she nearly accidentally destroyed the city, who is nevertheless too scared of her aunt to let anyone bleed on her aunt's car. Dees, a financial planner who wears uncomfortable heels and transforms into a metal dragon if threatened.

But truthfully, this just isn't quite as incredibly excellent as the first two books in the series. Most of my disappointment is because Oda dies in the first chapter and spends the rest of the book as a vengeful revenant. Until she was gone, I hadn't realized how much I love the interplay between Oda and Matthew: him trying to get her to smile with increasingly witty quips, her monosyllabic put-downs...I missed it in this book! As unique as their characters are, Penny and Dees just can't fill the void. My other problem is that, after all the desperate last stands and clever magic fueled by fairy-tale logic (all of which is stone-cold awesome), the last chapter is Matthew explaining the whole plot to someone. A disappointing end!

I think my standards were just too high for this book. Still, this remains the most entrancing, enthralling urban fantasy series I've ever read. It's both funny and grim, unpretentious but with a lot to say. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
The Neon Court is the third book in Kate Griffin’s Matthew Swift series, which starts with A Madness of Angels. In my review of the second book, The Midnight Mayor, I mentioned that I was particularly interested in seeing where Oda’s character would go. Which, apparently, is into the grave in the first chapter of The Neon Court in order to create a plot. I am so frustrated by this. Then again, this series has a history of fridging female characters, so maybe I should have known what I was getting myself in for.

From the back blurb: “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.'”

The events of the burning tower precipitate a war between two groups, the Neon Court and the Tribe, and as Midnight Mayer, Matthew Swift is caught in the middle.

My main problem with this book is that it’s the third in the series and Matthew is still isolated. Besides Matthew/Angels, there are practically no reoccurring characters. With the death of Oda, the only characters alive from the first book are Sinclair and Charles, which hits on another point. Is it particuarly female characters who die? Now we’ve had Dana, Vera, Oda, as well as another dead woman that I won’t spoil. Oda in particular was an interesting developed character who felt like she was going to get an actual arc. Instead she’s disposed of in short order to create a plot. Her role as “female sidekick” is replaced by Penny, Matthew’s new apprentice. I was actually really excited about this installment because I thought we’d get to see two important black female characters. Now I wonder if Penny was just created to replace Oda, because, you know, the two are totally interchangeable.

Besides all the issues it has with female characters (and race?), the constant character deaths just make me unwilling to care about anyone. Plus, it doesn’t make for a very interesting series where the protagonist doesn’t have established characters to interact with. I feel like a sequel needs to build on the world or characters in some way. The Neon Court really didn’t.

On the positive side, I still like Griffin’s writing style and how she really bends the rules of grammar in places for effect. Matthew and the angels remain fascinating. Griffin continues to delight with her inventive London based magic system – there’s a great scene where Matthew does a “You shall not pass!” spell calling upon the powers of a red cross light.

Overall, I’m not quite satisfied with this installment, enough so that it’s made me debate whether or not to finish the series. Besides, I heard there was more fridging in the next book, and I don’t know if I feel up to dealing with it.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Aug 3, 2015 |
Eventually truces were made. London was not the only city with a Midnight Mayor; every city had its own mechanism for dealing with the turbulence of the Neon Court's arrival. But still the Neon Court continued, a fire below the decks, waiting for a chance to spring into an inferno. And while most of the time the fire was contained, if there was one thing guaranteed to send it into a fury, it was the arrival of that queen of the court, Lady Neon.

Even though it involved Matthew Swift and the Aldermen trying to prevent a war between the faeries of the Neon Court and a group of outcast magicians known as the Tribe, and the reader learns a lot more of Oda's story, I found this book a bit dull compared to the first two books in the series. It dragged quite a bit due to too much time spent on Matthew wandering around London (as per usual) and getting beaten up (also as per usual), and not enough time spent on the Neon Court and the Tribe.

and this ancient creature replete with green slippers and a bathrobe with a yellow duck on it said, “Are you death?”
“Um. No.”
“Are you sure?”
“Um. Yes?”
“Are you an angel?”
We licked our lips. If we had learnt one lesson in our complicated existence, it was never to underestimate the power of little old ladies. “In a way," we said.
“Are you from the council about the rubbish?"
"No."
"Why not?"
"Couldn't really say, ma'am."
( )
  isabelx | Mar 20, 2014 |
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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.

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