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The Devil You Know: October 8, 2008

October 8, 2008

I’m about halfway through The Devil You Know and I’m enjoying it very much.

As I said yesterday, Felix Castor is an exorcist, ridding places of the risen dead. A past exorcism went disastrously wrong, so Felix gave it up, but now circumstances force him to pick it up again. Of course, Complications Ensue and Nothing Is As It Seems, but that’s what makes fiction fun and makes the book hard to put down.

One of the things I particularly like about the book is that it’s thick and detailed and textured, but it’s not reading slowly. I think that’s what pacing means: the sense that the story is moving forward at the proper pace for that story, neither dragging so that you feel like you’re slogging through cold mud nor skipping through things so quickly that the story never really develops.

Another thing I particularly like is related to the first thing: the story moves at a pace that allows the worldbuilding to breathe. This is a London something like ours, except there are active ghosts, zombies and were-animals (which are all related to one another), so the way things work isn’t exactly the same. The story is written in a way that allows all that to develop.

If the last half is as strong as the first half, this might be a keeper.

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