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N. B. I would have given 3-1/2, possibly even 3-2/3rds stars if Amazon had a better ratings system; a recommendation, if not an unqualified one.
I actually bought this book three years ago and started it then but only just recently got around to picking it up again and finishing. This was due to a) limited free time and moving house in the interim but also b) the first four chapters being quite a chore to get through, enough to put me off initially. I went back to it as I realised that the cover art is by Jamie McKelvie, whose work I always have time for, and admittedly a slight dearth of other reading material; overall I don't regret reading to the end (finally) but the book is certainly not without its flaws.
I found the main character to be really rather irritating: she seems to repeat herself a lot, has great apparent difficulty passing the Bechdel Test at any point and her decision-making in the early part of the book seems pretty irrational. These issues were what made me give up on the book originally. Fortunately they lessened as the story went on, possibly because more characters were introduced and so some of the focus was taken off the main character. I also appreciated the excerpts from the eponymous guide at the beginning of each chapter, which acted as quite a neat literary device for delivering supplementary information and plot teasers. As it goes on, though, it becomes evident that the plot relies heavily on coincidences which can harm suspension of disbelief at times.
Overall I would be interested to give the second book a try at some point on the assumption that things get better with practice, but it probably won't be my highest priority. On an unrelated note, and looking back from 2020 with the benefit of hindsight, it seems strange that this series only ever merited two entries when other similar ones (including some frankly much worse than this) seem to go on and on.
After going through the Richard Kadrey Sandman Slim books, this was something of a palate cleanser. As with Kadrey, Butcher, Armstrong et al, the basic idea is the same, they are amongst us. Werewolves and vampires and fairies etc, however unlike the rest, this is a lot lighter, with a lot more humour. Zoe is looking for a new job, and ends up employed to write a "Rough Guide" to New York, but for the supernaturals. From there the story takes on at a galloping pace. Maybe not as dark as I'm used to, or quite as layered, but it's a good fun read. Assuming this is the first on what will be a series, I look forward to the rest
Actually the 'monsters' have a nice healthy attitude of eating humans rather than sleeping with them (except of course incubi and succubi, where one is the same as the other). Our job hunting heroine is introduced to the other side of New York, when she persists in applying for a job, despite encountering 'not our sort' prejudice. She gradually learns about the monster's, and businesses that cater to them. discovers New York sewer workers and Cabbies live a more interesting life than you'd expect. That not all Monster Hunters are teenaged cheerleaders and that she'd encountered the alternate life styled before (and really seriously pissed one of them off). Ever encountered delays at an airport? It could have been a lot worse.
Not a great book, but well written and would appeal to a wide range of readers.
This book is a fast-paced ride through New York populated by all the usual monsters ... sorry "coterie" that are often found in urban fantasy. We follow Zoe as she learns about these creatures while working at her new job as editor of a Rough Guide style travel book aimed squarely at visiting coterie. Quirky humour abounds and things never get too bleak or dark. The tone and pace reminds me very much of Gail Carriger and I think her readers would love this book as well. It's a fast read that had me chuckling through out. The next in the series is on it's way and I'm looking forward to it.
I absolutely loved this book! The plot was great, the characters were fun and a bit different, I really enjoyed the unbeknown heroine plot line and girl power attitude it portrayed. Really looking forward for more books to this series!
Mur Lafferty successfully combines a matter of fact urban reality with fantastical creatures of myth and legend to provide an entertaining story. Each chapter ends an excerpt from the guide that helps builds the context for Zoe's interesting new career in publishing for the 'coterie'. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I ended up reading too late rather than put the book down.
I thought I would love this but I somehow struggled to care about the characters. I soldiered on to the end to see if things would improve but I just didn't connect with them or really like the main character. I'm sure plenty of people will enjoy it but it just wasn't right for me.
Although a familiar concept - human accidentally discovers secret supernatural population - the execution is great. Fun, light and extremely engaging, it makes a perfect escapist read. I look forward to reading the rest in the series.