Monday, 1 November 2010
Mike Shevdon - Road to Bedlam review (no spoilers)
Road to Bedlam, the new Mike Shevdon book was released on Wednesday and I finished it on Friday. It's the next book in the Courts of the Feyre series, following Sixty-one Nails.
I think to compare either of these books to Neverwhere is to flatter Mike Shevdon - he's very good, but he's not (yet) Gaiman at his best. That's not to say that I didn't devour and love both Sixty One Nails and The Road to Bedlam. Stories about the modern world and the worlds of the fey colliding aren't hard to find, but Mike Shevdon does it very well, with cracking storylines and an engaging hero in Niall Peterson, a middle-aged man who discovers in Sixty-One Nails that he is part-Feyre, and that his magic is very dark magic indeed.
The Road to Bedlam carries on where Sixty-one Nails finished, with Niall trying to deal with his own newly-discovered magic as well as learning the martial skills he needs to become a fully paid-up Warder of the High Court of the Feyre. Disaster occurs when his teenage daughter Alex comes into her own magic in an uncontainable accident, and Niall has to try to find out what has happened to her without upsetting the shaky truce between the Seven Courts. I missed the interaction between Niall and Blackbird (a fire and air Fey'ree ) who are physically separated in this book by circumstance, but it's still a very good read, and a worthy follow-up to Sixty-one Nails. Mr Shevdon again blends real places and rituals with his imaginary world within the book in a fascinating way.
If you like Urban Fantasy, this book is well worth a read (read Sixty-one Nails first though). Not quite as good as Gaiman, but I found it less meandering than Mark Chadbourn (with more likeable characters).