Review: The Devil You Know by Mike Carey

The Devil You Know isn’t a perfect book by any means, but it was more than good enough to make me want to read the rest of the Felix Castor series.

I liked the protagonist. Felix is a funny and likeable character without feeling forced or stilted, and with just enough of a tinge of flawed humanity to make him interesting and sympathetic.
I really liked the premise. An alternate present in which society at large has been forcibly convinced of the existence of ghosts by the sudden and unexplained exodus of souls back to the mortal plane. It’s intriguing enough and it allows exorcists and demon-hunters to function in this fictional setting without the need for secrecy and the laborious covering up of their supernatural doings which can plague some modern fantasy fiction.
Felix’s backstory and the supporting characters were interesting, and I hope they get fleshed out in future instalments. I thought the main plot of the book was compelling and enjoyable, dynamic enough to keep my interest without getting bogged down by too much complexity and badly-realised ambition. Sure, it was obvious who the killer was going to be all along. And yes, you would expect a smart character like Fix to be able to puzzle some of the more obvious mysteries out a little quicker than he did (ICOE? Really? It took you the entire book, Castor). And I really feel the book could have done without the final chapter, which took Juliet’s depiction from decent-if-a-little-flat to what-the-hell-that-is-ridiculous-a-demon-wouldn’t-even-I-need-a-drink.

Overall, four stars, an enjoyable read and promising series for me to devour.


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