Review: Black London Series
Recently I stumbled across a new supernatural/urban fantasy series called the Black London series by Caitlin Kittredge. I read the first three books in the series, Street Magic, Demon Bound, and Bone Gods. This is a really dark tale that never lightens up, even the shining moments are tainted by selfish people, doing the wrong thing for the right reason, and demon soot. Detective Inspector Pete Caldecott (Pete is short for Petunia) is thrown in the the world of magic, sorcery, demons, and the old gods when Jack Winter shows back up in her life after she spent years thinking he was dead. As they renew their tension filled friendship, and Pete tries to find the latest missing girl, Jack Winter shows her a world in the Black that Pete never tried to forget she knew anything about. Turns out Pete has some supernatural tendencies/legacies of her own and as her powers collide and combine with Jack’s the shit hits the ceiling.
The Good: This is an interesting display of human depravity, human determination, and how magic infects both. The story line is decent, it doesn’t falter, and the pacing is excellent. They were quick, interesting reads and I enjoyed each book a lot. Street Magic was a good introduction into the world of the Black with enough flashbacks to build a better understanding of the characters. Demon Bound takes up right where Street Magic let off, but from the perspective of Jack and how magic, and being the crow-mage has been a part of his life in ways that Pete can’t understand, and in someways that she doesn’t want to understand. We learn more what it is that drives Jack and the reason for his dealings with demons. Bone Gods delves into the psyche of Pete and what she stands for, what she is willing to do to save the people she loves, and what kind of deals she is willing to make to ensure her loved ones are safe. Plus I give props to the author for mentioning Doctor Who in a wonderful moment of sarcasm and British dry wit.
The Bad: Unfortunately the tale wasn’t that much of a new one for an old hand at supernatural/urban fantasy series such as myself. I guessed every twist and turn before it happened. I was intrigued with the knew characters in a familiar setting, and think it is definitely a series worth reading. But I was hoping to be surprised by something, and I wasn’t. I was never disappointed in the series, characters, or plot lines, I just wasn’t over awed either.
The Ugly: The major flaw of this series is that the author liberally uses the C word as British slang? It’s weird to me. I don’t mind cursing in books, but I take exception to every single bad guy or bad act being referred to as a female anatomy part. There was never a balance with male anatomy which bugged me more. I could understand a harsh world full of awful words, but to concentrate the evil deeds of people by continuously referring to them as lady parts, was not necessary. Not to the story line and not to the truth of the universe the author is creating. The swearing eased up a bit in the third book (and I wondered if I had gotten used to it, but when I took note again, it really had lessened. Not that I did stats or anything, but seemed to lessen). I’m definitely reading the other books in the series, but I sure hope the author has lessened the use of the C word and T word (both referencing female anatomy) for I don’t know, calling someone a dickhead.
Recently on Facebook (and we all know how reliable of a source that is) Betty White has been attributed as saying:
Why do people say “Grow some balls?” Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really want to get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding!
Now I don’t know if Betty White or some weirdo hoping to make create a Meme wrote this. But my point is, lets all grow a vagina and stop using slang terms for it to denote dickhead moves.