It’s not often that I feature a review on my blog. I keep track of reviews and sometimes copy extracts into my reviews page for those who want to browse them, but I don’t tend to post them. When the reviewer is Publisher’s Weekly, though, it gets my immediate attention.
Sixty-One Nails Mike Shevdon. HarperCollins/Angry Robot, $7.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-199406-7
Spinning British folklore and history into a one-step-over-from-reality vision of the streets underneath London, Shevdon’s debut introduces the supernatural Feyre and their complex relationship with the human half-breeds created to maintain the fertility of the dying Feyre races. Niall Petersen, renamed Rabbit by those who know true names have power, awakens from a heart attack and finds himself in the care of the mysterious Blackbird. His previously unknown Feyre heritage has puts him in the sights of the human-hating Untainted. It also makes him uniquely suited to defending the barriers keeping the Feyre from the human world. An impressively accessible hero, Niall anchors the reader on a journey of discovery that feels constantly off-balance but never jarring. Comparisons to Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere are both inevitable and erroneous; Shevdon’s grittily believable, charmingly described underworld packs a dark punch all its own. (June)
If you don’t know Publisher’s Weekly then you’re probably not in the business. It’s an insider’s journal and probably one of the most respected literary publications on the planet. Given that this review was June, I obviously missed it, but I found a reference to it in Locus Magazine and just had to follow it to the source.
To get a starred review is a rare privilege; they are not easily come by. Hence you’ll forgive me for front-paging a review on this particular occasion.