Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

This is an enjoyable and rather light hearted romp into both travel and the occult.  Our heroine is Zoe and her life is at a crossroads.  Fleeing from a bad work place situation that went completely nuclear she now finds herself in New York and looking for a job.  Maybe it's a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire but she lands a job as a travel writer for a unique audience: monsters. 

Ok, monsters maybe a bit strong and they don't like being called that.  They call themselves the coterie and they range from vampires and zombies to gods and fay.  She finds herself working with vampires, zombies, sprites, incubus, and a death goddess.  It's a little stressful for Zoe being thrown into the metaphorical deep end of the pool.  It's not helped that she knows that here co workers had to be reminded she's not on the menu.  She's fascinated though by this new world and she's not a quitter (except when she had to quit) so she makes the best of things.

The first third of the book is all about describing and discovering this new world of the coterie.  Even learning the alternate currency systems they use is a challenge.  Unfortunately for Zoe things get worse.  Some force is meaning no good for the Big Apple and for some reason Zoe finds herself a target.  Can she and her friends(?) stop the menacing from taking a bite from the Apple?  Well, certainly you'll have to read it to believe it.

I found this a fun little book and I truly enjoyed the character of Zoe.  There's enough little details to make the world feel real but leave you wanting to know more.  Why for example do the birds actually control finances?  How does one spend a hell note, and if you are human do you have to worry about your soul doing so?  There are cute little out takes from her travel book between chapters that ad even more interesting things about New York that I almost wish were true.  Definitely worth a read.

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