Okay, I’m a bit behind on the booklogging. Believe it or not, I really did read some stuff in November, December, and January, all of which I will proceed to discuss in a hopefully rapid series of posts that will let me drain the to-be-logged pile on my nightstand.

So let’s talk about Mike Carey.

Carey first came to my attention with the explicitly Gaiman-esque Lucifer series of graphic novels, which are a spin-off of the Sandman universe. So it makes sense that the first prose novel he wrote (or at least the first one I’m aware of, which may not be at all the same thing) is, at least in broad outline, also Gaiman-esque: British, supernatural, a bit creepy, and pretty darn good.

The premise of Mike Carey’s The Devil You Know is that the dead have come back to, well, undeath if not exactly life; ghosts, zombies, and other spirits are now a commonplace hazard of the modern world. Our protagonist is an exorcist, who gets rid of the more troublesome manifestations. It’s usually an uneventful job, but nobody writes novels about uneventful jobs, right? Right. So. Good solid horror-tinged fantasy noir, this is what Stephan Zielinski’s Bad Magic was trying to do, but about a zillion times more successful.

But Carey’s not just writing in Gaiman’s footsteps with urban mythological fantasy. He’s also writing mainstream superhero comics, like the fairly okay Ultimate Vision (with Mark Millar) or the characteristically solid Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol. 9: Silver Surfer . Good stuff, if not revolutionary.

Perhaps more interesting on the comics front — at least to non-superhero fans — is Carey’s Crossing Midnight, vol. 1: Cut Here , which is a modern urban fantasy noir where the fantasy in question is Japanese myth and folklore. It’s not like anything else out there, and it’s very good. When I started writing this, I was eagerly awaiting the next volume, but it just came from Amazon, so I guess now I just need to get around to reading it.

Long story short, hey, this Carey guy can write, and is writing a lot. He seems to be toiling in midlist obscurity now, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stay that way for long.


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