KayKay #CRB5 Review #31 The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

The Shambling Guide


My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

A human girl has stumbled upon a job as a travel book editor for coterie (all the mystical beings) that visit NYC.  There are zombies (with new rules), vampires, goddesses (of death/healing/etc.), fox spirits, zoetists…basically all mystical creatures ever written about.  Creating worlds where al mystical creatures exist seem to be the trend.  But, do they get overwhelmed with various ‘races’, or does it all fit together? Here is what I thought….


Zoe finds a job working for a vampire who is writing a travel book for coterie visiting NYC.  She isn’t coterie, but she needs the job, and has the right background.  She is running from her job in Raleigh, where she had an affair with her boss (who was married, but she didn’t know).  As soon as she takes the job, all sort of weirdness occurs (even more weird than the new creatures she is getting used to), a construct (a person pieced together from other people) joins the company and has the head of her ex boyfriend.  A succubus co-worker tries to take advantage of her.  The construct starts all kinds of trouble by withholding zombie food (which makes them into the one minded zombies we normally see).  They find out her ex-boss’s wife Lucy (a zoetist) is the one causing this trouble and has a mind to take over NYC.  Zoe and her new co-workers (and human mentor Granny Good Mae) take on Lucy. (And win, of course)

Plot Score: 3/5

World Building

A creative take on a mystical NYC.  In the Sookie Stakehouse novels, all the mythological characters are introduced over several books.  I think the attempt to build a world and introduce so much variety is a bit much for this type of book (meaning this isn’t an epic fantasy that spans multiple books like a Game of Thrones).

Location Score: 2/5

Characters and Relationships

Zoe- I liked her, a tough female character, if the series continues, she will probably continue to grow into a ‘citytalker’ (someone who can ‘talk’ to the spirit of the city) and all around butt kicker.

I didn’t really bond with any of the secondary characters.  Phil, her boss, Morgen and Gwen, two co-worker/friends, Granny Good Mae (fellow human/assassin, and NYC CityTalker) and Arthur (her sexy neighbor, and a part of the Public Works- which keeps the coterie in check),

Characters Score: 3/5

Life Lessons (fka Bigger Meaning)


Bigger Meaning Score:  0/5


Opening Quote:  “The bookstore was sandwiched between a dry ceaner’s and a shifty-looking accounting office.”

There was a lot of quantity (so many different types of characters), but not a lot quality character development.

In addition, the end of the book (for me) was a big blob of confusion.  Golem’s made of an airplane?  The city being sucked into a golem?  I still don’t get it…

Style Score: 2/5

Final Thoughts?

– The world was really inventive, and the writing easy to read, but I didn’t like the big mess that was the ending, and there were just too many characters overall.

Total Score and Recommendation

10/25- If you enjoy a Sookie Stakehouse type of book, go ahead and try this one…

One thought on “KayKay #CRB5 Review #31 The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

  1. Redhead June 11, 2013 at 2:38 am Reply

    oooh, yikes. me thinks I’ll be skipping this one for a while.

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