Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Series: BLACK LONDON
Plot Type: UF
Ratings: V4-5; S3-4; H2
Publisher and Titles: St. Martin’s
"Newlydeads" in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (12/2007)
Street Magic (6/2009)
"Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" in Huntress (6/2009)
Demon Bound (12/2009)
Bone Gods (11/2010)
Devil's Business (8/2011)
"The Curse of Four" (e-novella,10/2011)
Soul Trade (8/2012)
Dark Days (4/2013)
This blog post was revised and updated on 5/28/13 to include a review of the sixth book in the series, Dark Days. That review appears first, followed by an overview of the world-building, brief summaries of books 1-3 and full reviews of the novella and books 4 and 5:
BOOK 6: Dark Days
When he is on mortal earth, Legion poses as a cult leader who calls himself Larry Lovecraft, an obvious play on science fiction author, H.P. Lovecraft, whose works portrayed a human civilization threatened by otherworldly forces, haunted by guilt, and controlled by fate (which, of course, also describes BLACK LONDON's world). When Jack learns of Legion's earthly name, he reflects on Legion's choice of name: "Lovecraft: the xenophobic twit who conceived of a vast, otherworldly madness coming to swallow humanity whole. Jack gritted his teeth. On top of all his other irritants, Legion clearly thought himself f------ hilarious." (p. 122)
The story is told in the third person from Jack's viewpoint as he is tossed back and forth between underworld realms and earthly locations, always under attack from various demonic bad guys. When the final climactic showdown with Legion arrives, Jack is forced to do something he has sworn never to do never to do: make a deal with the Morrigan in order to save the world from Legion's chaos plan. By the end, London has become a very different place, and Jack's future has changed dramatically—both in the immediate and the long-term. As the story winds down, it gives off vibes of being the final book in the series, but then in the last paragraph, Jack receives yet another threat, so maybe there's another book on the way.
This series continues to be dark and frequently without hope for the lead characters—and humanity in general. As each book gets increasingly bleaker and more harrowing for Jack and Pete, my love for the series diminishes another notch. By this time, the back stories of the lead and supporting characters are so complex that it's hard to remember enough details to make sense of the characters' frequent references to past events. This book is not one to read as a stand-alone, so I would recommend that if you are at all interested in this series you either read book 1 (Street Magic) or the e-novella, "Curse of Four" just to get a taste for the atmosphere and the writing style.
In the early books, the Black is the magical section of London, where the time is always just about midnight, and the supernatural creatures gather at the Lament Pub. In that form, the Black is reminiscent of the magical London Nightside that is featured in Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE series. In later BLACK LONDON books, the meaning of the Black expands to include the magical world in general.
BOOK 3: Bone Gods