The city of London’s soul has gone missing. Has it been lost? Kidnapped? Murdered, perhaps? No one knows for sure but with the soul of the city missing, the Gate between the real and the unreal is open. And with the Gate open and no one to guard it there are creatures out hunting.
Sharon Li has accidentally discovered she is a shaman, and her oneness with the city means she is called upon to find the city’s missing soul. The only problem is while everyone expects Sharon to know what to do, in truth she had no idea where to start. The monsters however won’t be waiting for Sharon to catch up; they’re hungry and the city awaits.
I really enjoyed reading Stray Souls. It’s an urban fantasy kind of book and while reading it I was reminded of another favorite book of mine – Good Omens. The style of writing and pacing of the story was very reminiscent and made it a fun read.
I think one of the things I enjoyed best was how strong of an individual Sharon was. All too often a female main character eventually falls in to the ‘helpless heroine’ trope. Sharon doesn’t do that; though she has a lot to deal with throughout the story, she handles it with aplomb. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t ask for assistance when it is required, she just kicks a good deal of ass all on her own.
The vast array of characters also adds to the fun of the book. Readers familiar with Griffin’s other works will recognize Matthew Swift as he makes an appearance. Griffin has added a menagerie of other memorable characters such as a banshee with a love of modern art and a vampire with severe OCD.
Slated as the first in a series, Stray Souls can also be considered a stand alone novel. The book is full of well written scenes, interesting characters, and a satisfying end. Those who enjoy Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman might do well to give this author a try. I, personally, will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.