A deluge of black magic is sweeping through Victorian London. It began with a single ritual murder in a London church. But that one murder has turned into many, and as the dead begin to rise and walk the streets, magical scribe Simon Archer knows he has to hunt down the necromancer behind all this dastardly activity and put an end to it.
Joining forces with the lovely alchemist Kate Anstruther, monster hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, and brilliant engineer Penny Carter, the team battles an unrelenting army of powerful gods, demi-gods, demons, and walking dead. I was happy to see the young werewolf Charlotte joining in on the action and playing a more prominent role in this book too. And Malcolm, warring with his own inner demons, as he struggles to accept Charlotte into the group was a poignant glimpse into an otherwise rough and gruff man.
This series reminds me a bit of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novels by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris, though I actually like the latter series better. In Crown & Key, it feels like there's too much unnecessary narrative during the action scenes, slowing things down so it doesn't feel quite as fast or punchy. I found myself losing focus a few times because of that and had to go back and reread. I don't really think this minor criticism however should detract from what is otherwise a really good series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group/Del Rey Spectra for providing me with a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.