The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison
This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.
In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.
Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows. (publisher)
So, we have Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. In an alternate London and there’s also angels, vampires and hellhounds. Sort of all thrown in together, at least it felt like it. I’m not sure what I was expecting from the book, but it wasn’t this.
Angels named Crow is our Sherlock and hellhound named Dr Doyle is our Watson. Angels have a habitation in a public building where they are bound and sort of… oversee it? Protect it/or it’s people? Crow no longer have a habitation and he’s an anomaly. Normally after angels lose their habitation, they become Fallen but Crow didn’t. Instead, he helps solve crimes.
Doyle was injured in a war in Afghanistan by a Fallen and became a hellhound. Now that he’s back in London and trying to figure out what to do, he meets Crow and helps him solve crimes.
The book had good moments but mostly I was just confused. There are many cases that they work on and keeping them in order was kinda hard. And then remembering where the other case was left. I liked Crow and Doyle should have been far more interesting considering he had a lot going on and many secrets.
I’m not very familiar with Sherlock Holmes stories so those details were lost on me and I wasn’t expecting the Sherlock Holmes story/retelling, I expected more of a fantasy book. And since I’m not a fan of Sherlock, I wasn’t as excited as I thought I would be. I had to reread the book synopsis to check if it mentioned Sherlock and if I had somehow missed it but it didn’t mention it.
Published: Tor Books (June 23, 2020)