Mur Lafferty came onto our radar through her most excellent Afterlife series so when it was originally announced that she'll be releasing a novel for the Orbit Books, we were over the Moon. Couldn't happen to a more deserving person as Mur works incredibly hard in various media including podcasts, endless articles and books.
Recently, we also had huge pleasure of hosting her article on The Story Behind The Shambling Guide to New York City where she talked about the genesis of her first Orbit book so this first entry in the ongoing The Shambling Guides series is the subject of this review. To open, this Shambling Guide was such a pleasure to read.
Starting when the travel writer Zoe Norris takes a move from North Carolina to New York and takes a job as an editor with the strange publishing company, Zoe soon discovers that her first task is to create a guide to the city aimed at the undead or as the book calls it "coterie" which includes everything from zombies to succubi and more . As if that wasn't enough, her boss is drinking blood on daily basis and her co-worker is Welsh death goddess. All this would be enough to freak anyone out but Zoe, being persistent as she is, just shrugs and keeps at it. What happens next is something like undead version of The Office with amazing dynamics and work banter. Each and every type of supernatural creatures has it's specifics and Zoe must learn everything from scratch leading through some extraordinary and bizarre situations. I can almost imagine Mur chuckling to herself as she was plotting all this. Putting well established stereotypes about supernatural creatures into office environment was simply act of genius. However, when food belonging to Zombies goes missing, it transpires that someone is intentionally making Zoe's job even harder than it already is...
As you can see, The Shambling Guide to New York City is quite original and even if you don't read this kind of stuff, you should give it a go. It's very funny and very quirky. A perfect summer read for supernaturally inclined. I'm really looking forward to the sequel which is set in New Orleans and will be published in March, 2014 by Orbit Books.