Kate Griffin – The Minority Council

After three world threatening opponents The Minority Council (2012), the fourth novel in the so-called Matthew Swift urban fantasy series by Kate Griffin, revolves about somewhat more mundane issues. This is actually a good thing because, as I mentioned in my review of the third novel, The Neon Court, how often can you keep saving the world? It becomes a rather dull affair. An author needs to vary with her material and explore different venues. If you create an urban fantasy world which is quite different from the usual fare, why not invest in it and give it more depth and detail?

Griffin does this now by venturing a bit more into the magical society. The main protagonist, still stuck with certain duties and responsibilities, begins to grow into his new role as he is confronted with problems nobody (in this case the organization he himself is supposed to represent) is apparently looking into. So he does and this leads to a conflict with his own organization. He realizes he does not know that much about it as he has been trying to ignore it as he did not want those responsibilities.

The plot is much about evolution in the way the main protagonist is living his life. Now he has to take matters into his own hand and take up responsibilities. He does so on the basis of morality. What to accept and let be and what to act upon. While the main protagonist begins to grow up he is also faced with duplicity. People show different faces and trust does not seem so simple.

Although the previous novels did not hold back on certain grim events this novel holds certain brutal and shocking moments. While the previous novels sought a better and ethically satisfying solutions Griffin takes on a different course and chooses solutions that leave scars and thus make a greater impact.

Despite these rather nasty developments there are plenty of more uplifting moments and humorous scenes interspersed in the story that take away the strain for a short while and take things back to the mundane.

The plot in this fourth novel follows a different flow than before. Although the main protagonist does get hunted again it does take a while for it to happen and for once it does not hamper his other activities as it is easier to elude them. Instead there is one very reverbating chase sequence in which Griffin goes all out and which is far more exciting than all those before.

The Minority Council manages to give the series a good change from the usual fare and with it avoids becoming repetitive. It is not like she did a big make-over but the tone, approach and setup are considerably different from before. It certainly provides an incentive to read more, although for the moment it seems Griffin is done with the series. This one is again, recommended.

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