Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Street Magic

Posted July 23, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Street Magic

Street Magic


Caitlin Kittredge

dark fantasy that was published by St. Martin Paperbacks on June 2, 2009 and has 326 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Corsets & Clockwork, Demon Bound, Bone Gods, Night Life, Huntress, The Iron Thorn, "The Curse of Four", The Nightmare Garden, The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge, Devil's Business, Soul Trade, Mirrored Shard, Dark Days, Black and White, Games Creatures Play

First in the Black London dark fantasy series set in contemporary London.

My Take

Gritty and nasty with its underworld and greedy characters, Street Magic is enticing in its unique perspective on this magic world with its singular characters.

The heroin-addicted Jack itching to remind the supernatural who he is. Then there’s Pete using Jack but falling into that trope of let’s-not-get-somewhere-by-telling-everything. Argh! I hate it when characters withhold information for the sake of drama and tension. She gets pretty demanding with Grinchley too when I suspect a simple request would work. Yeah, Pete is too full of herself and without a clue in too many ways.

Still, I like the relationship that develops between Pete and Jack. Very adversarial. Slanging off each other. So very angry with each other even as warmer feelings develop. It makes a nice treat that they’re not all buddy-buddy. As for Mosswood, I adore how Kittredge portrays him. I’m hoping we see lots more of him in this series.

As for the action, it never stops, and Kittredge’s twist on fae and ghosts will have you rocking back on your heels, and we learn more about the magic that lurks about the streets of London than any of us cared to know. I am so looking forward to reading Demon Bound, 2 to find out what happens next in both the world of magic and between Jack and Pete.

The Story

Something is kidnapping children in London. When they are found, the children are blind. With no memories. Inspector Pete Caldecott is desperate to find the latest victim, and when a clue takes her to a hotel room, she goes.

Discovering her nightmares have all been for naught.

That Jack Winter is alive. A junkie but alive.

Jack only laid the information to get it out of his head. If he’d known it would be Pete showing up, he’s not sure he’d’ve called the cops. Now that he has, Pete turns his life into a living hell as she forces him to help using his magic to find Bridget and the others.

The Characters

Jack Winter is the heroin-using crow-mage with the mouth on the boyo; he hasn’t a lot of patience for anyone and will use his magic or flick knife faster than you can think. Seth McBride was his first teacher in magic, the previous crow-mage.

Inspector Pete Caldecott, a brilliant young detective on the force and daughter of a cop, has been haunted by the events in that graveyard 12 years ago. When she discovers that Jack is her informant, part of her is thrilled he’s alive and part furious for his having kept his life a secret from her. And that what she saw all those years ago was real. Now, she don’t take no shit from anyone, including Jack. Ollie Heath is Pete’s partner, a skeptic, but a good friend.

Bridget is the six-year-old girl kidnapped from the streets of London.

Ian Mosswood is the Green Man or Green Knight, and hangs out at The Lament, a pub in the Black.

The Cover and Title

The cover must be from another story. Sure, the tattooed, spiky-haired blond dude could be Jack. Except that the cover Jack is well-fed. As for who the woman is. Maybe she’s Hattie cuz she sure ain’t Pete. And just to be sure we know we’re in London, they’re both posed in front of a railing alongside the Thames with a nightlit Old London Bridge in the background.

The title is perfect as it is all about the Street Magic.