cover image London Falling

London Falling

Paul Cornell. Tor, $24.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3027-7

Cornell, a Hugo-nominated writer for Doctor Who and various comic books, embarks on a detailed police procedural–style exploration of the darkest parts of London’s magical underbelly. This is not a lighthearted or playful romp through a sexy urban fantasy setting; instead it explores elements of real horror, such as kidnapping, rape, and gruesome murder. Though the story can get a bit bogged down by tedious descriptions of procedure or wordy ponderings on the nature of magic, the unusual plot—which follows officers using police techniques to learn, without a guide, about an entire world of magic, superstition, and darkness—will keep readers hooked. Stumbling in the dark is a slow process, but when the lights come on they reveal an interesting and very gritty new fantasy world with ample room for sequel stories. (Apr.)