The Glass God - Kate Griffin

I have self-control issues.  I am therefore succumbing to temptation and just going ahead and reading The Glass God.  Which means I will no longer have an emergency supply of reading crack Matthew Swift/Magicals Anonymous Griffin, please, please, please write another book. Preferably under one of the aliases I'm aware of so that I'll actually know. Thanks.


Anyway, on GR, I used to be very hardcore about keeping a collection of quotes and running commentary for books I really enjoyed, so I'm going to do the equivalent here by continually updating this post.


I'm afraid the post is backwards...I wasn't very careful.



[pg 421] Things I know about Matthew Swift: (1) He's over 5'4" (taller than Sharon) (2) He's under 5'7" (describes himself in #4 as "looking up" to someone of that height) (1) he's caucasian (his last name made me guess that, but it just got confirmed),(4) He was most likely the May member of a May-December romance, (5) he's got curly dark hair and creepily bright blue eyes.

Yup, that's the cumulative knowledge gained from 6 books. I have no idea how old he is; guessing he kicked around 25 or 30, and I think two or three years have passed since bk1. Since he's dead, I suppose it's a moot point, but still. Apparently the rest of his family, other than his grandmother-who-talked-to-pigeons, is still alive and around, but he doesn't talk about it. It's always beat me why he didn't attempt suicide; why not go back to being "free" with the angels, as well as freeing the angels themselves?

"I am Sharon Li, deputy Midnight Mayor, protector of the city, guardian of the night! I have seen things you cannot imagine, witnessed horrors, unleashed magics beyond your comprehension, and I demand--"

Then an American pushed in by her and asked if the cabby could take him to King's Cross, and the driver said sure, get in.  So when the next cab came by her in the taxi rank, she said, "I-I-I'm really sorry my-my-my friend is in trouble and I need to see him before it's too-too-late..."

He told her to hop right in, and she felt only a little dirty as the door slammed shut behind her. (pg 425)

Chapters 90 and 91 should have been switched. Talk about an anticlimax.



"It's been an experience...enlightening, educational, a little disturbing but..."

A roar, a tearing jagged blast of bundled static and microwaves, which fizzled through the wall as Swift batted it aside. "...but basically I feel that we've ...what did you call it, Sharon?"

"Grown as a person," offered Sharon.

"Grown as a person," agreed Swift with manic cheerfulness.  "I like that. It's like growing as a mushroom, or growing as a bit of mould in a damp bathroom or something, only better."

"Much better," Sharon assured him, as his left foot tried to be where his right was at the same time as his right tried to get with his left. "If you carry on like this, you'll end up happy in yourself before you know it." (428)

Aww. He's high again. He's cute when he's high.

"I'm fine, I'm ... ow--I'm giddy."

"That's very reasurring, Mr Mayor, but if you don't mind I'd like to get a professional medical opinion on the subject."

"And you think...OW!--that Dr Seah is the right person to give that?"

"Hey, sweetheart, if you wanna meet the unprofessional me," sighed Dr Seah, "I can totally arrange that."

A moment, as Matthew Swift considered this. Then, "Okay, fair enough." (433)

Did she just threaten to beat him up (heh), date him, or make cupcakes with him?


Mmmh. The end was unsatisfying. Arthur felt rather contrived to me. they're just running with the Old Man Bones thing? WTF?

(show spoiler)




Sorry to pull this back up thru my feed again.  I put about 20 posts on my feed and nearly lost it, and marking it as a review didn't help because it's listed as "currently reading." Glugh.

"If we are having to fight a glass god..."


"We--that's Magicals Anonymous and that--figured 'god' had a negative connotation? Particularly when it's got the words 'have to fight' before it.'(364)

This should have been the cover image, not that dreary bare cityscape:

Or this:


"I am impressed by Magicals Anonymous, whether you realise it or not.  All those damaged lives, all those heartfelt, aching problems, and you know what it is? You know what you've made? It's a really good place for all the little people to go and be small together." (pg 395)


"Did you just call me...sweetheart? [...] would you call a raging male sorcerer 'cupcake'?" (pg 395)

Oh, I totally would. I think I'm going to call Swift that for the remainder of this book.

"Obviously I'd be honoured ot die fighting nobly for you and your cause," said the Alderman. "But if you have any useful advice on the most productive manner in which I could heroically lay down my life for the sake of others, it'd be greatly appreciated..."

Sharon stared into Kelly's smiling, breathless face. "You know, I get as how this isn't a great time to ask, but are you ever actually kidding?" (pg 407)

As far as I can tell, no. And I've still never figured out whether Swift hates her or is utterly bemused by her.



"I'm sure everyone will be delighted to hear that Mr Swift--or what's left of him--hasn't destroyed anything organic in the last few hours, although we have had a few complaints about noise pollution." (pg 287)


"I could totally walk through it [the door]. But I don't want to do it and, like, violate your civil rights or anything."
"Unless you're an agent of evil," suggested Rhys.
"Unless you're an agent of evil, or merely a kinda adjunct of evil, or like evil's PA or that, in which case I actually think there's an argument to be had." (pg 324)


"And he's kinda dumb, but he's still the Midnight Mayor, and actually he's got this special kinda dumb that really makes him a bit scary." (pg 356)

(show spoiler)


[pg 221] I've been waiting 6 books to say this, and yeah, I know I said it in #2 already and I know it's still not as perfect as I could wish, but...


snerk.  That never gets old.

"If you ever wanna give it a go, you, me and a big, soppy snog." (pg 225)

Awwwww.  Here's a romance I'm actually cheering for.  They're adorable. :D

(show spoiler)

"Now, I would suggest a bit of team bonding, like paintballing or that, but I'm really not sure we've got the time. So let's all try and be united by a mutual fear of spontaneous combustion and an oncoming plague, yeah?" (pg 233)


(2) Hm. So his body is sorcerous, not his mind.  Interesting, I guess?

"I was mostly called in by Kelly--you've met Kelly, right. She's so awesome it's like, I want to be her, you know?--to have a look at the Midnight Mayor." At this, Dr Seah gave a malicious cackle.  "Because that's totally new!" (pg 245)

Yes, but now he can be damaged past the point of narrative coherence, something otherwise generally required in a 1POV narrator.

(show spoiler)


[pg 247] I know this is ridiculous, but it's taken me 6 books to realize this: the angels say "we be free" (rather than something with valid grammar) because it sounds like a telephone beep.


AWWW. Serious hardcore intensive fanart kodak moment.

"It looked entirely human, peaceful, almost innocent. Someone had, in deference to the temperature, given it a wooly hat pulled down across the eyes with a pair of fluffy grey rabbit ears sticking out to each side, and a pair of thick blue skiing gloves to protect it against the cold." (pg 248)


"One tiny human brain bouncing round the telephone wires? It'd be like--well, put it like this, there'd be psychological things I'd be worried about. Like, beyond prescription drugs kinda things." (pg 250)

Babes, he's already done that. For two years.

(show spoiler)


[pg 254] Wow. Now that two other characters have joined the gang, as far as I can tell, every single person who has ever met Swift has seriously considered killing him.  Way to make friends and influence people, buddy.

By two more I mean Kelly and Sharon. Yikes.

(show spoiler)

"And, uh...yeah, if you ignore the threat of plague and the walking dead things and the shoes hanging off stuff and the missing sacrificial blade and the waking god and the trapped sorcerer and the screaming blue angel in the basement, then I'd say there's lots of really good things we can work with here." (pg 255)


"We're Magicals Anonymous; we're all about people with social issues, and it sounds to me like there's nothing like being a... monster-headed, bloated-bodied, scaly fiend from Chelsea to cause discrimination! We could totally help! [...]

I'm just saying, community outreach, getting to know people, this could be ..."--her eyes glinted--"an opportunity."


At length, "Amazing!" said Kelly. "You know, I hadn't even thought about it. Now you point it out, the idea of having tea with a creature capable of rending me limb from limb had been something that bothered me.  But now that I think about it, it's just a social stereotype, isn't it?""Exactly.""Oh, my God, and I always thought I had such an open mind!"(pg 255)

Yes, they're both serious.

"Prejudice is what you get when stupid people go about judging the whole rending-talons thing without bothering to see if the talon is actually holding a fucking ice cream!" (pg 262)



I've decided: talking to Sharon Li is like being savaged by a politically correct pekinese masquerading as a pit bull.

[pg 195] ..And Swift was OK with this? Gee-suss. At what point did Matthew Effing Swift become a moral relativist, a greatest-good-for-the-greatest-number kinda guy? 

"I just want to make sure we get magical retaliation on some sort of equal footing. Steal a mystic umbrella--get the Black Death. Borrow a sacred pencil, maybe that's only acne. You see where I'm going with this?" (pg 196)

Is it me, or is this whole Midnight Mayor business one huge  game of mystic hot potato?

"I know this isn't the time, sir, but you have read the current guidelines on the summoning and commanding of deceased flesh? Only there are consent forms..." (pg 208)

[pg 209] I totally suspect Arthur. No good can come of intellectuals in graveyards.

"All that happens if you speak your mind is people tell you your mind must be broken." (pg 213)



"Jesus, what's the point of having a positive bloody attitude if the deepest manifestation of my unconscious mind has to turn up every night and go negativity on everything?"

Dez hesitated, tugging the ends of his shirtsleeves a little stiffer over his unnaturally tanned, orange wrists. "But," he protested, "surely if you strive so hard to have a positive mental attitude towards everything, it's only because you unconsciously believe yourself to be deeply, truly stuffed?" (pg 79)

"You a book group?"
"Um. Y-yes?"

"For druids?"

"Oh, no! For feminists, mostly."

Sharon's voice was the slow see-saw of one trying to solve a difficult problem. "'re a druid. And...also a feminist?"

"I don't think you have to be either, or not be either, or be neither one nor the other, or not either or, in fact, to join." (pg 85)

OMG. I think I love Rhys. But hun, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is not a feminist book. Also, since when was he competent? Or an actual full-fledged druid, for that matter?

[Hampstead] was beautiful, clean, welcoming, friendly, quaint, historical, modern and, Rhys couldn't help but feel, judging him.

"You can't be judged by a borough," said Sharon.


"B-b-but boroughs do have a distinct personality. [...]then maybe you do get a collective personality, see?"

"But why would a borough judge you?" demanded Sharon. "You attend a non-druidic feminist book group!" (pg 86)


"This god-devil-angel thing which may or may not be going down right now, does it involve any of the following: blood, death, horror, magic, gore, screaming betrayal, misery, and ritual dancing?"

8ft thought about it. "yeh," he grunted.

"Yeah? Which bits?"

He thought again. "al of it. cept da dancin."

Sharon's smile was a lighthouse on a foggy night. "Fantastic," she breathed. "Well, there's some small comfort, isn't there?" (pg 128)

[pg 137] Oshit. Well, that answered one question. 

Matthew Swift really isn't human at all any more, is he? Nor is he--the human part, I mean--actually alive.

(show spoiler)


(On Sharon and her tendency to sign everything "xx")

Memos on the topic of office utilities had been signed "lots of love," while the worst he'd seen was an email to a minotaur who'd demanded a throne of gold to sit on, should he deign to attend the meetings, but who had received for his pains a note from Sharon informing him that his needs would be considered, but uness he could provide a medical or chemical reason why his chair had to be specifically gold, budget constraints would limit the office's willingness to comply. That email had been signed "yours sincerely." (pg 173)

"Are there any unions for mages, magicians and associated professionals?" mused Rhys.

Even before he realised he'd spoken aloud, he noticed Sharon growing intense.

"You mean... magicians could be being exploited? Casting spells for less than the minimum wage, working in unacceptable conditions, no health and safety, no national insurance...oh, my God." She stopped and turned so suddenly that Rhys nearly bumped into her. "What about gender equality? What if you have to be male to be a warlock?"

"But... you're not a warlock, Ms Li..."

"Not the point!" (p 176)


"I guess what I'm saying is...I'm not a scary feminist person, I'm just a scary people person.  What do you think?"
Posterity was not to know Rhys's response. (p 176)


A voice said, "I have a gun."

It was old, male, matter-of-fact. Rhys turned grey. Sharon grabbed him by the sleeve, pulling him towards her, and still holding the umbrella aloft called back, "Yeah? Well, I've got a druid!" (pg 183)

[pg 184] Hun, I don't know if it's intended to be funny or not, but "malingering" doesn't mean "lingering with mal intent." 


From Sharon, "the deputy Midnight fucking Mayor":

"These are difficult circumstances and interesting times so can everyone just shut up and do what I say?" (pg 185)



 "Sharon exuded the brightness of a firefly, the confidence of a double-decker bus, the optimism of a hedgehog, and the tact of a small thermonuclear missile."(pg 8)


Urban dryads = awesome.(pg 18)

Also, the pronoun choice means I must not be right about the antagonist

--it must not be the Dust Creature. 

(show spoiler)

Which is a pity, because if that gawdawful decision doesn't come back to haunt Swift, I'm going to be so very, very disappointed.

 "Usually when he disappears it's to blow things up, or engage in nefarious acts with dark forces, but this time there's been none of that, so I'm a little concerned."

"You're concerned that things aren't blowing up?"

"You have met him," Kelly pointed out.(pg 25)


 "She pushed the door open. Beyond it Sharon saw...

...a disaster.

Piles of paper hid every part of the floor, save for five neat, foot-sized trenches which had been left at just the right distance to make stepping from one to the next strenuously uncomfortable. The twisted mind that contrived this round-your-footsteps school of filing hadn't spared the walls or windows either: every available inch was covered with maps, memos, notes, diagrams, and, in one or two cases, what looked to Sharon like mystic wards inscribed in marker pen onto the wall itself


In the middle of the room, encased by all this junk and sagging under the weight of many unwashed coffee mugs, was a desk; a computer sat huddled on one corner, as if embarrassed to be so digital in this analogue room. The only chair had also fallen victim to the mess of paperwork and was burdened by several copies of the Yellow pages, the earliest dating back to 1992. Sharon thought about moving them, then couldn't work out where they'd go; so, stepping carefully towards the desk, across the paper-infested floor, she balanced precariously on top of them, like a toddler on a bar stool. The others lurked in the doorway, waiting to see what fell first.

"This," said Sharon, "is not good office practice." (35)

Heh. You know, you don't really get the Full Matthew Effect from his 1-POV narrative.  Although the fact that several of his antagonists were made out of paper is beginning to make rather a lot of sense....


Heh. The Midnight Mayor uses Microsoft.

"Ever gone looking for the missing guardian of the city before?"

" Sorry."

"I haven't either," offered Miles, "but I do have Google maps on my phone, should we require them."(pp36)

I think I love you, Miles. 


(pg 72) Joy. It's the Tribe. They give me a headache.

Sharon considered this. "A Positive Attitude," she intoned, "Is Healthier Than Negativity."

"Even with knives involved?" queried Kevin.

"Especially," she declared, "with knives involved."(pg 75)

Actually, the entire cast is cracking me up this book.  Let's see: there's Sharon, who uses multicolour highlighters and attempts to self-actualize everyone around her, as she apparently missed the whole "self" aspect to it, Kelly, who is and always has been manically and impossibly cheerful when she's not off slaughtering antagonists I'm fond of, Rhys, who's being adorably ineffective and jealous, and Miles the self-proclaimed minion, who is apparently attempting to compete with Kelly in the impossibly cheerful awards as well as being improbably hypercompetentl in all situations.And then there's Swift, whose filing method involves very large piles of papers with spaces every five feet that require you to hop through.