Series Fantasy: John Connolly’s Tales of Samuel Johnson
Irish writer John Connolly is best known for the Charlie Parker private eye/horror novels. The first, Every Dead Thing (1999) was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and the fourteenth, A Time of Torment, will be released this August. In 2009 Connolly published his first novel for younger readers, The Gates, featuring Samuel Johnson, his faithful daschund Boswell, and his bumbling demon friend Nurd. It was followed by two more; all three are now available in trade paperback from Emily Bestler Books.
The Gates (320 pages, $7.99, August 30, 2011)
The Infernals (336 pages, $15, April 10, 2012; published in the UK as Hell’s Bells)
The Creeps (319 pages, $15, August 26, 2014)
The books have been celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. The LA Times calls them “Laugh out loud funny… a cross between Eoin Colfer and Terry Pratchett,” and Booklist says they’re “Hilariously macabre.” In her Black Gate review of The Infernals, Andrea Grennan called them “Marvelous… great fun for any reader, young or old. Like the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons, adults will appreciate The Infernals in a different and more sophisticated way.”
Connolly hasn’t said if there will be a fourth book in the series, but it seems likely. He recent releases include his second collection of supernatural tales, Night Music, and a YA fantasy trilogy written with his partner Jennifer Ridyard, The Chronicles of the Invaders (Conquest, Empire, and Dominion).
Our previous coverage of Connolly includes:
Mystery 101: Books To Die For is a Complete Course in Mystery Fiction
Andrea Grennan reviews The Infernals
Andrea Grennan reviews The Burning Soul
And if you’re looking for other fantasy series to enjoy, old and new, you can browse some of our series coverage from the past two months.
Confluence by Paul McAuley
A Most Improper Boxed Set by Stephanie Burgis
Shadow Police by Paul Cornell
The Red Queen’s War by Mark Lawrence
The Persona Sequence by Genevieve Valentine
Jane Gaskell’s Atlan Saga
The Complete Morgaine, by C.J. Cherryh
The Case Files of Justis Fearsson by David B. Coe
GreyDogTales on Equation Thrillers
Thieves Can: A review of the A Tale of the Kin series
The Riverworld Series by Philip Jose Farmer
Heart of Dread by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
The Dagger and the Coin by Daniel Abraham
The Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells
See all of our recent coverage of Series fantasy here.
Sadly, I was underwhelmed by the Samuel Johnson series. The reviews for the books have been positive, but I just felt like story ran out of gas.