City of Dark Magic, written by Christina Lynch and Meg Howrey, under the evocative and completely appropriate pseudonym of Magnus Flyte, is a contemporary adventure tale of music and magic in Prague, a city where, it is said, one can find doorways that lead to Hell.
This is not a historical novel, although there is history here. This takes place in the here and now: a story about spies and amateur adventurers, where the mystery and magic is decidedly for adults. If you're looking for another Harry Potter, look elsewhere. This is Harry Potter as conceived by David Lynch: sex, death and the embrace of your inner weird. There's even a mysterious dwarf, and he's only 400 years old . . .
City of Dark Magic is smart and clever, but certainly not literary, and at times it is not even very well written. Perhaps that's part of its charm, because it is definitely fun and approachable. It presents us with a European sense of weirdness and wonder -- a story where Prague's ancient magicks are ever-present and darkly alive.
No zombies here; no vampires, werewolves, demons, or the slayers thereof.
No highbrow, literary aspersions.
Just a good story.
It's a breath of fresh air.