David Deveareux

Gollancz (2009)

ISBN: 978-0-575-07988-5

Reviewed by Mitenae

“Jack”, as he’s known, is a spy working for the Service, who also happens to be a magician. The Service is so highly classified that even MI5 agents don’t know about it. Jack’s called in to go undercover as John Dennis, a banker, to infiltrate and stop whatever a group of Neo-Nazis are up to, before they try and take over the world.

Eagle Rising is a book that didn’t initially grab my attention or persuade me to keep reading. The tone of the prologue didn’t appeal to me. But as I kept reading the story grew on me so that I was curious to find out what did happen. This is a fairly quick, light and undemanding read.

Possibly the best way to describe this book and world is as a spy thriller with a dash of magic. Its focus is more on the spy side and details. Magic is there but with the way the book and world is conveyed it’s hard to get a sense of how magic plays into the world, how it’s used and effects it. It seems to be more occult/black magic and there is a warning from the author at the beginning to not try it at home. He goes to great pains to gloss over some of the details so that intrepid readers can’t try it at home.

I like that this book uses the rumours of the Nazi party and their occult magic and links it to the current day. It works well, even if most spy stories have moved away from the cold war era.

Eagle Rising is not the sort of book I’d usually read. It really is more mainstream to me than speculative fiction. But it’s a great read and well worth trying if this sort of story appeals to you.