Book Review: The Great Big Demon Hunting Agency (ARC)

Expected publication March 2, 2023

Author: Peter Oxley

London, 1868. The streets are haunted by thieves, murderers… and demons from beyond the Aether.

Spencer and Bart are the city’s most incompetent crooks, and they are in deep trouble. Hunted by both police and their fellow criminals, they are forced to consider the unthinkable —going straight.

Forming The Great Big Demon Hunting Agency, they thought their troubles were behind them, but they soon find themselves caught up in a web far more dangerous than they could ever imagine, pitched against demons, criminals and evil magicians.

Why are there so many demons roaming the London streets, and can Spencer and Bart stop them before it’s too late?

Who are the mysterious Tappers, and what are they doing with the women they abduct from the streets?

Can Spencer and Bart change the habits of a lifetime and not only stay on the right side of the law, but also save the day?

The Great Big Demon Hunting Agency is the new novel from Peter Oxley, the author of the Infernal Aether series. If you like dark gothic adventures with a light-hearted twist, then you’ll love The Great Big Demon Hunting Agency.

The Great Big Demon Hunting Agency appealed to me as I was curious to try something a little different where there is some humor mixed in with the fantasy. The novel is based in an alternate Victorian age in the 19th century where demons live amongst us in London. Bart and Spencer are morally grey crooks who decide to open their own agency. The novel looks like it is currently set-up as a standalone, but, for me, it reads as a prequel where the agency is established and there is room to expand this into a series in the future.

Bart is the muscle while Spencer is the brains from their initial depiction, which was a little too expected. There seemed to be hints at more complexity for their characters, however, the shorter number of pages does not allow a lot of time for character development. The two of them are hired by Tessa (Tessie) Marchant, wife of Lord Merchant. This leads to a chaotic adventure as Bart and Spencer attempt to help Tessie. For me, I wish there were more demon hunting leading up to the main plot. I think that would have helped establish the characters a little more as some additional backstory could have been integrated. This would have felt more complete instead of a little rushed. The world-building is also reflected in the quick nature of the story as there is a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time, so the reader does not have all the pieces to properly put the puzzle together. Overall, it was an entertaining read with a lot of promise. If this does turn into a series, I would be interested to see what new adventures await the agency in the future!

**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Burning Chair Limited, for the opportunity to read this novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**

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