Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review routinely receives books from Publishers and Authors for review consideration. When in doubt assume the book comes from a Publisher or if you follow my New Procurement posts I usually describe the source of said book. I still buy a lot of books as well.
To commemorate the 200th post of Mad Hatter's Bookshelf I have one hardcover copy of How to Make Friends With Demons by Graham Joyce up for grabs. This was published in the UK under the title Memoirs of a Master Forger where it won the British Fantasy Award. I never did get around to posting a full review as I wasn't happy with what I wrote despite enjoying the read in the end so here are some choice tidbits from what I wrote.
William Heaney committed an occult transgression in his youth which has been plaguing him for 20 years. He is a very flawed person who despite trying to do his best is his own worst enemy. Heaney deals with the fact that he sees demons by trying to do good in a Robin Hood style with his not so merry band of book forgers. The dialogue is the strongest part of the book with many witty and honest lines. The demon factor barely comes in and neither the British or American titles seem entirely apt because of it. The story had its slow parts and had little semblance of a plot for the first half, which I found disconcerting as the main character is seemingly traipsing about, but that is only because this isn't treated as your normal modern day Fantasy with a mission in mind from the start as it is more of a general lit story that could fine a home in many bookshelves next to the likes of Nick Hornby. It is all about character growth and human interaction. That said the occult underpinnings are there and very realistic in their approach and tact.
If you have friends who always say Fantasy isn't for them this could act as a good bridge book between more standard Fiction and genre. If you are expecting something Epic look elsewhere, but for an interesting character driven tour of London with some very flawed characters this is definitely worth checking out. The look into book forging was also quite intriguing.
Send an email to madhatterreview (AT) gmail (dot) com with your full name and snail mail address and "DEMONS" in the subject line to enter the contest along with naming your favorite book read in 2009 because I'm curious. The deadline is midnight January 17th. I'll announce the winner on the following day. This contest is open to the United States and Canada only. If you send multiple entries you will be disqualified from the contest.