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Saturday, January 28, 2012

14) Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

The Blurb :

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying. Which, I don't mind telling you, would involve a hell of a lot of paperwork.

My Thoughts :

This book has been on my wishlist for a while. I was extremely unsure about it and once or twice I know I had a copy in my hand and ended up not buying it. Now I wish I had. I finally got a copy through Audible and couldn 't wait to start listening to it. At first the narrator annoyed me but different headphones made his voice easier to hear and understand. Despite this little technical problem I have to admit that this story had me hooked within minutes and had me laughing out loud on the street. I haven't had this much fun with a book for a long time.

Maybe it was the complete and utter Britishness that had me addicted to Rivers of London. I am from the UK and understood all the little quips, jokes and strange remarks made about the police and the British in general. It made me feel a little homesick and at the same time make me thankful for not living there anymore but it made for bloody good entertainment in conjunction with this unique story.

Paranormal Fantasy with a huge dollop of mystery awaits the reader in this fabulous start to a new series. I couldn't stop listening to this one and found myself not bothering with any other books all week. Actutally I think this audiobook was listened to quicker than any audiobook I have had so far and before even getting halfway through I downloaded the sequel.

The style may just be a little too British, hectic and unusual for some people but I just found it witty, entertaining and well thought out. The story had lots of surprises and twists which meant I never knew what was going to happen next or how it may end. The characters were a lot of fun to get to know and read about and I am looking forward to getting to know them better. They definitely have some more secrets to tell.

What more can I say? I loved this book! Unusual, unique and a riot! I plan on listening to the next book straight away. I have to know what comes next and what else the author has up his sleeve!


Cheryl said...

England is one of my favorite places to visit and I love reading books set there. I was just getting ready to write that I had to check it out, and decided to hit Goodreads first. Turns out this book is also called Midnight Riot (at least in the US) and I actually bought books one and two during one of my mad buying frenzies at Borders' going out of business sale. After your review I'm going to have to move this up in the TBR pile. Thanks!

Mardel said...

I'm from the U.S. and I loved Rivers of London. Luckily, I have a UK copy (like the cover more than the U.S. copy) from a Brit friend. I had a lot of fun reading the book - I know there's quips I didn't get (wishing that I kept a post it handy to mark so I could ask questions) but there was plenty that I did get. I'm sure a lot of the things I didn't catch are to do with daily life in London, and the personalities of current event over your way. I agree that it's more involved than a lot of current urban fantasies, but this was a good thing for me. I enjoyed all the different parts of the book, and I really enjoyed the humor.

I've also been reading a lot of Terry Pratchett over the last 15 years, along with Suzanne McLeod, who introduced me to works by Mike Carey and Jaine Fenn; although that isn't of course the complete British experience, I've learned a few things and had some good laughs (BBC helps, also.)
I'm definitely going to get the sequel as soon as I can, but I'm going to go for the UK cover which is way better looking than the US cover.

Unknown said...

@ Cheryl - I totally forgot to mention it is called Midnight Riot in the US. I also came across that fact on Goodreads when adding the book to my lists. However I have to say that Rivers of London suits the book more. Maybe they didn't want American readers focsuing too much on the London bit?

Enjoy the book! I am going to start listening to the second one today :)

@ Mardel - You don't have to wait to get a UK copy. Go to Bookdepository (links all over the site) and order the book there. They have the UK editions (They are based in the UK) and they have free postage worldwide!

Oh and I am also a fan od Suzanne McLeod. As for Mike Carey...I have the first two of his books on my shelf my I never got to reading them. I know I started the first one but gave up. Can't remember why.