Sunday, 13 April 2014

Book Challenge....Books 9 & 10!!!

Rivers of London 1 by Ben Aaronovitch

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 (and 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.

Guest review by Stephanie - thank you!

Being British, I have a genetic code that allows one to see every achievement, by myself or another, with an air of melancholy and a nonchalant vacancy. We Brits don’t do excitable jubilation unless it involves the royals.

But I throw caution to the wind now as I not only applaud Mr Aaronovitch but actually revel in his success. ‘Rivers of London’ is the witty, imaginative wonder that Brit fantasy literature has been craving since Joe Abercrombie lost it after the first law series. Through Peter Grant, Ben takes you on a journey around our ‘ends’ of London Town, weaving everyday people into fantastical yet oddly realistic plot lines. Using the benign trudge of police life and mixing in the colourful splash that is - well we don’t want to use the word magic, but we can settle for ‘supernatural occurrences’ - to grab you and thrust you into modern day Britain.

Now I am slightly bias, as I live in London and actually found myself jumping with joy when he mentions places I know well or have been to (in particularly Paperchase in Covent Garden, I love notepads). Relating is great fun, and this is what this book gives you that fantasy novels aren’t supposed to - relation. Much as a certain well known child wizard does to anyone who has had a childhood and gone to school, Peter Grant draws you into the mundane work life, and wonderfully grey London.

On a writing stance one has to keep the cogs turning to grasp the high speed level at which the dialogue and detective work race along, and more than once I found myself skipping back a page to make sure I hadn’t missed anything before I move on. Ben places ‘magic’ within the rational confines of modern day science, and the explanations are well thought out, albeit at times a little too clever for Peter Grants own good, however this is not a mark down, simply an observation.

As much as everyone wants to market this series as ‘What if Mr Potter grew up’, it is so much better than that. Witty, innovative and best of all full of swear words, Rivers of London is the type of book that helps sets a new genre.

In summary, go read this book now, and bask in the growing glory of British fantasy literature!

No comments:

Post a Comment