Rivers of London – by Ben Aaronovitch

riversoflondonSynopsis: 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.

Title: Rivers of London
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780575097582

Rating: 3stars

I have heard a great many things about this series and have (finally) given in and jumped on the bandwagon. It was described as the adult Harry Potter – who can say no to that!

Once I started reading, however, I wanted to hit whoever dared compare it to the great Potter series. It was nothing like it! Although it has a good premise and was, at times, humorous, it simply wasn’t punchy enough for me. The pace slowed right down at times and I just couldn’t connect to the magical side of things.

Aaronovitch’s saving grace is his characters – they are intriguing (what is the deal with the maid?!), diverse, and quirky. I’m a little bit in love with Peter, especially as, in my mind, he looks like a mash-up between Idris Elba and Drake, and has that adorable London wit that no man should go without.

Which moves nicely into the second reason why I didn’t stop reading the book – London. Aaronovitch masterfully depicts the streets of London; from rolling countryside lakes, to the church in Covent Garden – I found myself getting lost in the landscape and nodding approvingly at the accuracy of his descriptions.

Thankfully towards the end everything picked up and ended on a high note. I’m hesitant to carry on with the series but have been told by numerous trustworthy sources that the first book is the worst and that it gets drastically better as the series goes on. I’ve also been lent the rest of the series and commanded to continue so I’m sure I’ll get round to it at some point… maybe… probably…

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