TITLE: Rivers Of London
AUTHOR: Ben Aaronovitch
SERIES: Peter Grant (#1)
GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
RATING: 4/5 Stars
My name is Peter Grant. Until January I was just another probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth. 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 a man who was dead, but disturbingly voluble, and that brought me to the attention of Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. And that, as they say, is where the story begins.
Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated. I'm dealing with 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 that's just routine. 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.
What I Liked:
- You all know I love it when an Author knows his stuff, and this Aaronovitch seems to know London like the back of his hand! Having been there quite a lot myself, it was fantastic to read about it in such great detail and actually recognise the places that are described. In fact, I read a good portion of this book on the train to and from London yesterday, and it certainly made the trip more interesting! There's a lot of research, world-building and hard work gone into this novel and I am one grateful reader.There's huge potential in this Paranormal world! I loved being introduced to all the ghosts, vampires and spirits that only inhabit a small portion of London and am eager to read more!
- Peter Grant is a fantastic main character. He has such a sense of humour and I loved reading from his point of view and listening to his humorous opinions on the world around him. He takes the mick out of Britain and it's policing system a lot too, and being a British Citizen I think it made me appreciate the humour a lot more. If you like a funny main character, try this book out! A lot of the side characters he surrounds himself with are great too! I loved Beverley Brook and the whole River Spirit clan, Nightingale was cool too and Molly was definitely intriguing.
What I Disliked:
- The organisation of the plot, at times, felt a bit chaotic. A crime of a supernatural kind has been committed and Grant spends a fair bit of the book trying to sort it out. At the same time, he's settling disputes, heading off on seemingly unimportant side missions, learning magic, trying to seduce a woman or two and also trying to research the exact properties and effects of his new-found powers. Most of the time, this was fine but at times I got a bit confused and felt like I'd been thrown in at the deep end.
I really did enjoy this book. There was so much to it! Great characters, intriguing plot concept and phenomenal world-building put me in a good mood. The sense of humour put me in an even better mood. At times it felt like a little too much had been crammed into this one and things go in the way of each other every so often. As well, despite the mostly awesome side characters, I really hope I wasn't supposed to like Lesley because I didn't. She was so irritating! Still, I look forward to the next in the series, this was a very promising start.