Saturday, 10 May 2014

Rivers of London - Ben Aaranovitch

Title: Rivers of London - Ben Aaranovitch
Publisher: Gollancz
Series: Peter Grant #1
Service: Own
Release Date: 08/2011
Pages: 392
Format: Paperback


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"I used to be 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…"

Meet DC Peter Grant. He will show you his city. But it's not the capital that you see as you make your way from tube to bus, from Elephant to Castle. It's a city that under its dark surface is packed full of crime. And of magic. A city that you never suspected…

Gran't story starts when he tries to take a witness statement from a man who was already dead. And take him down a twisting, turning centuries' old mystery that reckons to set London on fire...

Give me one word…

Why do you say that?

Originally this book caught my eye thanks to the cover. When I picked it up I never imagined it would have anything to do with magic, so I was pleasantly surprised when I read the blurb.

Let's start with the fact that the main character, Peter Grant, is mixed race. This made me give the book a thumbs up right from the start. Pair this with his wit and dry humour that comes through his narrative throughout the whole book and I was completely sold. The concept of instalove, thankfully, does not make an appearance as Peter is often caught in awkward situations due to his attraction to various females in the book.

If there was one thing that I thoroughly enjoyed about this book it was how realistic it was. Regardless of the fact that there were ghosts and vampires being mentioned we were very much kept in modern day London with characters that were very grounded. It was these things that made the book great in my opinion. I know some people may have found the book to info dump but I actually enjoyed the detailed descriptions of London.

Magic is dealt with in a rather unique way. Not everyone knows of it but the police have a specific department that even they are not pleased to have. The idea of Vestigia, magic leaving behind a mark that can be sensed, fascinated me as depending on where it was or what it concerned it could feel and smell different. The methods behind dealing with things like vampires was very modern and the whole twist on magic was refreshing.

The plot itself moves at a good pace with twists and turns that I did not expect but really enjoyed reading. The theatrical aspects throughout the story just added to the light hearted nature.

Ben Aaranovitch has made his way onto the list of my favourite authors after he made me fall in love with Peter Grant and London.

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