27 Jun 2015

REVIEW: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Title: Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Crime.
Publication Date: August 2011
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback
Pages: 390
Challenge: YALC
Rating: 4/5

 "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...

Rivers of London is another one of those books that has been on my radar for a while, but I was never really desperate to read. I honestly knew nothing about it, apart from the fact it was set in London. I probably never would have read it, but then I found it for $5 brand new in a bookstore and thought I might as well pick it up. I was a little more interested in reading it after that, but then I found out Ben Aaronovitch was going to be at YALC and now I had to read it.

I’m really glad that I did pick it up eventually because this is a great book. It has three of my favourite elements in a book—magic, detectives and London. Is there anything better in this world? I’ve never actually read anything that had all three things together—it’s usually magic in London or detectives in London, so having all three was kind of all sorts of amazing. I really liked how each thing was dealt with. The magic system was really interesting and unique. The detectives read like actual detectives—I think Ben Aaronovitch must have had some experience with the police because it was just written so believably. London was just brilliant. There were so many little facts and the way in which everything was described just made me feel like I was running around with Peter.

Speaking of Peter, he was a great character. In fact, he didn’t even feel like a character but rather like a real person instead. He was funny and realistic and I just really enjoyed reading about him. I really liked the other characters too—Nightingale is amazing and I absolutely adored Beverly. I’m really, really excited to see how they’ll all grow in the rest of the series.

Finally, the plot. Oh my god, I loved the plot. There’s a couple of different plotlines going on at the same time which don’t really seem connected until towards the end where everything just clicks. They were really well thought out and I absolutely loved how it all came together. I’m very, very interested to see where the rest of the series is going to go from here.

* This is also published under the title 'Midnight Riot'.