Rivers of London: Rivers of London, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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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 voluble, 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 50 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.
Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 37 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||08 April 2011|
|Publisher||Orion Publishing Group Limited|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 715 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
4 in Supernatural Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
15 in Supernatural Thrillers (Books)
15 in Police Procedural Mysteries
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Top reviews from Australia
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Every sentence was a joy to read and the characters managed to be both believable yet extraordinary. There were laugh out loud moments that complemented the engaging plot which was set against the backdrop of London - both past and present.
I'm looking forward to reading more from Ben Aaronovitch :-)
I followed all the London pathways on Google Maps and his detail is excellent
The story line allows us to be introduced to a new (old) World with a dry humor and Pratchett like allusions
I read the whole 8 books (yes, the 2020 book as well) and I can hardly wait for the 9th in the series.
Loved the London setting, interesting magical being’s, great story line. Would recommend for anyone interested in a mystery/magical read.
Will be looking forward to reading book 2 which is ‘Moon Over Soho’.
Top reviews from other countries
The main character just went along with things far too easily making the whole story unbelievable - yes fantasy is supposed to be made up, but the story should feel as if it could be real and I really didn't get that with this book. I didn't think much of the main character, Peter Grant, either for he seemed far too preoccupied with the shape of a woman's hips or breasts than anything else; there was too much unnecessary mentioning of breasts brushing against him and it was so annoying to read again and again and again.
I feel as though the story got lost and a bit too off-topic with lots of different characters involved that in the end, I lost where we were and what was happening. But by then I didn't really care much so I just went along with it. There was lots of detail about London and random facts interwoven into the story but unfortunately it didn't feel as though much attention was given to creating a page-turning plot and I just carried on in the hope it would pick up.
This book wasn't for me and I won't be continuing with the series.
Throw in the warring gods, Father and Mama Thames, and the latter’s bewitching daughters, who rule over their respective tributaries, an officially-sanctioned detective-wizard, Thomas Nightingale, who heads his own investigative department of supernatural crime of sorts, and at the heart of it, the hapless police constable Peter Grant, who is roped in as his apprentice right after his probationary stint to solve the case of the headless corpse, and we have a supernatural urban fantasy mystery thriller. The writing is humorous and Grant’s bumbling, everyman character, makes for an entertaining read.
The magic in the novel is also dealt with in a logical manner, and it is believable how Grant struggles to form a werelight as his induction into wizardry by picturing a “forma” in his head, and his hyperawareness of supernatural presence, or their afterimage, through “vestigial”, also makes the juxtaposition between the supernatural and the normal environs quite palpable. It is however in the Folly, Nightingale’s abode and headquarters, that I felt the book gave way to sketchy caricature. There is the requisite otherworldly housekeeper with questionable culinary skills, who is not unlike a ghost/vampire out of a Japanese horror film/anime, complete with long black hair, togged out in Edwardian maid uniform, hisses rather than speaks, and who practically glides around the cavernous halls at incredible speed.
The novel seems a promising start to a light and entertaining series, but if the Kindle version which I read from is anything to go by, it is in desperate need of better editing and proofreading, because the typos were just too glaring to be ignored, and marred much of my enjoyment of the book.
The story is great and the characters are all a mixture of the weird and wonderful as Peter slowly finds out about ghosts, wizards and various things he didn't think were real as the case unfolds. Ben Aaronovitch the author used to write for Doctor Who and it shows as not only are many aspects of it very imaginitive but often it's also very funny. The humour is very British, not just in it's style but the many cultural references and satire that would I think be lost on a lot of people who hadn't lived here. That's not say the book is a comedy, just it has great moments and one liners. The actual tone of the plot is pretty dark with some pretty horrible things happening to people during the case. I enjoyed it immensely and went onto read the next five books currently out.
If I had to say anything negative about the book it's that at times the lead character has a bit of a lack of emotional reactions to situations that you would expect. One instance in particular felt really jarring, it doesn't ruin the book but stood out to me because the rest of it is so well done.
+ Great story and characters
+ Genuinely funny in places.
+ Great pacing.
- Some of Grants reactions seem a little detatched at times.
The main character was probably a 3/5, he wasn't funny, he wasn't witty, he just seemed to go through the motions and end up doing the right thing. Play, as previously mentioned, nearly all the women were described by the size of their breasts and it just took away from any real picture of what any female characters looked like.
It may sound like I didn't like this book, I did! I thoroughly enjoyed the unique magic system, the clever references to London and how grounded the fantasy elements were. It would make a fantastic dark version of Harry Potter. I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys London or city-based books with a slight fantastical twist.