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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ben Aaronovitch

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2,0971883,146 (3.91)432
Title:Rivers of London
Authors:Ben Aaronovitch
Info:Gollancz (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Currently borrowed by others

Work details

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch (2011)

Recently added bypocketsize, lyrrael, VioLilly25, private library, DonQuijote, hkfilmfan, AdorablyBookish, jringman
  1. 240
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
    riverwillow: Both 'Neverwhere' and 'Rivers of London' (US title 'Midnight Riot') evoke a magical fairy tale London which sometimes feels more authentic then any real life guide to the city.
  2. 203
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (majkia)
    majkia: both involve paranormal mystery and smart-ass dialog.
  3. 62
    The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: It's difficult to explain this recommendation without giving spoilers to one or other of the books. There were certain plot elements to Rivers of London/Midnight Riots which made me think of The Big Over Easy. And both books have a well-developed sense of humour.… (more)
  4. 51
    A Madness of Angels: Or, the Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: Same Location, similar themes. Both Capture the essence of London.
  5. 30
    Rule 34 by Charles Stross (fhprice)
    fhprice: Besides the urban setting and police procedural genre similarities, both have protagonists with a snarky "we're just cogs making witty observations about the machine" voices. Wicked humor.
  6. 30
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Rubbah)
  7. 20
    Archer's Goon by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: The way that the river spirits are characterized is similar to the characters in Archer's Goon. Same feel/style.
  8. 20
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Mav.Weirdo)
  9. 20
    King Rat by China Miéville (mikewilliams64)
    mikewilliams64: London urban fantasy with malevolent magic in the wings. Sharp contemporary horror from the beginning of Mieville's career
  10. 42
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books have a certain dark British humour to them.
  11. 10
    Stray Souls by Kate Griffin (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both are a bit quirky, set in London, and deal with the spirits of things, magic and murder.
  12. 10
    The New York Magician by Jacob Zimmerman (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both books have a similar way of portraying Gods and Powers and both are urban fantasy/mysteries
  13. 00
    Nightfall by Stephen Leather (agneson9)
    agneson9: features supernatural/paranormal side of London
  14. 00
    Bryant & May and the Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler (hairball)
    hairball: Two books with Punch & Judy-themed murders--must be something in the water in London.
  15. 11
    Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (jonathankws)
  16. 00
    The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Both series feature British police who deal with supernatural crime and both are more creative and well written than the average urban fantasy
  17. 00
    No Hero by Jonathan Wood (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: Similar: British policeman fights against the supernatural
  18. 01
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Alliebadger)
  19. 67
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Both books feature an apparent normal world where magic takes place behind the scenes.
  20. 02
    Embers by Laura Bickle (thewalkinggirl)
    thewalkinggirl: Both series have smart heroes who are more likely to use their brains than their powers to solve problem and both series make good use of mythology.

(see all 20 recommendations)


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» See also 432 mentions

English (184)  German (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (191)
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
The audiobook production was fantastic. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was amazing. He not only captured Peter Grant's internal voice, he magnificently portrayed the varied cast of characters. He was so brilliant I'm not sure I can't not listen to the rest of the series in audiobook.

The premise of this book, a police officer who learns about the supernatural and joins the secret branch of the police that deals with all things magic, etc. (of which, including him, there are two individuals) is intriguing. But the execution is where the book shines. For one, it's funny, and that's no mean feat. Peter is snarky as hell and I love it.

And the plot has a couple different threads that both give the reader a crash course in this world Aaronovitch has created, while moving things along at a nice clip.

Now, on to the problematic aspects. For one, this book more or less fails the Bechdel test, which is kind of appalling considering there are a number of strong female characters (though to be fair, one of those characters doesn't speak).

Also, Peter Grant was a hot-blooded young male and his internal narrative reflected that. I could have done with a bit less musings on how he was attracted to Lesley or Beverly, or observations on women's bustlines or cleavages.

Usually, that would have annoyed me much more than it did. I can't decide if it was the excellent narration or the fact that the characterization of Peter was good enough that I didn't feel it detracted from him. ( )
  wisemetis | Aug 28, 2015 |
First of all, I read this book in the British edition, which is titled Rivers of London. A much better title, in my opinion, as well as cover design. I will try to find those editions of the rest of the trilogy, because I think the American editions are kind of obnoxious. Anyway, that said, I really did enjoy this book. There is a quote on the cover of my edition that describes it something like, "a combination of Harry Potter and a police thriller." And that about sums it up. It's a British cop novel, with a healthy dose of the supernatural. Peter, the main character, is a newish cop, waiting for his permanent assignment (I gather, anyway--the vagaries of the British police system are mysterious to me) when he accidentally discovers the magical side of London--maybe Britain and the world, but London for sure--and the police branch that deals with it. Ghosts, wizards, every kind of magical or supernatural beasts (this book covers those two, plus river deities) must occasionally be managed by the police, just like regular mundane humans. The case at issue here is violent and gory at times, complete with possessions and half-assed imposed metamorphosis that often results in human death. This book reads quite "visually," as in, I would believe it if someone had optioned it for film or TV, but that style wasn't obnoxious. Really, it's just an entertaining and engaging cop novel. The main character is smart and savvy and a little bit arrogant, just like you'd expect a cop to be, but still sympathetic. He is clearly written as someone we're meant to like, and it works. I'm looking forward to seeing what he gets up to in the next installment. ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
A murder mystery, set in present-day London, with ghosts and magic. It is totally light-hearted and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. The characters are refreshingly diverse. The magic is well thought-out and the world-building is consistent. This is total fluff, but it's really fun, page-turning fluff, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I listened to the audiobook. The narrator sometimes seems to stumble, or hurry through some of the jokes, but all in all he was good. ( )
  Gwendydd | Jul 24, 2015 |
3.5 stars.

The only reason I don't give it any higher is because the plot development wasn't intriguing enough for me. I thought it was quite routine what with all the sequential happenings and apparently no new stuff making it anymore interesting. But the climax was much more stirring because there was a twist I didn't expect. In overall, I'd say it's okay enough for me to give the second book a shot. ( )
  novewong | Jul 8, 2015 |
So disappointed in this book, sad I didn't enjoy it. If it had been different characters, and different side plots, I think it would have been great. It was funny and intriguing, but nowhere near enough. Shame. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 184 (next | show all)
Sometimes There Are Men Who Get It Right This author is proof that men can actually grok the full humanity of le deuxième sexe, and write it into their fictional worlds. without having the female characters come across as either absent, ciphers, stereotypes, or sex-fantasies.

(Rivers of London/Midnight Riot, Moon Over Soho, and Whispers Under Ground) are smart, sharp, fast, witty books with a real sense of place (the place being London, if you hadn’t guessed). They’re told from the point of view of PC Peter Grant, who gets himself mixed up in some deeply Weird Shit in the opening chapters of Rivers of London—and the icing on the cake is that Peter is surrounded by a variety of women who are more competent than he is in any number of ways. And he’s okay with that.

Don’t get me wrong. Peter is still a guy, and occasionally a right arse. But the women in these books are real and human—even when they’re not. Human, that is.
added by feeling.is.first | editTor.com, Liz Bourke (Sep 11, 2012)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Aaronovitchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dürr, KarlheinzÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadrelli, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Original publication date
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
Yet ah! why should they know their fate?

Since sorrow never comes too late,

And happiness too swiftly flies.

Thought would destroy their paradise.

No more; where ignorance is bliss,

'Tis folly to be wise.

Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College by Thomas Gray
In memory of Colin Ravey, because some people are too large to be contained by just the one universe.
First words
It started at one thirty on a cold Tuesday morning in January when Martin Turner, street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West Portico of St Paul's at Covent Garden.
He sliced it in half to show us the interior. It looked like a diseased cauliflower.
”And this ,” said Dr. Walid, “is your brain on magic.”
I returned to the coach house with a packet of marigold gloves and my Uncle Tito’s Numatic vacuum cleaner. Let me tell you – a thousand watts of suckage makes a big difference
The chip that handled RF conversion was superficially intact, but had suffered microscopic pitting across its entire surface. The patterns reminded me of Mr. Coopertown’s brain. This was my phone on magic, I thought.
(Tyburn discounts Peter’s authority over the Folly) - “I am a sworn constable,” I said. “And that makes me an officer of the law. And I am an apprentice, which makes me a keeper of the sacred flame, but most of all I am a free man of London and that makes me a Prince of the City.”
Mr. Punch was running for his afterlife, but I was gaining.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
The name's Peter Grant.
I'm a police constable
And trainee wizard.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034552425X, Mass Market Paperback)

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"As a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic"-- P. [4] of cover.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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