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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ben Aaronovitch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7662272,118 (3.9)505
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)

  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. 213
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (majkia)
    majkia: both involve paranormal mystery and smart-ass dialog.
  3. 61
    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.
  4. 40
    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.
  5. 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)
  6. 30
    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.
  7. 30
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Rubbah)
  8. 30
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Mav.Weirdo)
  9. 52
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books have a certain dark British humour to them.
  10. 20
    Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older (rarm)
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 10
    No Hero by Jonathan Wood (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: Similar: British policeman fights against the supernatural
  14. 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
  15. 10
    Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman (LongDogMom)
  16. 00
    Nightfall by Stephen Leather (agneson9)
    agneson9: features supernatural/paranormal side of London
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 11
    Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (jonathankws)
  20. 01
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Alliebadger)

(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 505 mentions

English (224)  German (4)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (232)
Showing 1-5 of 224 (next | show all)
Police magicians, a Japanese snake/spider she-demon for a housekeeper, anthropomorphic rivers (one of which is a outwardly sullen young woman), ghost hobos, suburban vampires, and a series of murders where people's heads are magically being blown up from the inside... Count me in. The narrator hits the right note of not-too-smart but still competent, the common observation about him being he'd be such a better cop/magician if only he weren't too easily distracted. But then maybe it's because he notices these little things, and later is able to pull back and muse about them, and because he isn't stupid, connect the dots, that he comes up with the crazy plans that just might work. There are hints of a latent power that others seem to see in him which he has no idea about, and I look forward to seeing this unfold in the next books. He's also likable and unselfconsciously makes funny-wry observations. Later on when *spoiler* his mentor gets confined to a hospital bed, he does an impressive amount of work at intermediate magical levels, considering his short period of training. It's like watching Watson do the legwork and come to his own not-too-shabby solutions.

If you loved stuff like Jonathan Strange, The Bartimaeus trilogy, and Parasol Protectorate, you'll fall head into this world. I recently stopped watching the TV series Grimm because the plot turned into a mess, and this first Rivers of London book is filling the void of fantasy police procedural. BRB have to binge read the rest of what's available. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
This book was just okay. Although I managed to finish it, it was a close thing at times and I almost set it aside. There were long rambling paragraphs that I eventually took to skimming, because they didn't seem important to the story. I'll admit I initially judged the book by the cover and thought this was going to be written more seriously than it was. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
'Midnight Riot' a.k.a 'Rivers of London'. Both titles make sense after you read the book. 'Rivers of London' obviously refers to the 'rivers' of London #koff - whereas 'Midnight Riot' obviously refers to the crazy mad sequence where all and sundry breaks loose later on in the book.

I was pretty pumped to find my local library had the first two books in Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series. This series is usually compared to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and although they share a genre (UF) and certain premise elements (police procedural - wizard - magical creatures), the feel of the two are entirely different. It's (pardon me for saying) like the difference between British TV and American TV. Haha.


Anyhow, I really liked it. The dry British humor, the minute details of London strewn throughout - wholly believable characters and setting. You can see that a good bit of background and history legwork was done in the writing of this 'ere book!

I think because of the way it's set up, I found it a bit more 'endearing' than the Dresden books. But that could be just a personal preference borne out of seeing references to wholly British things like black pudding and cloak rooms and wellies. Ah, familiarity. Ah, nostalgia. ;) ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
Bloody brilliant! Edge of your seat stuff. If you like Robert Rankin, you'll love this! ( )
  MikePearce | Jun 19, 2017 |
Being in the right place at the right time sees a rookie cop assigned to the Met's secret magical investigations unit as a spate of weird assaults upset the well-heeled in London's West End.

This is fast reading, sometimes disturbing, often funny. I'm not entirely comfortable with the view from inside a 20something bloke's sexually-charged brain, but Peter is well-intentioned and more importantly well-behaved; and I'm always going to enjoy him trying to figure out magic with science. It's easy enough to relax and enjoy the rollercoaster.

Full review ( )
  imyril | May 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 224 (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 (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Aaronovitchprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dürr, KarlheinzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadrelli, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youssi, WesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Important events
Related movies
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.
Complex plot features
river gods and goddesses,
old magic and ghosts.
Down by the river:

“Get yer trousers on, you're nicked…

Despite being dead.”

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 6 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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