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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
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Rivers of London (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ben Aaronovitch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,3862102,618 (3.9)460
Member:aliena0811
Title:Rivers of London
Authors:Ben Aaronovitch
Info:Gollancz (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Currently borrowed by others
Rating:****
Tags:2012

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. 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)
  5. 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.
  6. 30
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Rubbah)
  7. 52
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books have a certain dark British humour to them.
  8. 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
  9. 20
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Mav.Weirdo)
  10. 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.
  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
    No Hero by Jonathan Wood (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: Similar: British policeman fights against the supernatural
  13. 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
  14. 10
    Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older (rarm)
  15. 00
    Nightfall by Stephen Leather (agneson9)
    agneson9: features supernatural/paranormal side of London
  16. 11
    Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (jonathankws)
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 01
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Alliebadger)
  20. 67
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Both books feature an apparent normal world where magic takes place behind the scenes.

(see all 21 recommendations)

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» See also 460 mentions

English (207)  German (4)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (215)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Probationary Constable Peter Grant wants to become a murder cop but seems far more likely to become a paper pusher. That all changes after he speaks to a ghostly witness at a crime scene and his abilities and willingness to keep an open mind bring him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the only member of the London Metropolitan Police who is also a magician. Peter becomes Nightingale's apprentice and tries to get a handle on magic and its rules, even as he investigates brutal murders and attempts to keep the peace between feuding river gods.

I bought this during an Audible sale because I enjoyed the book when I first read it several years ago and because I mostly liked the narrator's voice. The narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, was wonderful as both Peter and Nightingale, but he had an unfortunate tendency to sound out to breath. It wasn't so bad as to affect my enjoyment of the book, but it was noticeable. It was worst at the beginning but thankfully got better later on, only cropping up again during the action scenes. I was left wondering if maybe he had been a little sick when he first started recording.

At any rate, the things I enjoyed about his narration outweighed the things I didn't. Most of his character voices were decent. The only one I came close to disliking was his voice for Lesley. He was great as Peter, but it was his voice for Nightingale that truly won me over. It felt like he was imitating an actor I'd seen/heard before, but I couldn't place who it was.

As far as the story went, it was about as good as I remembered, although a bit gorier than I recalled. Faces falling off and all that. Also, as a warning for those who need it, there was one instance of an infant being killed – unlike some of the book's other deaths, that one wasn't particularly detailed, but it was on-page.

Peter irked me a bit more this time around. I don't know if it was just me or the audio format making it more obvious or what, but it seemed like sex was always on his mind. He didn't act as though anyone owed it to him, and Aaronovitch didn't use it as an excuse for Lesley and Beverley to act catty with each other, but it was still a bit tiresome.

Although I own a paper copy of Whispers Under Ground (the next book in the series that I haven't yet read), I'm leaning towards getting it in audio form and listening to it instead. The narration really grew on me. Plus, I have an Audible credit that needs to be used soon.

(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Apr 12, 2016 |
likable characters - good world building - good mythos building - plenty of room for further development - relatively happy ending (not dark in overall tone) - not the deepest work but very enjoyable
will read more from author ( )
  jason9292 | Apr 7, 2016 |
I will try to make it short, do I ever manage to make it truly short? Nah, a few sentences and then done, haha, wishful thinking. Ok on to my review.

I expected more, but then that is my problem, I always expect more. This was another sort of UF, a more quiet one (yes in my weird opinion), it was just very British. It was more about solving the crimes, and by doing that experiencing the paranormal world that is around.

Peter, a young cop, learns to that there is more to life when he meets DCI Nightingale. Soon he is on the case where strange violent crimes are haunting London. We meet Rivers, ghosts and more. A good tale.

But yes I guess I wanted more. I checked the future books and he seems to have a new flirt in each book...a very manly thing to do. Not a fan.

Well written, different, but when it comes to grading. It was good, so it gets a 3. Some of my 3 are books I will rush out to buy, some are not. Do not ask me how I grade. Anyway this is not one of those rush out to get more. Maybe I am being nice with the 3 then...hm. Cos at the moment I do not feel to even read more by this author, but I do want that when it comes to 3s. let's downgrade it to 2,5. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
Peter Grant is at the end of his probationary period as a London cop, but instead of getting on the detective track, his distractability and curiosity puts him next in line to be a paper pusher. Luckily, it's about this time he discovers he can see ghosts, and he's rapidly snatched up by Inspector Nightingale, the only magician on the force. Now instead of filling out paperwork he's running around London trying to stop a killer who uses the supernatural to incite violence.

Peter Grant is a great main character, well crafted and already showing a lot of depth. The magic systems are intriguing--there's a whole subplot about the personifications of the Thames getting into fights, and another subplot in which Peter applies the scientific method to magic, to everyone's bemusement. The main plot is scary, macabre, and a bit weird. Just what I like to see in urban fantasy! And perhaps best of all, this book is seriously funny. Not in a way that distracts from the plot or characters, but in a way that shows them off. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This was a fun book. Not my usual type of mystery since it involves witchcraft, ghosts and water spirits but the author (who wrote for Dr. Who previously) makes it all come together. I loved all the architectural and historical details woven into the story plus there are laugh-out-loud funny moments.

Peter Grant has been with the London Police for two years which means his probationary period is over. He was really hoping to get into CID but his superior officer thinks his skills would be better suited to doing paperwork. Then Peter sees a ghost in Covent Garden and his life changes forever. He is taken on as an apprentice wizard to Captain Nightingale who is a wizard in the police force. A suspicious series of murders has been committed and it looks like a revenant is responsible. Moreover it looks like the script for a Punch and Judy show is being followed. It is up to Peter and Nightingale to find the perpetrator before he can spread the mayhem.

I will be reading the next book in this series very soon. ( )
  gypsysmom | Feb 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (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, KarlheinzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadrelli, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walter, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
(passion4reading)
Complex plot features
river gods and goddesses,
old magic and ghosts.
(passion4reading)

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 5 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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