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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
1,7701753,977 (3.94)360
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. 220
    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. 192
    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. 30
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (Rubbah)
  6. 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.
  7. 20
    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.
  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. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 10
    Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire (Mav.Weirdo)
  12. 32
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books have a certain dark British humour to them.
  13. 00
    No Hero by Jonathan Wood (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: Similar: British policeman fights against the supernatural
  14. 00
    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. 66
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Both books feature an apparent normal world where magic takes place behind the scenes.
  17. 00
    Nightfall by Stephen Leather (agneson9)
    agneson9: features supernatural/paranormal side of London
  18. 01
    Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding (Alliebadger)
  19. 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.
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» See also 360 mentions

English (170)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. I found it entertaining enough, but I won’t be picking up the sequel.

Midnight Riot’s is a police procedural sort of urban fantasy, the sort I’ve been keeping an eye out for after reading London Falling earlier this year. The tag line is a familiar one: rookie cop faces bad job prospects until a mysterious murder reveals that magic is real and he has the sight. From there, Peter Grant, our narrator, is introduced to the police department in charge of all things magical. The department’s almost dead, and its only employee is Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who promptly takes Peter Grant on as an apprentice. Together with Nightingale and fellow police officer Leslie, Peter investigates the wave of unusual murders hitting London.

As I said earlier, it wasn’t all bad. There were some funny lines, and the set up of the murders were interesting. I also liked some of the detecting bits. The hero’s also mixed race, which is a change from the run of the mill urban fantasy detective. However, I had issues with the plot and pacing and some of the narration regarding women.

The mystery aspect didn’t pick up until half way through. Yes, there were murders happening, but the reaction seemed to be “Gee, look! Another dead guy with a rearranged face!” I’m not sure what sort of investigating they could have been doing at that point, but I think there needed to be something more.

I also kept assuming that the different plot threads – the mysterious murders and the feud between Father Thames and Mother Thames would come together somehow, which they didn’t. The book would have been a lot better if it integrated the two plots or just focused on the mystery instead. As it was, I think the mystery was underdeveloped.

The female characters themselves may be competent (this one’s still up for grabs), but the narration regarding the two main ones (Leslie and Beverly) was tiring. The attention kept being brought back to how sexually attractive they were, and I really didn’t need to read about how Peter had had a sexual dream or erection or whatever. There was a bit in the last chapter that was really squicky and not at all related to the plot or characters.

I’m not highly recommending this one. If you want to check it out, I’d suggest getting it from the library first.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Aug 15, 2014 |
The background is a London which Londoners which recognise, overlaid with a Met Police which coppers will recognise.
Then there's the magic.
The magic is well constructed and nicely limited, distrusted by the police, but understood as a necessary annoyance in the weirder (wyrder?) cases.
It's a good exploration of history and criminology with a sense of mysticism connected to, and deeply entwined within, London's soul.

You don't have to be a Londoner to appreciate this story, and you will come to know it well. You'll come to know and care about the characters: living, dead and... otherwise.

If you enjoy a magical realism with a definite touch of historical fantasy, you will not be disappointed in this story. ( )
1 vote kaalalexanderrosser | Jun 23, 2014 |
Very enjoyable. Not surprised the author wrote some of the Dr Who series as it has a lot of that jaunty imaginative feel. ( )
1 vote Ma_Washigeri | Jun 17, 2014 |
Constable Peter Grant wants to be part of the Murder Team. Instead he is assigned to desk work for the Case Progression Unit. His luck changes when he learns he can see ghosts. This brings him to the attention of DCI Nightingale, who is the only member of a police unit that investigates magic and paranormal related crimes.

I really wanted to like this book. It came highly recommended by many LibraryThingers. It has all the attributes of a book I would like; author who wrote for Doctor Who, London setting, fantasy and paranormal elements, a mystery to solve. Yet the book never grabbed me. I didn’t care about the main character who was also the narrator. The story was slow to get started and had many starts and stops. The one character I was really interested in, DCI Nightingale, ends up in the hospital and completely out of the story for the last half of the book. The river gods and goddesses were fun and I liked the Punch and Judy theme. Otherwise, this book was a big disappointment. ( )
2 vote craso | Jun 14, 2014 |
I did not like how quickly the main character accepted seeing ghosts and the reality of magic. Once I got past that, this was a rollicking fun book. The personifications of the various rivers was a great idea and the struggle to give rules to magic was a good addition to the story. ( )
1 vote jean-duteau | May 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ben Aaronovitchprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dürr, KarlheinzÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:38 -0400)

(see all 3 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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