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Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ben Aaronovitch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,7382232,147 (3.9)499
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: A Novel 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 499 mentions

English (220)  German (4)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All (228)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
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 |
I did like this quite a bit, although I found the plot to be somewhat murky. But I will read the next in hopes that the plotting will tighten up a bit. The narrator on the audio is really good, too. ( )
  AlaMich | Feb 24, 2017 |
Peter Grant is an officer in the London Metropolitan Police who, after he meets a ghost in the line of duty, is drafted into a branch of the Met that handles cases involving magic and the supernatural. I am already a fan of the genre and a big Dresden-fan, so as soon as I was alerted to this series, I put it on the wishlist. Now that I've read the first installment, I know that this series will go to the top of my "favorites" list; the locale is credible, the characters engaging and entertaining, and the writing is clever and funny without seeming like the writer is in love with his own style and witticisms. It sometimes made me think of Doctor Who and when I found out that Aaronovitch has indeed written for that show, I was not surprised. Very thankful to my fellow LT:er Dave (AHS-Wolfy) who put it on my radar in the first place. ( )
  -Eva- | Nov 29, 2016 |
A couple of months back I was perusing a website that sells books (as you do) when I saw a book cover that made me instantly take notice. That book was Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch and it had to be mine. I bought a used copy and while I had every intention of reading it as soon as it arrived I was in the middle of some pre-scheduled reviews and it didn't happen...until now! Rivers of London is the first book in the Peter Grant series which chronicles the experiences that a police constable in London has while investigating a gruesome beheading. This book initially comes across as a contemporary crime novel but quite quickly it's established that in this reality magic, ghosts, and vampires are real (among other mythical phenomena). However, all of these entities are strictly governed by a special branch of the Metropolitan Police Service which up now consisted of one man. The narrative takes off once Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in London, decides to take on Peter as his apprentice. There's romance, suspense, magic, and good old-fashioned detecting. With London as the backdrop it was bound to be a winner. If you didn't guess already, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I've already ordered the next in the series, Moon Over Soho. XD One tagline by Diana Gabaldon might sum it up even more succinctly: What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. If that doesn't win you over then I don't know what will. ( )
  AliceaP | Nov 1, 2016 |
This book made the rounds awhile ago, but I got it into my head that it was darker than what I enjoy and dismissed it, until someone recently mentioned how funny it was. Thank you whoever you are!

Not to say that I didn't have problems with it; I did - minor-ish ones including the riot of editing errors found throughout the text of my library's edition (published by Gollancz in London). I lost count of the number of missing words, extra words and repeated words I stumbled over, until they started reminding me of the sand Peter found pouring out of his electronic devices.

Why did the face-distortion dissimulo have to happen? By the very end, I thought I'd gotten it figured out, but I'm still guessing. That the necessity of this was never explicitly explained bothered me; without explanation it feels possibly gratuitous. (and makes me go all alliterative, apparently.)

The scene post-riot, with Peter on the train: Mr. P. was already elsewhere, using someone else in the riot, but now suddenly he's on the train with Peter (and how did he find Peter??) ranting like a drunk and driving the people on the train toward an orgy instead of the anger and violence he's used every other time. Not a happy orgy, granted, but it's not at all consistent with previous episodes.

Once I discovered Lesley's role, I was eager for the book to be over, but that's not the author's shortcoming, just me not liking where he was going.

But in spite of all that, I did really enjoy this book - the humour shines from beginning to end and I really liked the characters. It was a really entertaining read and I had a lot of fun in this alternate London. I have Moon Over Soho on the TBR already and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. ( )
  murderbydeath | Oct 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (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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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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