Review: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

So a friend lent me this book as he thought I might like it and well turns out he was right. 🙂

So Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Peter Grant has just finished his probationary period in “that mighty army for justice known to all right thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service and to everyone else as the Filth”.  Grant is about to be transferred into the Case Progression Unit when he finds his whole world view changing with the discovery that magic, ghosts and gods/spirits are real. Working under Inspector Nightingale, the only wizard in the police force they must hunt down a particularly nasty spirit that is inciting murder and riots.

As I just said I really enjoyed this book. It is very well written, funny and somewhat creepy in places. I’m a Londoner born and bread, which is one of the reasons my friend said I should read it, as there are places mentioned that I know. But its not just the places, some of the things that Grant points out regarding the behaviour of people, Londoners vs Tourists ring true and really help the book to stand out.

I loved the fact that it actually took time for them to complete the major investigation (several months) and that in between that you get a glimpse of some of the things that Grant has to deal with when you need to police magical beings.  He’s also doing a lot of training at this point and learning how to do magic. I like the way magic is approached and explained in this book, it’s not actually that ‘ancient’ as magic started with Issac Newton. I love the way that magic and modern technology do not interact well at all. And also the way that Grant approaches everything with a very scientific mind. He thinks things through and doesn’t leap to conclusions, but he also doesn’t come across as too confident.

I was a little unsure at the beginning as the whole world of magic is brand new to Grant (and it’s a secret even amongst the police only a select few know what Nightingale does) and he questions it a tiny bit and wonders about it how it works scientifically. But for the moment part he just seems ok with his whole world view changing.  I decided however that I wouldn’t worry too much about it and that I would just get on with enjoying the story.

And enjoy the story I did.  Its a great book, enjoyable characters, good banter and full of very good ideas. Well worth reading!

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