Monday 10 January 2011

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

Release Date: 10/01/11


My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.


Whilst Ben is known for some of his adaptations, this is his debut urban fantasy based in a world of his own devising. What makes this tale so engaging is that he’s taken a London that many are familiar with, added a secretive branch of the London Met and backed it up with a cracking paced, action packed story arc with some magic, some ghosts and of course a villain of huge proportions.

Back that up with a fairly unique voice as well as some great characters that you can’t help but care about and its going to be interesting to see what arrives from Ben’s imagination. US readers please be aware that this book has been released in the US as Midnight Riot. All in a great start to a very promising series and one that will be popular with fans of Mike Carey’s Felix Castor alongside Suzanne McLeod’s Spellcracker series which makes this a British Institution in the making.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gareth, I just might have to buy this one... thanks for posting a review :)