Wednesday, 9 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Ben Aaronovitch - Rivers of London

“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 (and 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.”
I had heard so much about this book (and the series in general), I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Thankfully, The Book People had it on offer a few months back so I took advantage and grabbed the first 3 in the series. I honestly don't know why I went so long refusing to read book series, they're amazing!

When it comes to describing this, I'd simply say it's very much Harry Potter meets Sherlock Holmes. It's a great read for anybody who likes mystery and magic. I'd say given some of the details in the book, it's probably best suited to readers in their mid-late teens and above. Then again, I watched The Exorcist at 12years old and survived so if you can handle it, read it.

It follows Peter Grant and various other police officers as they work hard to solve a very weird case that involves murder and magic. That in itself was enough to make me want to read the book but there's so much more to it than that. There's no real hidden depths although there's a slight love story in the mix. Only slight though - and more of a lust story really.

The writing style is simple which, for some, is a negative thing but I love it. It makes it so easy to follow and much more gripping. The characters are great - there's a mixture of those that can do magic and those that can't, not to mention ghosts. They feature pretty heavily in this story.

In all honesty, the only little niggle I had with the book was that nobody ever seemed to question the fact people could do magic. If I was a police officer and I found out that a colleague could do it, I'd be freaked out (after I came round from fainting, obviously).

I would definitely suggest reading this book, particularly if you like Harry Potter or Sherlock. Or even if you just like to get lost in a good mystery book but don't want to have to think too hard when you're reading it.

Have you read 'Rivers of London'? If so, what did you think?