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review 2017-11-27 16:39
Nah.
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch

Spoilers for those who have not read books #1 through #4. 

 

Seriously. I know I am probably going to get yelled at for this review. But I stand by everything I am saying. This felt like half a book. There were so many dangling threads left that when the book came to an end I had to make sure that I didn't accidentally skip over the pages. The lack of Nightingale being part of things was felt. Peter was being a fool throughout most of the book so that was frustrating. I don't know what we are supposed to be feeling about Lesley. But her coming out with a whole, "I did it for you Peter" mess just made me roll my eyes. I don't know what Ben Aaronovitch is doing with her character.

 

"Foxglove Summer" has Peter away from London going to help out on a case of two missing girls. Initially, Peter doesn't think that magic had anything to do with the two girls and really wants to stay and help (also to avoid thinking about Lesley) but once magic starts to creep up, he realizes that something supernatural is going on.

 

Peter was a mess in this one. I get it, it's like what happened to Muller when Scully was MIA. Peter though he is trying to deny it, misses Lesley cause she's not there to point out things he is missing. I really wanted him to be more angry though. At least Nightingale seems to get how dangerous it is that Lesley is out in the world working for the Faceless Man. I didn't like that Peter essentially keeps doing stupid things throughout this book and even in the end, without Beverly helping out, he would have been screwed. 

 

We have Beverly fully in this one, so that is the only reason why I gave this two stars. I still don't understand her and Peter's "relationship" at all. I was just glad they finally stopped with the will they or won't they thing. I just found it very odd she and Peter don't really get into what Lesley did or what exactly does it mean that Peter is sleeping with her. 

 

I don't get what Aaronvitch is doing with Lesley. Okay she betrayed Peter and Nightingale. I kept thinking that she wasn't jealous of Peter and Beverly, but that seems to be where she is at headspace wise. Is this why she is doing this? I hope not, I am not thrilled with her betraying everyone. But if this turns out to be she did this to get her face back so Peter could love her, yuck. It also didn't help that she goes that in a year the Faceless Man is going to ruin the world, but hey Peter I am going to keep you safe. Is she out of her mind? So screw her family, his family, Molly, Nightingale, etc. Only Peter matters? I was just baffled by the whole thing.


There are only phone calls between Peter and Nightingale which was frustrating. At least a new character finally clued us into what the big battle was all about and why Nightingale doesn't want to talk about it though.

 

I really didn't like anyone besides the character of Dominic who steps into Lesley's shoes and made me laugh. That said, there was very little humor in this one.


The writing was okay, just muddled at times. We don't have Ben Aaronovitch going back to tie things up so I was just confused about a number of plot points.

 

We know that the two girls are sisters (the fake Nicole and real Nicole) so how did that happen? Also how did everyone in the village sleep with one guy and no one thinks they should be concerned that they may share kids so they should be thinking about what happens when they are all dating age?

 

Does this mean that Nicole's oldest sister (blanking on her name) is a changeling?

 

Does this mean that due to Peter reneging on his deal with the Fairy Queen he is going to owe the Rivers?

 

Also does this mean that Peter is going to get into trouble with Nightingale for getting involved with Beverly?

 

I had so many questions and wanted to kick something. 

(spoiler show)

The flow was off after a good 20 percent of the book. I found myself getting bored. Without anyone to really bounce things off of, Peter is kind of a boring character. 


The setting of Herefordshire was good. I could picture a village that has a touch of magic about it and all of the neighbors knowing each other. I just didn't get a sense for the village as a whole. We stayed focused on the two families, and Dominic's family and that was about it. I wish that Peter had been out and about more with the locals. 

 

The ending was a letdown. I think that Aaronovitch thought he wrapped things up...but yeah not even a little bit. This book felt shorter to me too. It was 333 pages though so it's not that. It just felt like very little got done in this one compared to the other books in the series. 

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review 2017-11-22 13:09
Foxglove Summer ★★★★☆
Foxglove Summer: PC Peter Grant, Book 5 - Ben Aaronovitch,Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

More fun with my favorite apprentice wizard cop, this time out in Herefordshire on the border of Wales instead of in London, investigating the disappearance of two preteen girls. We get to meet a retired wizard cop and his weirdo granddaughter, and we have more – much, much more! – of Beverly, and we even get a teeny satisfying peek at what’s going on with Lesley. I can’t say I came away really understanding all the logic of what happened, but that’s probably because I was listening to the audio while distracted, and one of these days I’ll get around to re-reading these books and will take a more critical look at such things. For now, I’ll just say it was enormously entertaining.

 

Audiobook, via Audible, with another masterful performance by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, square 14: Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere. This story is set in high summer, as we are constantly reminded of the oppressive heat (Are the West Midlands that much hotter than London?), and seasonal flora that are relevant to solving the mystery.

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review 2017-11-09 16:00
Ending Lifted This to Four Star Read
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

I don't even know what to say! I am so gobsmacked right now.


Look, everyone that I talked to said the same thing. This is slow as anything. I was bored while reading and maybe fell asleep around the 60 percent mark. Things didn't make a lot of sense to me and I was tired of Peter feeling torn between Lesley (til he wasn't) and Beverly (eh I don't blame him for not getting involved with the river goddesses). But the ending that comes I did not see coming. And it's heartbreaking. And now I wonder what is going to happen next.

 

"Broken Homes" has Peter and company on the tail of the Faceless Man and also looking into a housing estate that maybe has ties to some magic.

 

This really wasn't that interesting to me. I don't know, fourth book syndrome. Things just meandered along. We get some peeks at Beverly and the rest of the river goddesses, but once again they are not in this one as much as they were in book #1. 


Peter and Lesley are still practicing with Nightingale and yes we get some more details about Nightingale's family and school days. Still not enough for me, but enough to wet your appetite. 

 

I don't know, I found Peter not as centered in this book. He was all over the place. A romantic pairing that I called in the last book rears it's head here and that seemed to give Peter some peace. 

 

The writing was typical Aaronovitch, humor mixed in all over. However, I will complain a bit. We would have Peter as narrator tell you something and a line later, but little did I know what was going to happen next, and something would get explained in a line or two. Either show us it, or don't keep talking to us about things that you don't set up in the book.

 

As I said, the ending is definitely a game-changer. I wonder what happens next to Peter. 

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text 2017-11-09 15:53
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

I am floored. 

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text 2017-11-09 14:47
Reading progress update: I've read 96%.
Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

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