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review 2020-04-30 13:14
Foxglove Summer
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch

by Ben Aaronovitch


I've read most of this series and really enjoyed it, though I think this one slowed down a little from the previous books. Peter Grant has a different sort of case. He's helping another department track down two missing girls and it isn't clear at the beginning that his special talents are warranted for the case, although police departments have been known to use the skills of psychics when all else fails. As it happens, a 'weird' aspect to the case does develop.


This one was more overtly sexual than previous books as well. Peter's growing relationship with Beverley, the river goddess, has some odd twists and turns but overall seems to be developing into something that might last. Where it could go under the circumstances is open to speculation.


The magic has become almost routine now so the initial discovery of arcane skills doesn't have as much room to grow. Believability barriers are also getting nudged a little further than earlier books, but that's inevitable in a series like this.


Overall it was an enjoyable read, but I feel like the series is winding down. Having said that, there was an unexpected twist or two near the end. I still haven't got the last book and might not mind waiting a while before I do read it, though I'm sure I will sometime.

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review 2020-04-02 14:09
Rivers of London
Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

by Ben Aaronovitch


This one grabbed me right away with its offbeat humour and a quirky situation where an off-duty cop finds a body in Covent Garden and meets a ghost who is witness to the murder. The tone of the writing made what was actually a fairly long first chapter fly by and make me wonder what other weirdness was yet to come.


More weirdness came along pretty quickly. I don't want to go into spoilers but the story has a lot to do with magic, mythology and police work. It gets points for diversity as well. It not only held my attention but kept me entranced and even made me like police characters, though I usually avoid anything either military or law enforcement.


Towards the end I missed a few transitions from one situation to another, but whether that was because I was distracted while reading or things happened too quickly is hard to say. Either way, I enjoyed the book and would certainly consider reading more in the series.


The general plot is about an unrecognised branch of the London police who deal with supernatural phenomena. Peter Grant, the protagonist, shows some sensitivity and is recruited into this branch and finds himself negotiating territorial disputes among the local river gods, using all the skills he was taught in the police academy. At the same time he has to deal with a murder case involving ghosts and out of control spectral phenomena.


I found it very well done and the story did come to a tidy conclusion, if perhaps a little abruptly. A sample chapter of the next book in the series was included and showed me it will be further adventures of some of the same characters, especially Peter Grant. I've put it on my price drop list for now, but I think the chances that I'll continue at some point are pretty high.

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review 2019-10-06 22:26
The October Man: A Rivers of London Novella - Ben Aaronovitch
The October Man: A Rivers of London Nove... The October Man: A Rivers of London Novella - Ben Aaronovitch

A significant part of the pleasure of any of the Rivers series is the part where the magic-using police officer gets to explain to someone else that there is real magic, but that it's hidden by agreements between nations after WWII. Just as part of the fun of Dr. Who is the doctor getting to explain about the tardis.

Another pleasure of reading the books in this series is the cast. Many a writer would set a story in a modern German city and have an exclusively white-by-default cast. It doesn't have to be a big thing or a plot point, although there is one minor detail revealed only because someone is Black and it's a tiny wonderful moment.

If the women or the mystery were stronger, it'd be perfect. As it is, highly enjoyable.

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review 2019-07-19 22:29
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
Foxglove Summer: A Rivers of London Novel - Ben Aaronovitch

This has been the best of the series for me as of late.  Peter Grant is on his own, with the exception of Beverly Brooke, his new girlfriend and one of the Queens of a River.  Peter has been sent on assignment from Falcon to help search the disappearance of two pre-teen girls and since this has the Falcon call sign attached to it, that means the Folly is involved and magic is in play.


Peter is now in a small village surrounded by cleared woodlands and is tasked with being attached to one of the families of the missing girls and has the help of Dominic, one of the local policemen assigned to watch over him.  Nobody wants magic around, and with the media coverage that meant Peter had to be at his best at concealing the magic.


The book is great, it really starts to define Peter, as a man, as his job as a policeman, and as his position as an apprentice at the Folly.   Aaronovitch doesn't disappoint us with his storytelling, the research he does of the area and the history of the area the book takes place in.  Aaronovitch pulls out a lot of probably his personal tastes and knits them into his books.  I love Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's storytelling of the audio-book.  He really is the voice of Peter in this first-person magical mystery tour.  I've said before, if Urban Fantasy is one of your likes then this must be added to your TBR list.  But I know a lot of you have already read these.  So now onto The Hanging Tree.


I give this 4 of 5 stars, but of the first 5, this is the best so far!


Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch,

Book 5 of the Peter Grant (Rivers of London) Series

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review 2019-07-08 18:42
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London is billed as "What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the fuzz".  I disagree.  When Harry Potter grew up he knew there was magic.  PC Peter Grant did not know or believe in magic until he was left by himself while protecting a murder scene while his partner goes for coffee.  While alone he is greeted by what he believes is a ghost.  After the ghost leaves a man walks by and identifies himself as a DCI Thomas Nightingale.


At the same time, he and a fellow PC Lesley May are reaching the end of their probation and pondering and hoping for an exciting assignment.  Lesly gets the job she dreams of, joining a major crime department while Peter finds out he going to be pushing paper for his career. 


Enter DCI Thomas Nightingale, and PC Grant finds himself in a secret investigation department, which consists of DCI Nightingale and now himself.  Their department basically investigates things that go bump in the night.  As Peter is introduced to magic and begins his lessons he learns there is a lot more to Nightingale than meets the eye.


Rivers of London introduces us to a new magical story and Ben Aaronovitch's imagination is magical in its own self.  Aaronovitch takes Peter through modern England and its history to tell this story.  Some parts get a little long but all in all, this is a very solid book and a very good lead-in for a brand new series.  While I am late getting into this series, I will probably catch up with it by the end of the year.


I rate this 3.5 stars, and I bet this series gets better as time goes on.


Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Book 1 in the Rivers of London Series

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