What I’ve been reading: Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London

Ben Aaronovitch

(This book is titled Midnight Riot in the US)

A London police officer finds that there’s much more going on in his city than he expected. Magic and mayhem ensues.

I came to this book by an unusual (for me) route. It was the customers-also-bought suggestion on another book’s page in the Kindle store. I clicked through because he book had London in the title and I like to keep plenty of British authors and Britain-based books in my reading mix. Based on the blurb alone I bought this book instead of the book that I had gone specifically to the store to buy – and I’m glad I did.

It was practically a one sitting read for me. I broke away only to scavenge the supermarket for supplies. The protagonist, Peter, was likable and engaging, while also having his flaws. I especially enjoyed the fact that instead of taking the truth of the mystical world as it was presented to him, he questions and experiments to make the facts fit with his frame of reference.

The thing I really enjoyed about this book was the feeling of authenticity, which shone through in the details such as the slang in the dialogue and the snippets of London trivia and history that were scattered throughout, but never intruded. I know ideally the author is supposed to be invisible in the modern novel, but it’s no bad thing if the part of the author that protrudes through the fabric of the story is his enthusiasm and love for his subject matter.

The novel definitely has an origin feel to it – like it’s setting up a series. Though this was never to the detriment of the tale in hand. My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that at the end the resolution feels like it comes a little too easily. Though this is perhaps balanced by the drama and tension in the pre-resolution resolution attempt.

I liked:
The way magic and technology interact.
I disliked: That there was a fairly big plot twist that hadn’t been foreshadowed, and hence felt unearned. Though a second reading might prove me wrong about the lack of foreshadowing.
Would I read it again? Yes. But not until after I’ve worked my way through the rest of the series.
Would I recommend to a friend? Yes.
Rating: 4/5

What did you think of this book? Let me know in the comments.

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