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Rivers of London Paperback – September 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575097582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575097582
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Witty, well plotted, vividly written and addictively readable." -- Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES "An engaging mix of magic and police procedural, this is a great kick off to a very promising series as well as the most satisfying fantasy thriller to hit bookshelves in quite some time. Witty, imaginative and gripping." -- Saxon Bullock SFX Rivers of London is highly recommended for anyone looking for some urban fantasy fun with a real life spin, the sights and smells of London just ooze out from between the pages. This book should be essential reading for anyone who has ever seen anything inexplicable or strange on the streets of London - which would be just about everybody who's ever been there, really. LOVEVAMPIRES.COM "Anyone who has enjoyed Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift novels, Mike Carey's Felix Castor series - anyone in those shoes will adore Rivers of London. Assured, witty and great fun to read." -- Amanda Rutter FLOOR TO CEILING BOOKS "Rivers of London comfortably fills out its engaging premise." -- Sophia McDougall "Ben Aaronovitch has put together an enjoyable and exciting story that is easy to read. " BOOK MONKEYS "This is a terrific urban fantasy police procedural in which the two cops make the unbelievable believable; especially the inexperienced Grant. The fast-paced yet meandering story line is loaded with action from the onset as the mentor and mentee work a challenging investigation in which an ancient has arisen to stir the troubled waters. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Ben Aaronovitch's view of London in this witty well written riot." ALTERNATIVE-WORLDS "Aaronovitch gives us a glimpse of a fascinating and fantastical underbelly to the capital that feels entirely believable. Those familiar with the city will enjoy picturing the chaotic events unfold, while those less familiar will receive an accurate and entertaining geography lesson. Magical, mysterious and mesmerising, Rivers of London will have you spellbound." -- Alice Wybrew TOTAL SCI FI "This is a fun book, with enough wry humour without descending into slapstick. Recommended." British Fantasy Society --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ben Aaronovitch was born and raised in London and all his work has reflected his abiding fascination and love for what he modestly likes to refer to as the 'Capital of the World'. He works as a bookseller when he is not writing novels and TV scripts.

More About the Author

Ben Aaronovitch was born in 1964. Discovering in his early twenties that he had precisely one talent, he took up screenwriting at which he was an overnight success. He wrote for Doctor Who, Casualty and the world's cheapest ever SF soap opera Jupiter Moon. He then wrote for Virgin's New Adventures until they pulped all his books.

Then Ben entered a dark time illuminated only by an episode of Dark Knight, a book for Big Finish and the highly acclaimed but not-very-well-paying Blake's 7 Audio dramas.

Trapped in a cycle of disappointment and despair Ben was eventually forced to support his expensive book habit by working for Waterstones as a bookseller. Ironically it was while shelving the works of others that Ben finally saw the light. He would write his own books, he would let prose into his heart and rejoice in the word. Henceforth, subsisting on nothing more than instant coffee and Japanese takeaway, Ben embarked on the epic personal journey that was to lead to Rivers of London (or Midnight Riot as it is known in the Americas).

Ben Aaronovitch currently resides in London and says that he will leave when they pry his city from his cold dead fingers.

Customer Reviews

Enough fun to want to read the other books in the series - which is what I'll be doing soon.
Ron Roberts
I had to buy and read the rest of the series as well, and I am looking forward to reading the next one when it gets published.
Thomas Reads
So good that I had to immediately buy the next three books in the series and devour them over a week's solid reading.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett VINE VOICE on February 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Yep, it is an urban fantasy and yep we have seen many of it's like both in the UK and in the US. But this is well written and is great fun with a tongue firmly in cheek while not playing it for laughs. The author has done an excellent job with his knowledge of London and merging in a young copper joining a rather mysterious unit in the London Metropolitan Police. Much to be enjoyed here as a copper finds himself an apprentice wizard in the Met at a time where the balance between the normal world and his new world slips out of kilter. And there is a serious dispute between Old Father Thames and Mother Thames and all the rivers are getting involved....Lots in here about London itself which should appeal to those who want more then just a pacey urban fantasy, this is a thoughtful and intelligent piece of work wrapped in a gentle glow of good humour.
It's a joy and I am really looking forward to the next one. The author demonstrates a wit I have not seen in a long time (and often reminded me of the sadly departed Douglas Adams) and I think we have some great things to come.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John Middleton on March 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Not a lot of "urban fantasy" is masculine these days - only Glen Cook's Garrett PI and Jim Butcher's Dresden files fit the bill, at least for some definitions of UF. This is more police procedural with magic than soft porn bodice-ripper with vampires/werewolves/demons/etc: I say that not to throw stones at anyone's favourite genre, just to make the point clear. There is no explicit sex, brief (but apparently spectacular) nudity, and while blood is drunk, its not really romantic and nor is it drunk by a vampire.

So...what is it about? Well, imagine being a young mixed-race copper in London, about to get posted to a dull dead end existance shuffling paper, while your glamourous almost-girlfriend gets a plum posting...and then a ghost gives you a tip-off and you discover a whole new world. This is a London of spirits and ghosts, groaning under the weight of history and geography. And someone is commiting murder by magical possession.

The London here is as much a character as setting, with the various rivers and streams all having human forms (the UK edition is called Rivers of London, the US Midnight Riot - both are appropriate for different reasons).

Most of all though there is an intriguing crime story which happens to involve ghosts, and the odd realistic tangent of dealing with a nest of vampires or settling scores between Father Thames and Mother Thames. Aaronovitch has written an story which runs along as a good pace, and you really don't want to put down.

The sequel, Moon over Soho, is out now, and the next volume, Whispers Under Ground, is out later this year. If they are as good as this, then there is a lot to look forward to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L on April 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The last author whose first book I read based on the back cover of one of his books was Jasper Fforde. Since then, I have read everything he has written. After reading Rivers of London and Moon over Soho Moon Over Soho I am equally addicted to Ben Aaronovitch! The characters are engaging and strangely recognizable and the plotlines a curious blend of fantasy and reality. What more can I say, except that both books are a great addition to my library!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marcela - The Bookaholic Cat on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Rivers of London (Midnight Riot - USA title) is the first book in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovich.

Since I learn about this book I have been looking forward to read it. Couple of days ago I finally got to it. My first impressions were really good. Peter Grant is a very pleasant and likable character who discovers there is a secret magic world within our world, with ghosts, deities, vampires and many more weird beings. Grant is a clever man but he is easily distracted. He is learning magic but he can leave his XXI Century-self behind, he is always trying to apply magic using modern concoctions. This makes him feel more realistic.

The supporting characters especially Leslie and Inspector Nightingale are nice and interesting with some twists and mysteries attached to them making the story a little bit more entertaining. The interaction between characters was fun and refreshing.

The events of the book occurred in London. It's obvious that Mr. Aaronovich is a local because of the knowledge of the city. The description of the places was very detailed, sometimes I thought it was a bit too much, especially if you are not a Londoner or are not familiar with the city, this can become a little bit overwhelming, like in my case, I was forced to look for a map of the city to get my whereabouts of the action. If the book had included a map this might have been a little bit easier.

I had a big problem with the pace of the book. The first third part of the book was great, I was in loved with the characters, with the plot, with the writing and I was thinking I found my new favorite series. But after that third part it suddenly stalled and it became so dull I almost DNF.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John K. Gayley on August 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I ran across "Rivers of London" in a London bookshop within spitting distance of a river. I haven't looked back. I have read all 3 in the series, and they've preserved my sanity throughout the summer.

Other can summarize the premise in greater detail, but briefly: Peter Grant is a constable in London's Met who gets hooked up with the only Chief Inspector on the force who still deals with--and practices--magic. Everyone else on the force views them with deep suspicion, but the adventures ensue as they are called in to help investigate any time something seems especially wierd about murders or mayhem in metropolitan London.

In the wrong hands, this premise could lead to a dreary over-worked version of "Harry Potter Becomes a Policeman." But it doesn't. The author is a FABULOUS writer. Its an extremely tongue-in-cheek and funny commentary on London Life, modern trends and the tribulations of being a junior cop with a strange specialty that immediately makes you an outcast. It has a fantasy element interwoven in it that helps drive the plot, but honestly, even without the fantasy aspect, Peter Grant would be very very entertaining. As the first person narrator, he is self-effacing and under no delusions about his own blindspots, weaknesses, and tendencies. Many of these (and his inability to transcend them) helps drive a lot of the plot as well.

I highly recommend the series of the 3 that have been published so far. Some knowledge of London is probably a plus, but definitely not a prerequisite to enjoy.
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