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Midnight Riot (Peter Grant) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2011
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“Fresh, original and a wonderful read. I loved it.”—Charlaine Harris
“Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. It is a hilarious, keenly imagined caper.”—Diana Gabaldon
“Filled with detail and imagination . . . Aaronovitch is a name to watch.”—Peter F. Hamilton
“The perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter.” --io9.com
“Aaronovitch has created a fun and funny character in Grant, who displays wit more than snark (a welcome attitude) and shows he can think on his feet. . . . It's a great start to what will hopefully be a long series of adventures.”--SFrevu.com
About the Author
Ben Aaronovitch was born in London in 1964 and had the kind of dull routine childhood that drives a man to drink or to science fiction. He is a screenwriter, with early notable success on BBC television’s legendary Doctor Who, for which he wrote some episodes now widely regarded as classics, and which even he is quite fond of. He has also penned several groundbreaking TV tie-in novels. After a decade of such work, he decided it was time to show the world what he could really do and embarked on his first serious original novel. The result is Midnight Riot, the debut adventure of Peter Grant.
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Of course I very much enjoyed the back story of the protagonists family, which brings additional depth and richness to the story telling. It is clear the author either knows his jazz, or has good reference material. And the Orisha/River spirits associated with Mother Thames have enough of further tales of their own, which me glad to see that they will be returning in future books of the series.
Well written, well paced and a great pleasure to read. Highly recommended.
The writing style is very clever and generally pretty humorous. Peter Grant is an apprentice wizard, and I appreciate that he doesn't seem to be inexplicably more powerful than anyone in history, or anything silly like that, which tends to happen in so many books featuring characters with magical abilities. He's creative and smart, but none of this feels like cheating, on the part of the author.
I'd been worried about Leslie since book one, and this is where, if you haven't read book one, you should stop reading reviews for book two. I think what was done to her is being handled well, in a believable way. The main character cares for her, but he isn't perfect, and his feelings about what has happened to her are complicated. Definitely not perfect, but I'm glad about this.
There were portions of the book early on that moved a little slow for me at first, but that doesn't tend to be the case for most people, from what I hear. I may have just been distracted or not in the right mood for reading. Once things got going, I really enjoyed it, and I finished it quickly.
As for the mystery involved, I was suspicious about one of the characters, and I was right to be, although the full story wound up being much more complicated and tragic. I was nearly brought to tears over it, but the very end of the book gives us something intriguing and hopeful to look forward to.
His new supervisor is Thomas Nightingale, a senior wizard who is very reluctantly called in by the Met to handle the "X-file stuff." Soon Peter and his ex-probationary partner, Leslie May ("short, blond and impossibly perky even when wearing a stab vest"--I would have called her acerbic rather than perky) are involved with a bad actor who murders people by exploding their faces.
This Peter Grant series carries on with a tongue-in-cheek first-person narrative style, even in the midst of a glut of exploding faces and Latin lessons (all of the really important books on magic are written in dead languages). Nightingale also teaches Peter how to create balls of light ('Lux') and move them ('Impello'). It may not sound like much, but Peter is soon setting his hand on fire and exploding an objet d'art that belongs to a particularly vindictive river goddess.
"Rivers of London" (alternate title is "Midnight Riot") is the first in a series (6 so far) of original, fast-moving urban fantasies that take place in 21st Century London. I've read all of the Peter Grant books twice and am impatiently awaiting the next entry in this ongoing police procedural with magical trappings.
However, some reviews have used the Harry Potter books for comparison, and that is completely wrong. The only thing in common is the presence of wizards. While both are great reads, they aren't at all the same genre. I think those reviews are terribly misleading.
I also note that some reviewers have complained about the constant references to London landmarks, but I'm not sure why they are complaining about that. It's set in London, what did you expect? I've never been to Chicago, but I can still enjoy Jim Butcher's books.
Most recent customer reviews
What I loved about the book was its atmosphere: this is Londoner’s story, set in London and written by Londoner.Read more