The opening of Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch reminded me of the TV show “Pushing Daisies”, the middle was like someone threw all fantasy elements they could think of into a blender with a police TV show, and the ending left me confused. The book tells how Peter Grant, a low-level police officer in London, discovers that magic is real and then becomes an apprentice to the only other police wizard, so they can keep up the peace of the Queen together. There’s also a pretty gruesome murder mystery that involves river deities, ghosts, deformed faces, vampires – you name it, it’s probably somewhere in the book.
It was fun!
Sometimes I had the feeling that the book tried to do too much too quickly and
to introduce all aspects of magic at once so as not to lose your interest (like
screaming “look! There are also all of these things that I won’t tell you about
now but please, please, please stay tuned because isn’t all this magic
AWESOME”) but all in all, it was entertaining and I liked the narrative voice.
It was also imaginative enough for a fantasy book (although after reading A
Face Like Glass this year, little can compare). However, and maybe this is
because the author is also a screenwriter, it did read an awful lot like a
movie, and in that sometimes a bit shallow. Some of the violence in the book is
There’s so much happening in the book that I sometimes found myself confused as to why Peter now is doing something and how that relates to the overall story (and for some of the things, I still don’t know).