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Moon Over Soho (PC Peter Grant Book Book 2)
Moon Over Soho (PC Peter Grant Book Book 2)
Price: £3.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Sexy, follow-up to Rivers of London, 10 Mar. 2013
Moon Over Soho picks up a few weeks (possibly months) after Rivers of London. The consequences of that story are still with us and make for a touching and sensitive opening chapter. However Peter Grant is still a police officer and trainee wizard, so when jazz musicians in London start to die of apparently "natural causes" he has to investigate. Oh, and we discover that Grant's father was a musician. His speciality? Jazz.

So I loved Rivers of London and the follow up didn't disappoint. It had the same wise-cracking main character narration and a similarly complex plot that weaves through both the everyday and other-worldly versions of London, leavened with some real London history/geography/trivia thrown in. A couple of differences: first there was more left open at the end of this book. It was a complete case and the investigation comes to a definite conclusion but there are elements that will no doubt be picked up in book 3 (and beyond?). I suspect with have met Grant's nemesis, his Moriarty if you will. I think this is probably because with the success of book 1 Aaronovitch probably has the freedom to plan a few books ahead and so is able to have an on-going component as well as the story of the book itself.

A second difference is the amount of sex in this book. Now the previous book certainly has some sexy characters and a fair amount of unresolved tension between the same but in this book there's some definite `resolving' going on. This was neither too explicit nor too coy and without giving anything away it did add to the plot. Plus, like the humour, it adds to the fun of the story.


The Last Hero
The Last Hero
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

3.0 out of 5 stars A Novella with Pictures, 10 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Last Hero (Paperback)
"A Discworld Fable" reads the blurb on the cover. I'm not sure what makes it a fable. Really it's just a regular Discworld book but a bit shorter and with pictures. It's not a graphic novel and the pictures, though very nicely done, are illustrations rather than adding any new information to the story. Which I'm afraid adds up to me feeling like I struggled with the large form-factor of a physical book when I'd probably have been better off with an ebook of just the text. Except such a thing doesn't exist (legally).

As a short Discworld novella it's not bad. The plot concerns Cohen the Barbarian taking on the Gods and an attempt to stop him which ends up being a parody of the Apollo moon missions. That was rather fun. Not one of my absolute favourites but another notch on my Discworld-reading belt as it were.


Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1)
Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1)
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun romp - comic urban fantasy, 10 Mar. 2013
Rivers of London begins with Peter Grant still a probationary officer in the Met, seeing a ghost and shortly after witnessing a murder. As he becomes involved in the case he meets the mysterious Inspector Nightingale and soon joins his very special unit within the force, both as a fully-fledged Detective Constable as well as a trainee wizard.

I loved this book. It was light and fun and the main character has a snappy line in comic narration that makes it easy to read. The plot soon becomes quite involved and we're introduced to a whole host of characters some of whom are not-quite human. There's a lot in here about London, the history and geography of London and even though it's clearly very well researched it doesn't come over as dry or lecturing but is interspersed into the story quite naturally. I think the novel will work well even if you don't know London but I'll admit trying to figure out if I'd had a meal in a particular restaurant that makes a brief appearance in a chase scene (and so on) was fun.


London Falling (Shadow Police series Book 1)
London Falling (Shadow Police series Book 1)
Price: £4.19

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Urban Fantasy should be, 10 Mar. 2013
London Falling begins as a big drug bust is about to take place. It's an operation that's been years in the planning and involves two undercover officers. The bust is happening now more because they're running out of money than because the timing's just right, nevertheless they manage to arrest a local gang boss and several of his "soldiers". Unfortunately this coup is short-lived as he's killed whilst in police custody. In fact whilst he's being interviewed and in full view of CCTV. Nevertheless it's not clear who, what or how the murder took place.

Shortly after this a small unit is formed to investigate this. It turns out to have been a supernatural killing and after visiting a related crime scene the team acquire `The Sight' which is the ability to see... well what exactly it is they can see is explored in the rest of the novel, but for now I'll just say that it adds an extra dimension to things.

I loved this book. However I do have to say that it took me a while to get into it. The first two or three chapters have almost no supernatural element at all and I suppose since that's why I had picked up the book I was waiting for that to appear. Once it did however we were off to the races. In the past I've scored books highly because they had a page-turning quality but they haven't always stayed with me once I've finished them. London Falling was not like that. It was page-turning because I really wanted to know what happened but when I found out what happened I was usually more intrigued and more concerned about the characters.

Cornell has said that one of the things he wanted to do was show how real Police officers would handle the supernatural, and what it would be like if they applied the same set of techniques to these other-worldly experiences as they do to every day investigations. I think that's where the book sets itself apart. It's also why I think the first section of the book is what it is - we need to establish what `ordinary' policing is like to some extent.

This book reminded me of a couple of other authors when I was reading it. First Michael Marshall Smith - specifically Only Forward - it has a similar sense of a dream/spirit world that lies alongside the everyday world. Secondly it reminded me of the better Ankh-Morpork set Discworld books. It has that same sense of a city being an intricate working mechanism and of the author being fascinated with how it all fits together. So yes, in the words of the old cliche, London really is a character in this book.

Having said that, this book reminded me of those others but is totally unlike them in style or tone. It is its own book and that's to its credit. It is a fairly intense book and the crimes committed are pretty gruesome stuff. But then it's definitely no worse than some of your serial killer thrillers. There is a thread of wry dark humour but it's not a light read, it is a rewarding one though.


Pump Six and Other Stories SC
Pump Six and Other Stories SC
by Paolo Bacigalupi
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Gems, 10 Mar. 2013
(3 ½ stars)

When you're trying to review a collection of stories you naturally tend to look for themes or similarities. This is perhaps unfair to some of the individual stories but I'm going to do it anyway because otherwise I need to review each story in turn and I don't have the time or the heart for that.

I suppose there are two things that stand out for me that came through in nearly all the stories. The first is that Bacigalupi's style veers toward a lot of description of the background details. This isn't something I always enjoy but I know that for some it puts you right there in that world and makes it feel rich and complete. The second is that the stories are almost all kind of morality tales. They take a trend that's occurring in our current time and extrapolate it into a possible future and show the ill effects this might have, whether that's patented GM crops in The Calorie Man or global warming's effect on water conservation with The Tamarisk Hunter. Again, potentially this isn't something I will always enjoy because it can veer toward preachy but I think it most cases it avoided being too directly that.

My favourites were Pump Six - the tale of a society in decline where no-one is any longer interested in the technology that supports their lifestyle, Pop Squad - the story of a future where the trade-off for constant re-juvenation is enforced infertility, The Fluted Girl - about body modification gone mad, and The People of Sand and Slag - about the effects of physical invulnerability.


Thief Of Time: (Discworld Novel 26) (Discworld series)
Thief Of Time: (Discworld Novel 26) (Discworld series)
Price: £3.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Reliably Fun, 10 Mar. 2013
Thief of Time is a story about the History Monks and how they manage Time on the Disc. It's about a young apprentice to Lu Tze, the Sweeper, who first appeared in #13 Small Gods. It's also about the building of a clock so accurate that it follows the tick of the Universe.

By reputation this was supposed to be an excellent book and whilst it's toward the better end, particularly of the Discworld books I've read lately it didn't blow me away.

There's a lot of fun to be had though and I wouldn't want to put anyone off.


Saga Volume 1 (Saga (Comic Series))
Saga Volume 1 (Saga (Comic Series))
by Brian K Vaughan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.25

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Characters Given Room to Develop, 10 Mar. 2013
I cam to Saga because a) I'd read and enjoyed Y: The Last Man and b) I'd just got a new tablet and wanted something to read.

This is a fun SciFi/Fantasy drama. It's inherently episodic due to the comic book form but that's also its strength. There's time for all the various story threads to be developed and several strong and interesting characters that have room to breathe.

Of course it's not over yet but I for one am still reading.


Finders Keepers
Finders Keepers
Price: £3.67

3.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre Crime Novel (Novel about a Bizarre Crime), 10 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Finders Keepers (Kindle Edition)
For me not as gripping as the first Jonas Holly book, Darkside. It also contains a crime and a villain that's just a bit bizarre. I still enjoyed it though it wasn't quite as easy a read.


Darkside
Darkside
Price: £3.66

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, Slightly Ambiguous Ending, 10 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Darkside (Kindle Edition)
I bought this as soon as it came out because I'd just recently read Blacklands which was a great read.

This was also a gripping read and I really enjoyed it. I really liked the way the central characters were drawn and the plot kept me guessing. The final ending, the actual resolution of whodunnit, threw me a bit and that's the only thing stopping me from giving it 5 stars.


The Truth: (Discworld Novel 25) (Discworld series)
The Truth: (Discworld Novel 25) (Discworld series)
Price: £5.28

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Fun Discworld Romp, 10 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Truth is an Ankh-Morpork centred novel about the arrival in the city of the printing press and the newspaper industry. I knew that some consider this a one of the lesser Discworld books and so I was prepared for it to be not that great. So maybe partly because of lower expectations I actually quite enjoyed it.

It was a little odd to have a story in which Vimes and Vetinari appeared but were not a huge part of the plot. There were a couple of new characters that seemed to be a bit over the top just for the sake of it. But I quite liked the protagonist, I liked his assistant/romantic interest and I enjoyed a couple of the other minor characters.


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