Customer Reviews


407 Reviews
5 star:
 (264)
4 star:
 (113)
3 star:
 (24)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, this is wonderful
Wonderful. Literally wonderful, in the sense that it is full of wonders.

At my age (72) it is increasingly hard to find novels that I actually want to read, and even harder to find novels which I don't give up on after perhaps 50 pages. But this one works all right.

Provided, of course, you know what to expect, and like what you are led to expect...
Published on 7 Jun. 2011 by Michael Allen

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No, I didn't like this one as much.
The first book in this series, Rivers of London, positively made me sit up and take notice. This second book, not so much. There were many areas which did not satisfy me. This turns out to be a cliffhanger which will obviously be carried forward into a third book. Aaronovitch ended up one aspect of the story but left the remainder open.

Detective Constable...
Published on 18 May 2011 by J. Lesley


‹ Previous | 1 241 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yes, this is wonderful, 7 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Moon Over Soho (Hardcover)
Wonderful. Literally wonderful, in the sense that it is full of wonders.

At my age (72) it is increasingly hard to find novels that I actually want to read, and even harder to find novels which I don't give up on after perhaps 50 pages. But this one works all right.

Provided, of course, you know what to expect, and like what you are led to expect. For this is one of those cross-genre books. It's part police-procedural, part fantasy (since it's about magic, and we don't believe in magic, do we? Oh, really?), and part literary; the latter because, for a police constable of modest background and educational attainments, our hero is remarkably erudite. Oh, and there's a wide streak of humour running all the way through it -- humour of that black kind which police officers, A&E doctors, and ambulance men, develop into order to protect themselves from the horrible things they have to deal with.

Fortunately, this is number two in a series, so you can go back and start with number one before getting stuck into this one. And the only thing wrong with a series such as this is that the fact that, as my dear old Mum used to say, they don't write them fast enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up, 14 May 2011
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Moon Over Soho (Hardcover)
In this speedy and welcome follow up to Rivers of London there is a new problem for our hero copper, PC Peter Grant, to investigate. Being an apprentice wizard in a Police department of two ain't easy.
Here the problem appears to be Jazz Vampires and the only expert that may be able to help is Peter's Dad. As always the problem is a little more complex then that, and this is a welcome follow up to Rivers of London. It does not have the originality of Rivers, but it is still a great page turner with a real feel of London and a light and engaging touch.
Very enjoyable indeed and will further enhance the author's well earned reputation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amusing prose and an engaging hero, but the plot didn't quite work for me, 8 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Book One in this series introduced some interesting characters and a well-developed premise of a magical branch of the London police. It wasn't perfect, but I really enjoyed it and looked forward to reading the sequel. I was hoping that with the introductions out of the way, the plot would be able to take off and this second instalment might be even better.

On the whole, I think it had the same strengths and weaknesses as the first book.

The positives were a clever and internally consistent system of magic, an engaging and fully fleshed out hero and well-developed supporting characters, and a dry and very British humour reminiscent of early Terry Pratchett.

What worked less well for me, in both the first book but perhaps more so in this instalment, was the plot, which felt very convoluted and just didn't quite seem to hang together quite right. There are hints of a deeper underlying plot arc, but for the moment, it still feels quite episodic. In the case of this book, I also found a new character - half love interest, half potential suspect - significantly less compelling than most of the cast. I found the hero's reactions to her unrealistic, and it almost dulled my adoration of him.

Overall then, I'm still enjoying the series and will definitely read the next one at some point, but I'm finding myself frustrated with the way it's not quite living up to its initial promise or to some of the flashes of brilliance sprinkled through the plot. I was torn between 3 stars or 4, and have erred on the side of generosity, possibly swayed by the introduction of an evil wizard tutor at Magdalen, my old Oxford college!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun and a cracking series, 12 April 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Moon Over Soho (Hardcover)
The second book by Ben to feature his Paranormal Wizard Apprentice Copper, Peter Grant, who this time is thrust into a case that may be too close to home for comfort. As with the original, the sheer scope of this book is amazing, the characters are refreshingly believable and when you add into it quirky twists on already familiar area's of London which will leave the readers clamouring for more.

The prose is light and manageable, the characters outstanding and all in the overall arc is one that will lead the readers to demanding a new title sooner rather than later as Peter and Nightingales own Sith seem to be emerging from the background. All in, this book has been very cleverly done which when added to a wonderful reading experience made this a title that was very hard to put down. If there's only one new author you try this year in the Urban Fantasy genre, make it Aaronovitch, the skills and pace will leave you wondering exactly what spell he's woven within these pages.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars moon over soho, 30 April 2012
By 
Ali (Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) (Paperback)
Like the first book, this was a very easy and enjoyable read. The reader gets thrown into the first-person narrative with gusto and I happily felt like I had no clue what was going on. Normally, that annoys me but I find Peter such a likable character that I care not a jot. I particularly liked the fact that Peter was still trying to rationalise magic even as he was practising it. I also liked that Peter is not the type of detective who lives for his job (I'm a bit fed up of them, to be honest), he's a young guy who likes his social life, and the women, too.

The plot zipped along at a fair clip and was rather gruesome in places, as you would expect from a Big Bad who likes to munch on the manhood of its victims. Aaronovitch also began to introduce what I expect to be a several book story arc about other, currently unknown, magicians who may or may not be a bit nasty.

Oh, and the cliffhanger! I hate cliffhangers normally but this just fitted into the cheeky tone of these books nicely.

This was a very enjoyable read and the slightly wry sense of humour appealed to me immensely. I recommend this series to all who like a bit of fantasy and mystery.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tricky second album is a winner..., 9 Jun. 2012
By 
Big Ben "fly_mo" (Bedford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) (Paperback)
It's a truism that everyone has a book in them, or a tune, or something. But doing it twice, successfully, is much harder. Hence the 'Second Album' syndrome that has afflicted so many musicians.
This is Ben Aaronovitches second book in the 'Rivers of London' series, but far from his second effort. There are a lot of Doctor Who and Blakes Seven credits (amongst others) on his Wikipedia page. Which probably helps to explain why it is so good.
The musical allusion is a fair cop, too. Since our protagonist is a cop with a deep background in Jazz - his dad is a jazz legend in his own lifetime. Some very tasty riffs being played on this association in 'Moon over Soho'.
Not to forget that this (like the previous volume 'Rivers of London') is a romp around the capital city with a heavy emphasis on the magical aspects that most people never see - policed by the inhabitants of 'The Folly', the UK Police answer to magical criminals.
The skeleton of the book is sound, but it is the writing and characterisation that seduces. This second volume was at least as enjoyable as the first one. Recommended!
The Third volume is due soon - it's called 'Whispers Under Ground'.
I can't wait.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great sequel (not so much a standalone), 12 May 2011
This review is from: Moon Over Soho (Hardcover)
If you'll remember from the first volume, Detective Constable Peter Grant is part of the Metropolitan Police's "Economic and Specialist Crime Unit". It consists of two people - Grant and his mentor, DCI Nightingale. Nightingale is much older than he appears and infinitely more knowledgable: he's a wizard. Grant, due to a combination of inclination and misfortune, is also a wizard - at least, he's trying really hard at it.

In the first volume, Grant is wrapped up in a fairly horrific little mystery that involves dark magic and people's faces falling in. The second volume starts with the same promise: someone out there is doing something nasty (and magical). Grant needs to solve it. This time around it is also more personal. The naughty-maker is offing jazz musicians, and Grant's dad is one of the best in the business. Although he's always been wary of it, Grant finds himself easily absorbed into the jazz scene. He finds friends (and ladyfriends) and indulges himself in a little second-hand fame due to his father's reputation. These new contacts prove valuable when it comes to snooping about in the dark and spicy Soho underworld.

Just to keep things interesting, there's also something out there eating people's anatomy. Eep.

The balance here is between plot and meta-plot. One of the cases above is a fairly transparent whodunnit. I'm not the savviest mystery reader, but I found absolutely no mystery in whoactuallyddunnit. The only detection was trying to suss if Grant was being particularly thick or if he actually knew all along and was stringing us along for extra overtime pay. This case is the book's self-contained plot.

The meta-plot is a much more complicated situation that involves the mysteeeerious origins of the magical tradition, a potential Big Bad (or Big Bads), a massive conspiracy, the misbegotten youth of DCI Nightingale and all sorts of stuff that is in no way resolved during the course of this book. It is fun - spell-fights and secret histories are invariably entertaining - but this isn't a mystery, it is epic fantasy with a hat on.

Ben Aaronovitch continues the successful formula of Rivers of London in bringing to the surface the endearing minutae of a city that he clearly adores. He also demonstrates the "real world" problems of a ritual magician trying to have some sort of "normal" life - never is this more aptly demonstrated than Grant having to run the broadband out of the garage, lest the cabling interfere with his home's magical protections. Grant continues to observe his world(s) in a detached way - a narrative voice that lends itself well to dry humor (and fits less neatly with the book's few over-the-top action scenes). Mr. Aaronovitch is, in short, writing the best contemporary occult detective series on the shelf today, and that's by a substantial margin.

My neuroses stem from concerns about the balance of "occult" and "detective". I hasten to add that I am making a very large mountain out of a very small molehill. Moon Over Soho is VERY good. One of PC Grant's core personality traits is his emphasis in approaching everything - even the supernatural - in a modern and rational way. Despite his wizardry, he is, in fact, the consummate detective.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch, 21 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) (Paperback)
I read the prequel to this book (Rivers of London) on the back of rave reviews from most of the newspapers. They weren't wrong! This follow-on book (Moon over Soho) is just as good. It is mixed with suspense, humour and magic! I like the references to 'Harry Potter' and Hogwarts with regard to our hero's Wizard mentor Inspector Nightingale. The story starts with detective Constable Peter Grant investigating the mysterious deaths of a number of talented Jazz players in various clubs in and around Soho. Subsequent analysis of the victim's brains shows the involvement of magic. Ben Aaronovitch weaves the story of magic, magical creatures and Wizards around a dark story of suspicious murders with real conviction. The book is written with a wonderful knowledge of London that gives the reader historical facts and stories of the various locations making the whole experience more enjoyable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Body and soul, 21 Aug. 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) (Paperback)
Second volume in the 'Peter Grant' series of urban fantasy crime novels. All about a member of the Metropolitan Police who joins a special department of the force which deal with the supernatural.

This follows on from the first book Rivers of London: 1. Despite a bit of exposition, new readers might find themselves rather confused. So you're best off starting with that one.

Those who have, read on.

This volume runs for three hundred and seventy three pages. It's divided into fourteen chapters.

It does, as before, contain some strong language, gory moments and violence. But on this occasion scenes of an adult nature also.

At the start of the book, Peter is still learning magic. And he and others are still dealing the events of the first volume. Which commendably, it doesn't forget or have anyone get over in a hurry.

Then he finds something is stalking Soho. And killing Jazz musicians.

Peter's family history gives him connections into that world. But these aren't the only strange deaths in the capital...

It's the mixture as before. A book so convincingly set in London, and also one that gives you lots of fascinating and well researched information about the workings of the Police and life in the city.

It juggles, once again, investigations with wizardly training. Peter develops steadily enough in the latter respect over the course of this book. But since it's clear he's still got a lot to learn, you get the feeling there's much more to come. But also that you get just the right amount of development here. Also in regards to the history of the Folly as well, as he learns a few things about that and about Nightingale.

This does balance everything very well in the first third of the book, but then other investigations intrude. It never quite loses focus, though. And since real Police would have more than one case on the go at the same time, it's believable.

There is a pretty decent resolution to things in the final third. Which does seem also to be setting some stuff up for future volumes. There's also some good moral food for thought for the reader to consider as well.

A good sequel. If you were into the first book this one should work for you equally well. And it - and the ending -will make you want to read the next one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Magical Addition To The Series, 19 Jan. 2013
By 
Syriat - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) (Paperback)
Moon Over Soho is the second in the PC Grant series that follows a detective who has been apprenticed after showing signs of magical ability. This book follows the mysterious deaths of Jazz musicians in Soho alongside another set of murders. The same characters are back (minus Beverley Brook sadly but lets hope she is back at one point) and PC Grant also has a love interest. It follows on from the last book and is set a couple of months after that one.

The first book was a good read and almost felt like a young adult book at times. This one doesn't. This is mainly due to the more explicit descriptions (ok they are not that explicit but you wouldn't get it in a YA book) in the book. The procedural police details are as good as ever and without giving anything away this has introduced elements which may well be felt for books to come. The murders can get a little confusing and hard to follow and this led me to struggle at times with the book and getting going with it. However, the last third is a great read and I found it hard to put down. The humour is as good as ever and the descriptions of London will ring true with a lot of people who know the areas - I particularly liked the description of The Brunswick Centre. Its well written and the style of humour and tongue in cheek delivery is something I really enjoyed in the first book and this one.

Overall its a very good book. I can't quite remember the last time I read through the final third of a book so quickly. I just struggled a bit with the plotting in the middle third. This series continues to deliver though and for those who like their mysteries, humour and quirkiness then this series promises much and this book delivers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 241 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2)
Moon Over Soho: 2 (Rivers of London 2) by Ben Aaronovitch (Paperback - 13 Oct. 2011)
£5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews