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112 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Combine science and magic? Sure, why not?
It is always such a pleasure for me to find an author who manages to write a book that piques my interest and holds my attention. Both are true here because Ben Aaronovitch created something new for me. Normally when I read an urban fantasy book the plot requires that all those involved in that world are aware of the magic components active all around them. In this...
Published on 15 Mar. 2011 by J. Lesley

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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging start to a new urban fantasy series
Ben Aaronovitch is a successful screenwriter who has worked mainly in the fantasy and science fiction genres. 'Rivers of London' is the first novel in the series of the same name. It's probably best described as urban fantasy.

The city in question is London, and the fantasy element arises in the intersection of the modern, gritty London we all know and another,...
Published on 27 Jun. 2011 by Paul Bowes


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5.0 out of 5 stars Will be made in to a more ie, 29 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Did not know what to expect and so pleased read this. Very different ideas and well written. Got hooked straight away and could not put down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy enjoyable read, 16 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Easy enjoyable read.
The characters are likable and its set in London so it's familiar.
Just brought the second one in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Rivers of London (Hardcover)
A little different, but a good read. Kept my attention, for the most part. Would recommend to friends. Will read ther books in the series.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting but never cliched or whimsical, 22 July 2013
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Rivers of London: 1 (Paperback)
Probationary Police Officer Peter Grant is doing sentry duty in Covent Garden in the aftermath of a body being found missing its head when he spots a possible witness, but as the short pale faced man steps into the light identifying himself as Nicolas Wallpenny it becomes clear that he is, in fact, transparent. Well trained PC that Grant is he continues with the interview and it becomes clear that Wallpenny's information is credible. Grasnt only speaks of his experience to fellow probationer (and unfulfilled love interest) Lesley May, but goes looking for Wallpenny for more information and it's then that he is asked what he's doing by Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale who responds to Grant's honest reply that he's looking for a ghost with interest. Nightingale turns out to head up a division of the Met that deals with the supernatural, but the joy of this book is that Grant is never more than a good well trained police officer so there is a strong thread of self deprecating humour throughout. The ideas are fascinating, a murderous spirit and personfications of the buried rivers of London, turf wars on a supernatural scale. There are similarities to writers such as Mieville and JK Rowling, tv staples such as X Files, Torchwood and Doctor Who, to Hot Fuzz and the graphic novel character Constantine but Aaronvitch writes about it all in a completely fresh way creating a world that whilst fantastical is still completely consonant with present day London and all its horrors, grime, wonder and human character.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivers of London, 19 Mar. 2013
By 
Steve D (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Constable Peter Grant is standing guard over a headless corpse found in Covent Garden, when he is approached by someone who witnessed the whole crime. The problem is, that witness is a ghost. This leads Peter, naturally, to discover a whole new world lurking in the corners and shadows of London.

It's not a complex plot but it moves at such a cracking pace that, I think, to say anything more about it would be wrong. Peter's a very likeable character, with a winning line in self-deprecating humour, and the people who gravitate towards him, particularly Nightingale, Beverley and Lesley are also very likeable (although my favourite was Molly, and she barely says a word!).

There's a quote on the front of the book that says something like "What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the police". That's the weakest thing about the book, imo - that quote, it's shameless, hoping the Harry Potter fans will jump onboard. If it is a grown up Harry Potter, then he's an occasionally foul-mouthed one, too. It reminded me a whole lot more of Jim Butcher's 'Dresden Files' series in so many ways, just that it's set in London, not Chicago. That's not to say that Butcher's work is original, either, but it's got a very similar feel to it, without even mentioning the supernatural elements.

You can tell that Aaranovitch lives and works in London because the geography of the city comes across really well and if, like me, you spend a lot of time here, you'll be able to see the locations quite clearly as he strings them together through various chase scenes etc (there's one particular bit that went right past my office). In fact, a couple of times I thought maybe he over-egged it with the street names and such, but that is a really minor point. His writing style is fluid, fast-moving and very easy to read.

Rivers of London is, I think, a great start to a series that has a huge amount of potential. Looking forward to reading Moon Over Soho.
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4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book, 24 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Really well written book, a nice balance of action and witty hunour. I was hooked from page one and would definitely recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great entertaining read, 4 Mar. 2015
By 
Antony (Coventry, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Why have I not read this before?
Humour, a good plot and a great concept.
I will definitely be reading the rest of this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars London unplugged !!!!, 20 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I didn't know there were so many rivers in London. Good. Story Enjoyed it. A novel approach .(No pun intended) to murder/mystery writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked, 18 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Rivers of London: 1 (Paperback)
brilliant style - Aaronovitch makes it appear easy, love the science fiction & Harry Potter references. Just wish the books were longer.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No time to make a crumble., 19 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Rivers of London (Hardcover)
It started very promisingly, which lead me very prematurely to recommend it to others. Fifty pages from the end I feel a fool on a grand level - how can I look those people in the eye?; how will they ever take me (and my book recommendations) seriously again?! Hey, we all have problems.

The main problem here appears to be the approach of the author. It seems he was under a cloying underlying pressure to "make light" of every situation and to soften the blow of anything which might invoke emotion such as love or death by making a joke of it. Likewise, this translates into a pressure on the reader to "make light" of the material. I found myself contemplating things of more importance whilst reading it, like what I might like for tea on Monday week. Consequently, a book which should have taken a couple of days to finish, continues to haunt my bed-stand. If anyone was to challenge me about this, I would be tempted to shrug my shoulders like a petulant teenager and mumble "Don't care".

There are some excellent and exciting ideas here, and a real energy about the writing - the author is very keen to share his world. However, the pace is so utterly, ridiculously fast that it is not writing to savour; rather it feels as if someone is pelting you with apples but you don't have time to gather them up to spend a relaxing hour making a nice crumble, but instead have to endure the taunts of your nemisis as you fall silently into a heap, just praying for it all to be over.
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