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Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) by [Aaronovitch, Ben]
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Rivers of London (PC Peter Grant Book Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,030 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in PC Peter Grant Book (5 Book Series)
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Review

Witty, well plotted, vividly written and addictively readable. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

An engaging mix of magic and police procedural, this is a great kick off to a very promising series as well as the most satisfying fantasy thriller to hit bookshelves in quite some time. Witty, imaginative and gripping. (Saxon Bullock SFX)

Rivers of London is highly recommended for anyone looking for some urban fantasy fun with a real life spin, the sights and smells of London just ooze out from between the pages. This book should be essential reading for anyone who has ever seen anything inexplicable or strange on the streets of London - which would be just about everybody who's ever been there, really. (LOVEVAMPIRES.COM)

Anyone who has enjoyed Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Kate Griffin's Matthew Swift novels, Mike Carey's Felix Castor series - anyone in those shoes will adore Rivers of London. Assured, witty and great fun to read. (Amanda Rutter FLOOR TO CEILING BOOKS)

Rivers of London comfortably fills out its engaging premise. (Sophia McDougall)

Ben Aaronovitch has put together an enjoyable and exciting story that is easy to read. (BOOK MONKEYS)

This is a terrific urban fantasy police procedural in which the two cops make the unbelievable believable; especially the inexperienced Grant. The fast-paced yet meandering story line is loaded with action from the onset as the mentor and mentee work a challenging investigation in which an ancient has arisen to stir the troubled waters. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Ben Aaronovitch's view of London in this witty well written riot. (ALTERNATIVE-WORLDS)

Aaronovitch gives us a glimpse of a fascinating and fantastical underbelly to the capital that feels entirely believable. Those familiar with the city will enjoy picturing the chaotic events unfold, while those less familiar will receive an accurate and entertaining geography lesson. Magical, mysterious and mesmerising, Rivers of London will have you spellbound. (Alice Wybrew TOTAL SCI FI)

This is a fun book, with enough wry humour without descending into slapstick. Recommended. (British Fantasy Society)

Book Description

CSI London, Urban Fantasy-style!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1585 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (10 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004K1EC1S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 1,030 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,933 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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 book that is not the case. Probationary PC Peter Grant had been left to guard a crime scene when he met a ghost. Not just any ghost either, no, this one was a witness to the crime. In very short order PC Grant finds himself assigned to a unit of the Metropolitan Police which up until he joined it had only one other member, a wizard. Peter is now on his way to becoming an apprentice wizard, learning magic and trying to help solve the crimes of completely unexplained violence which are breaking out all over London. Peter's best answer is to use his interest in scientific knowledge and experimentation in conjunction with the magic to explain some of the things that are happening.

I really enjoyed this book for its humor and the unusual combination of scientific investigation paired with utilizing magic. It put a different spin on the plot for me by having the entire London scene be so solidly in the present time, with the citizens of that great city completely unaware of the magic or the horrors within their city. I also enjoyed the great amount of research this author has obviously done regarding the many rivers around London. And to have each of them portrayed as an individual character was quite a successful undertaking. I also want to compliment those responsible for the artwork map on the cover of this book. No matter how many times I look at it I keep finding names of areas or a street that I recognize.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I probably need to start with the admission that I have no idea of what "urban fantasy" is.....reading other reviews I don't think that is going to make me that popular.

What I do know is that this book was extremely entertaining from start to finish. I am shocked that Ben Aaronovitch has no policing background because, despite a few discrepancies, it is an impressive (albeit comical) insight in to both the inner machinations of policing the metropolis and also cop/gallows humour. Whilst, generally speaking, it is very witty there are some spectacular laugh out loud moments that leave you looking around the tube with a slightly apologetic look on your face and hoping that no one in the carriage has the power to section you.

Ben's passion for London is also extremely apparent and makes the journey all the more interesting. A real bonus is that, if you know the locations already, it is like rediscovering them all over again.

I really enjoyed this book, it captivated me very quickly and I find myself missing being involved with it now that I have finished. Great work. I hope you enjoy it too.
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Format: Hardcover
For once an urban fantasy that actually is an urban fantasy, with not a poxy Doc Martened elf in sight, thank god: part very well researched police procedural, part Sorcerer's Apprentice - and this is a real apprenticeship, where results come from sheer slog and perseverance, not from waving a magic wand - part gruesome murder hunt, part otherworldly politicking, and part - and this is my favourite part by far - a carefully detailed map of Central London, written by one who knows and loves the place as it should be loved, all of it narrated by likeable Everyman Peter Grant, an adequate enough probationary constable who's just a bit too curious for his own good (while his colleagues are breaking up a riot in Trafalgar Square, he stops to check what's written on the lions' bums). Peter crosses the line between one world and another and, in the process, is saved from a future of data entry in the Case Progression Unit, one cold morning in Covent Garden, when he's left guarding a crime scene and a witness steps forward from St Paul's Church - a witness who has been dead for considerably longer than the body under investigation.

Rivers of London isn't perfect - there are a lot of open questions left hanging, and some of the plot resolutions don't entirely make sense - but it is bloody good, and one of the best things I've read in many years. Good enough that I went straight out and bought the sequel. In hardback.

Ignore Diana Gabaldon's stupid cover blurb, by the way. I'll do her the credit of believing she was misquoted.

Don't expect to learn too much about the actual lost rivers of London, though. That's a fascinating topic in itself, but one for another book entirely.
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Format: Hardcover
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, more shadowy city in which magic is an alternative form of knowledge and the contemporary streets overlie deep strata of history, legend and myth and hidden circuits of power. Aaronovitch brings these threads together in the story of a young mixed-race constable in the Metropolitan Police who must somehow operate in both worlds to solve mysteries and crimes with a supernatural element.

Aaronovitch's style will be immediately familiar to anyone who has followed British fantasy writing over the last decade. More sophisticated in the writing than J. K. Rowling, 'Rivers of London' still has a rather young-adult feel when compared to the best writers who have taken London as a rich hunting ground - I'm thinking here of Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd in particular. Perhaps more pertinently, I also found it less interesting than the work of China Miéville and Neil Gaiman.

As one might expect from a novelist with Aaronovitch's professional pedigree, there are few of the typical first-novel problems. The book is carefully plotted and maintains interest throughout. Given the nature of the story, which moves fluidly between the late eighteenth century and the present day, there is a lot of research-based detail. This is woven into the texture of the narrative in a reasonably unobtrusive manner, but it's fair to say that it's Aaronovitch's fellow Londoners who are most likely to appreciate it.
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