"Great idea, well written, funny and top narration!"
I'm a recent audible subscriber so I've only listened to a few books, but it comes in second behind 11.22.63
Difficult to compare this book to anything I've read! Sort of Police procedural meets fantasy! The historical information was well researched by someone who loves London and the central idea is fantastic.
The way Aaronovitch uses the rivers of London is inspired, the characters are great and it's funny.
All the characters are defined and Kobna does a fine job of distingushing each one, from accent to tone of voice, it was very well performed.
I'm quickly learning that a good narrator can make or break an audio book experience.
I would say the main character, Peter Grant and Nightingale were my favourite two.
I gasped and laughed on several occasions.
Overall a great book, with lots inside which promises more to come in this series. I really enjoyed it and will definitely read and/or listen to the next one.
"Harry Potter grows up and moves to London"
This book is a great find - it's almost like a Harry Potter story for adults, set in London. The narrator is brilliant - very believable and engaging. Definitely one to try.
"A Different Trip Through the Street of London!"
Yes! I've had this book on my Kindle for quite some time, having got a few pages in I wasn't sure if I was liking it and the long chapters were putting me off. However, I was desperate for a new book to listen to at work and got this. I am so glad I did! The book is beautifully written, guiding you through the winding London streets with all the drama and suspense. I wasn't sure as an idea how this book would work but it truly is fantastic and well done with lots of witty remarks and action to keep you wanting more.
I think Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is one of the main reasons I love this book as much as I do! He goes from voice to voice seamlessly and even when he is narrating in is normal voice it is mesmerising and very relaxing! I will say though.... I did wake up in the middle of the night from a terrible dream with his "Punch" voice in my head going "Thats the way you do it!" - shows how involved you can get with this audible book!
No, but it very nearly could have been
"Harry Potter for crime lovers"
Gripping tale, surprised me with it's bloodthirsty I ness at times. Loved the characters, will definitely continue the series despite the fact that I don't normally like any supernatural stuff in novels. The reader's voice is great - listened for hours. Managed female and male voices convincingly. And in many different accents.
"A crime/fantasy mash up"
Thoroughly enjoyable listen. Laugh out loud moments and a tantalising intricate plot. You won't want to put it down.
"Interesting performance and great writing"
A really different performance here, it fell totally authentically London which took me by surprise. I think this may have been Kobna's first audiobook as sometimes the differentials between characters could get a little confusing but in the main he was great and really sounds like a copper on the beat in his narration style.
Fantastic plot line and for any native Londoners a really great game is to see if you recognise the street names in Covent Garden, I did for all most all!
"Some innovative ideas but sometimes derivative?"
By the time I was a few chapters into this book I began to realise that it was meant for young adults - the kind of readers who enjoy vampire and zombie books. I continued to listen, however, and quite enjoyed it overall. The naive young policeman-turned-wizard was a sympathetic character and the other characters through which he told the story were unusual and well-drawn. I was often reminded of Harry Potter type of character in his early twenties, and Kate Griffin's Madness of Angels series, also young adult level books. The descriptions of the streets (and rivers) of London would have been more meaningful to someone who has spent more than just a fleeting visit in that city but the action was clearly described and the pace was brisk. The descriptions of some of the pretty gruesome scenes gave pause to this listener, but generally it was a light, enjoyable read with a good plot, some twists along the way and a satisfying ending. The light, ironic tone of the main character was definitely and plus, as he didn't take himself or his world too seriously.
The reader was superb, using many differing accents and tones to convey the different characters.
"A GREAT START TO UNCONVENTIONAL SERIES."
This is a series I had heard of but put into my to look up pile and unfortunately never got round to looking up. Then Titan Comics released the first issue of Rivers of London and my attention was most assuredly grabbed in a big way. The mixture of fantasy tropes with a gritty London police procedural had me hooked and I had to find more about this series. Thankfully the books are pretty easy to find and I decided for better or worse to grab the Audiobook. Now I say "for better or worse" due to one sentence that is said quite early in the book.
The excellent narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is spot on with his PC Grant as he allows the London boy to flow through him. Unfortunately he does show up one of the flaws with audio narration. As he utters a sentence from one of the characters, he does so in a unmistakable voice that should point any man woman or child that has been to Covent Garden in the summer as to the final twist of the book. When you read the words they are usually done in the tone of the rest of the page, meaning you may well skip over its relevance but when spoken out loud this is not quite as true. In truth though this is a minor inconvenience to an otherwise great performance from Holdbrook-Smith and I'm very pleased to see he carries on the duties for at least the next book.
The story itself revolves around the aforementioned PC Peter Grant a newly sworn in (after a chapter or two) Police Constable who has the unenviable task of investigating things that go bump in the night. The trick is not everyone knows that London is actually a melting pot of the supernatural and he along with his rather antiquated boss have to run the rule over all manner of perps on the streets of London town. This gives the book something different that keeps you on toes as we along with Grant get to learn the status quo as the story unfolds.
Ben Aaronovitch (the books Author) is a native Londoner and this feeds into nearly every page of the work, from descriptions of interactions with fellow tube passengers, to describing the cities streets, everything has a genuine air of authenticity that gives the book some serious weight. There is a spot of Ian Fleming in his writing that is especially prominent in his comments about cars and other consumer goods. This is balanced with the action scenes that take place, they are fast paced and pretty brutal and told with a economy that makes them feel realistic.
At just under the ten hour mark the audio narration is great value, there are only 14 chapters with very little time to catch your breath. We do though get a lovely musical interlude at the start of each chapter that is very in keeping with Peter's family history. I will say this is a must read/listen so please try to avoid my mistake and grab it now.
"Good but not up to the hype"
This was a good book and I did de joy some parts, but the tone of the whole book was quite odd. The narater read the whole thing in something close to a lazy monotone, which is supposed to mirror the main characters approach to all these situations, but it made it quite hard to follow.
I had heard a lot of very good things about this book, and had many recommendations to read it, but it might be better to read it yourself than to get this audiobook.
"Interesting and Original"
This isn't a bad book, I enjoyed the readers performance and it is certainly an original concept and an interesting story. However I would have liked more explanation around the source of the magic and the rules of that world.