This is a very creative book, bearing constant proof of the author's impressive knowledge of the history and trivia of London and its surroundings. It is also a book that requires quite a dollop of suspended disbelief, being full of vampires, river spirits, revenants, police magicians, etc. The young, mixed culture constable who is learning to deal magic and deal with magical beings, is more interesting to me, in terms of his family dynamics, than his magic, but I will grant you that it is all pretty entertaining stuff.
Narration is excellent and a big plus for this download, , but at times the fast talking, mixed with the author's constant use of initialisms, which are very rarely explained, leads to a sense of failing to glean all that is going on. That can leave me feeling frustrated, to the point where I started looking forward to the book finishing up. Peter Grant is a strong, empathetic, and very likeable character, as are most of the folks in, "Midnight Riot," but I am left not knowing if I will ever try the other two books in the series. At the moment I am not even sure if I will rate this a four or a three, for the reasons mentioned, but I am sure that the things that troubled me will not bother everybody. Maybe just a listing of what all those initialisms mean, after the end of the story, might have salved my annoyance a bit. I know RIB is the Royal Institute of the Blind, but is UCH the University of Cambridge Hospital? These are only two...there are many more, oh so many more. Yes, I am sure it is all part of necessarily quick and clipped cop-speak, but it can rankle.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
In spite of the references through Ben Aaronovitch's series to the greats of British fantasy - Harry Potter, Tolkien, Terry Pratchet, Dr Who, etc. - the Peter Grant books much more strongly favor an American series, The Dresden Files, albeit with a British flavor. I decided to listen to all three of currently available Peter Grant books (a fourth is due out later this year) before writing about them so I would know if I could recommend the whole series since that's nice to know before starting. No doubt in my mind, if you like Dresden, you'll like Peter Grant. Be aware though, in spite of some internet book reviews comparing this series to Harry Potter, it's not at all that type of fantasy series and it is definitely not for children (some sex/some graphic violence).
Midnight Riot has its own unique characters, settings, plots, and magic system so it doesn't come across as derivative, but it has some nice commonalities with Dresden. Harry Dresden was an accomplished wizard when we first met him; Peter Grant does not even know about Wizards when we first meet him, but both men are extremely likable, combine self assurance bordering on arrogance with redeeming self deprecating humor, attract great friends and allies, and equally attract perverse and interesting enemies. Each series also has a very likable police woman to serve as sidekick/cohort/potential romantic interest, each is set in a huge metropolitan area which sets much of the tone of the books, and each is built on short term mysteries solved within each book and overarching plot lines that span the books. Best of all, each series on audio has found a delightful voice to convey the character of the central protagonist perfectly. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith fits Peter Grant hand-in-glove as James Marsters fits Dresden. Like the Dresden Files, the Peter Grant books are are first person narratives so success on audio is very dependent on having that perfect voice and Holdbrook-Smith strikes the right blend of sassy and sweet/smart and awkward to make it easy for the listener to take to Peter right away.
This is not a series where the magical system will overwhelm the listener because we learn about it little by little as Peter is learning it, but in this first book, it seems a bit muddy - not all the dots quite connect. In spite of that, the book is action packed with lots of fun good guys and bad guys both and my interest never flagged. As with any GOOD series, Midnight Riot provides conclusive answers to many questions, leaves open the options to pursue answers for other questions, and ends with a bang. Just the sort of thing to make you go get book 2, Moon Over Soho, and I recommend that you do just that.
One note about the narrator, Kobna Holbrook-Smith - his voice is perfect for Peter Grant and he does pretty good accents for other characters as well. He has a decidedly pronounced London accent, speaks quickly, and there is a fair amount British slang in the book so my American ears had to struggle a bit in the beginning to keep up. I found that I quickly adjusted to the narration and within a couple of hours I had no trouble following and came to really enjoy this narrator.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
The story isn't bad, and is occasionally funny, but the narrator is either a mouth breather, or is so out of shape that he's almost out of breath the entire book. I think if he had just slowed his reading some and not inhaled/exhaled constantly into the mic, I might have given the book 87 out of 100.
These books are great! I've listened or read all of the Peter Grant series and can't wait for the next book to come out. They have humor, mystery, and magic all rolled up into one and the narrator does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. I would highly recommend this series to anyone particularly fans of Torchwood, Doctor Who, and Sherlock.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
I had a hard time getting into this one or connecting with any of the characters. I kept going hoping it would get better and then I was too far in to abandon it.
This was in the same genre with The Dresden Files and The Iron Druid Chronicles, but not even in the same ballpark. I may have been thrown off by the narration but I think it was the combination of both that and the story. Others I follow really liked it, so maybe it was just me?
Surprisingly good for a first in a series. Compared to Dresden Files with less juvenile humor, but also less personality from the main character. I think he will grow into his role though as the series progresses.
Wonderful vocal performance.
This book had some really, really funny lines. Early on i thought i'd found a great mix of comedy, seriousness and a bit of mysticism. But instead, it went overboard (for me) with the other-wordly stuff, and just kind of lost me. I'm disappointed because, as i said, there were parts i really enjoyed. I'm just not into the fantasy world stuff, so it needs to be in smaller doses for me. Oh well, won't be continuing...
The language was bad, too many F words. The first half of the book was ok but I could not finish the last half. I enjoy paranormal books, but this is just a bad bomb.
I know the description said 'ghosts'....but I didn't expect spirits and magic etc to take over the book. I was so enthralled by the author's use of words and the reader's enthusiasm in reading the book--I thought I could make it through to the end--but not so. Plot was not for me....Oh so sorry--but would love it if this author actually wrote a more realistic book.
It is possible that Brits may find this book enjoyable but I found many times that I shook my head and wondered if I had fallen asleep and missed a page or two. I finished the book ONLY because I just got stubborn and thought it 'had' to get better. Narration was very good but the story was just not fluid. I started the book driving home - 6.5 hr drive - and ended up several times just going to XM radio to prevent boredom.
I'm glad that I got the book on one of the Daily Deal sales or I'd be more disturbed about the purchase. I will not be listening to the rest of the series.