This book (and hopefully the series) is the perfect combination of sharp, smart writing and pitch-EXCELLENT narration. I've listened to a huge amount of audio books over the years and this is one that stands out as one of the best pairings I've heard. Yes- there are spots that could have lagged a bit but they were saved - no, elevated! - by R Holdbrook-Smith's execution. Oh, and did I mention how often I literally burst out laughing? Good job guys. You both now have another follower! I start book 2 tomorrow.
It's nice to find a competently written urban fantasy that isn't paranormal romance. Sorry, I have the wrong chromosomes to appreciate that kind of stuff.
We get a combination of wizard apprentice story combined with police procedural. It pretty much works. The main character has a well fleshed out personality and the supporting cast are good also. Plotting is a little uneven but competent. Street level London is wonderfully diverse and ethnic. So are some of the supernatural characters. Good job.
The narration is competent. The narrator does a mostly good job.His ethnic voices are the best part of his performance. He does tend to run his sentences in a predictable pattern with not a lot of inflection, ending on a lower note and somewhat drawing out the last syllable. It's a minor point but does draw my attention at times from the story to the narration. It's not enough to keep me from enjoying the audiobook.
I assume that this will be the first in a series. I hope so.
I have now listened to all three of the books in this series published to date. Aaronovitch has wonderfully fresh urban diction, and a fantastic ear for London. The plotting is a bit contrived in this first installment, but it doesn't really matter; the book is driven by character and ambiance. The next two books are more tightly plotted. I would have enjoyed listening to this book with even a mediocre reader, but Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is something special. In some ways I'm reminded of Lenny Henry's reading of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys: once you've listened to either book, you can't imagine it being read by anyone else. Holdbrook-Smith has nailed the character voices superlatively, and the voice of the protagonist, Peter Grant, essentially perfectly. He's got a great sense of irony and its limitations.
Words form the heart, sound forms the soul, intrigue forms the mind.
What a Hoot!
The digs at English entertainment, literature, politics and wizardry in general was such a refreshing look at urban fantasy in real world time. It was well written, sublte where it needed to be, the prose was excellent.
There were several. When Peter meets Goddess Thames. Some interesting dialogue and visuals.
Your not in Hogwarts Anymore!
The narrator did an excellent job of bringing Peter to life. I can't imagine anyone else doing him now. While the stroy was dark in some places, the commentary on mondern england and its culture was wonderful. Peter is a somewhat "distracted", open and on-target character. I look forward to more!
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This is delightful. It's sort of Harry Dresden meets Monty Python and stalks Punch and Judy. The language is very witty, and that did it all for me.Occult without being nasty. Full of some real twists and turns. And very British. Really liked this.
I wish I could give this 3 1/2 stars, because it's better than 3 stars, not quite compelling enough for the 4 stars---I reserve the 4 stars for books that i just HAVE to get back to. Somewhat cooky and off beat, it's a fresh approach to supernatural. Our hero is a bit distracted, but that's by design and his asides make me guffaw from time to time. Overall, worth the listen. If you enjoy bedtime stories and fanciful tales of ghosts, and other ethereal beings, you'll enjoy this.
What an unexpected story! Totally unique and entertaining
The closest comparison would be to Tilt A Whirl. Rookie cop working with a confident, quiet veteran of the "force".
Not only did I want to listen to this book in one sitting, I had to go back and get the next two books in the series right away. I spent the three day weekend with Ben Aaronovitch and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and enjoyed every minute of it!
Seeking the Truth
Frankly, I could not get past Part 1 of this book before I had to throw in the towel. I found it inane, totally unabelievable, and not the least bit humorous (other reviewers found the book hilarious, but it left me irritated). I suppose if one likes the idea of a new police recruit being able to speak to ghosts and learning to perform magic and wizardry while he's trying to solve a "mystery", it might have some appeal, but this was advertised as an adult mystery book, not for children, so it would have to be an adult with a child's mind. The new recruit's supervisor - who no one likes because he's too weird - is from some obscure division of the London Metro Police (ala X Files) and makes it a point to help train the new recruit. It's supposed to be like Harry Potter meets the X-Files, but it doesn't come close on either count, other than perhaps a little plagiarism.
Ditch the concept for the entire book and try writing something else. The disparaging remarks about women certainly did not add any appeal on any level.
The narrator at times read too quickly.,
No. The author borrowed ideas from different movies and books and tried to make a mystery story from it. He failed miserably.
The book is not worth commenting on any further.
I live now on the eastern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii... and work in Pahoa Town... where I try to anticipate the weather...
Yes... I laughed out loud listening to this book.
It seemed to be just a funny cop story... and then it wasn't... it was a quest to solve a mystery of the super-natural.
There was a visit to the River Thames gods & goddesses in their liars... which was interesting.
The narrator of this book is a rookie cop in London... and his story is told in the first person. The guy is really quite witty & full of himself... and plays a lot of his descriptions off as absurd... which can be very funny.
Yes. The characters are very interesting, plus the narrator has done a magnificent job of telling this wonderful story.
The main character, Peter Grant who is a new policeman in London. He is a daydreamer drawn to details regardless of what is happening around him.
No, but I'll look for them now.
Yes, but it's unfortunately too long for one sitting
I bought the next two in the series already.