There are so many good books out there in the urban fantasy genre, don't waste your time on this one. It was so dull, I found my mind constantly wandering as I checked over and over again to see if I was any closer to the end. The conclusion of the book was, to put it nicely, anti-climactic. I was sucked in by the many positive reviews, but I was just bored, bored, bored and had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue due to the accent of the narrator.
Literature professor and lover of mystery books!
There were many. Favorite is introduction to the Folly and exchanges between Peter and Leslie and Nightingale.
Hard to say. Many really good scenes that are funny and stand out in their own rights.
Made me crack up laughing many times.
I would have never found this series had it not been for the rave reviews of other listeners. People seemed to love it, so I gave it a go. These books are amazing! They are so funny and smart and interesting. The characters are complex and wickedly smart; you can connect to them easily. I also learned a great deal about the history of London listening to this series. This book, the first in the series, sets up a great deal of what is to come in the following books. Some things that seem hazy here get cleared up as the series moves along. But there is enough going on here to keep one riveted. This is one of the few books that I have actually listened to repeatedly because it is so nuanced and entertaining.
The narrator is outstanding and the writing is too. Highly recommend.
This book is so much better than the stupid title the US publisher saddled it with (it's called "Rivers of London" in the rest of the world). It's suspenseful, engrossing, and funny. I found myself laughing out loud while I listened to it. I've already downloaded the next two books, and am looking forward to some lengthy drives so I can listen to them in the near future.
I also have to single out the narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as a star of this production. The characters in this novel come from all strata of British society and education level, and span the time from present day to the 18th century. KHS makes each character speak in a distinctive voice, and also in the correct accent for their situation, something that is, frankly, mind-boggling, given the enormous variety and depth of British accents. My wife is British, and a bit of an accent Nazi. She also enjoyed the book enormously (and she doesn't usually like audiobooks), and thought he absolutely nailed the accents. I'm so glad they got him to narrate the rest of the books in the series.
I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of urban fantasy. I'm not sure why, but it generally just doesn't grab me. I was a little on the fence about this one at the beginning. If this was just an urban fantasy, I would probably just stop at this novel and not continue with the rest of the series, but there were several elements that have won me over.
Very clever story. Reminds me of a hipper, Londoner, Dan Brown. Full of history of London, references to history, literature, etc. but not in a way that drags down the story.(Which btw, I though Dan Brown's Inferno was often derailed by too much travelogue.)
Very well-defined main character. I suppose it's because I'm not a writer, I'm always surprised that people can write so convincingly about something they haven't lived. I was conviced this author must be an ex-policeman and half ethnic. He's so good at writing in details that - at least I - can't imagine he would have come up with otherwise.
Excellent writing and dialogue. Delightful.
Excellent narration. Wow did this narrator do a great job. I hope they never get a different narrator for this series. He could get very fast though and for someone who isn't British, I sometimes had to stop and re-listen to sections. This might not be the best choice of story to listen to if you are busy doing something else.
A refreshingly good novel.
Avid audible listener!
New detective Peter Grant discovers he can sense things no one else can, or at least he thinks no one else can. Soon he is partnered with a wizard/detective and set to discover what is behind the bizarre cases of people apparently going mad, then having their face split open.
I really liked the characters in the book. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's portrayal of the various characters is well done. The mixture of real-life and fantasy are presented so the idea isn't completely farfetched.
This book is quick and easy to listen too. It doesn't require the effort some types of fantasy books have where you get lost if you miss even a few minutes.
It is similar to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series in that both detectives fight against supernatural beings in the real world. Peter, however, is a new wizard who must learn how to do magic while still trying to catch the killer. (Harry already knows his trade.)
Good start to a new series that I intend to continue listening to.
Horror and humor
I thoroughly enjoyed the story line and the historical and geographical contexts contained within it.
It was humorous at times.
I will definitely purchase additional audible books by this author and narrator.
Down the rabbit hole into a ring a fire- the magic of words lifts me higher and higher.
The first time I listened to this book I was simply delighted with it all. The author is creative, entertaining, clever and knowledgeable about a wide diversity of history, cultures and technologies, AND that is all before you get to the wizards. The narrator stands firmly on his own skills. He demonstrates an expressive repertoire that includes men and women from across the British Isles and and parts of Africa, and I really can't imagine anybody else doing this book and its sequels any level of justice. Ben Aaronovitch may have created this world but Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is the genii locorum.
The second time I listened to this story (after listening to the next two volumes in the series) it became apparent to my essentially Midwestern American existence that this audio book is more than a London-based story read by a man with a fascinating and wide-ranging accent. Some books are just universal stories that adjust the words - "flat" instead of "apartment", "nick" instead of "steal", a cuppa, a rollup, the Tube. (I had to look up "skittles" because it was obvious we weren't discussing candy.) But this book goes much deeper.
This story is fundamentally English but not in the way I usually think of Agatha Christie or James Bond. It is based on the layout of the London Rivers and the timeline of the growth of London. It explores the layers of culture on several points of that line, and the people who inhabit those ephemeral intersections. In the modern time the of New Scotland Yard there is a traditional Traveler's camp, attending the Royal Opera House, a precariat Anglo-African homecoming, The answer to the mystery is related to the British Theater and I think that most Americans won't get it before we are led to the path in the middle of the narrative. I was helped in the who-dun-it category because I had recently listened to Christopher Fowler's "Bryant and May and the Memory of Blood" (also very British and interesting). So I knew as soon as they found the baby in the yard which direction this tragedy was headed. It was not a spoiler. The story was at the same time familiar and exotic, mesmerizing to listen to and happily surprising. It was so easy to co-mingle the archaic concepts of "thief takers" and the ritual formality of traditional education with jokes about a "secret branch of the Met", "The Ministry of Magic" and "cunning plans" because of the combined talents of the author and the narrator.
Two things I didn't like:
1) Leslie's voice was whiny. She is supposed to be the hardcore WPC and the interpretation of her voice was not suited to her role, however, due to circumstances in Leslie's life it changes in the upcoming books. The whine was perfect for Beverly!
2) The UK title for this book is "The Rivers of London" and there is a very nice cartoon on the front of the book depicting a map of a river (probably the Thames) rolling through London. It looks like a river of blood, but only when I thought about it a while. The US title is "Midnight Riot" and there is a picture/photo of a dark, brutish figure holding a gun and producing a werelight. The first time I saw the US cover, before I read the book, I thought the light was a flashlight (torch) and decided that the book with the gun-toting big scary guy shining a light in my eyes was too threatening and was going to be violent and not my type. I skipped it for several months but it kept coming up in my Audible recommendations so I finally read the description and reviews. I hate that Americans are stereotyped as gangsters, violent and coarse and that somebody thought that the book would sell better in the US with a gun on the cover. Metropolitan policemen, especially probationary constables, don't even carry guns unless they are in a special unit.The later books US books have the same unfortunate cover design although the titles do not change.
I recommend this book to:
-anybody who enjoys fantasy in a modern setting
-anybody who enjoys books with historical aspects
-anybody who enjoys police procedurals
-anybody who listens to an audio book for the operatic experience (that is what I call listening to the audio book just to hear the sounds, like listening to music)
I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have!
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
DO NOT PASS GO, COLLECT 200 QUID
Yes, this is very British and I am sure I missed some of the funnies, due to not being British, but do not let that stop you. This was very easy to understand, was funny to very funny and I did not feel ABUSED, SPAT ON AND VOMITED ON.
CHIEF INSPECTORS DON'T RUN, THAT'S WHAT THEY HAVE CONSTABLES FOR.
The magic in this book is more analytic then those in most books. It does not come naturally to the novice. He might have to be born with the ability to learn, but he must practice hard to learn the skill. As the apprentice learns the magic, we the listener learn about this world of magic. This approach keeps the listener from getting lost. This is listed as a detective novel and rightly so. There is almost as much in the novel about police work in London as there is about Ghost Vampires, River Gods and magic.
A FACE THAT LOOKED LIKE IT HAD BEEN HIT WITH THE FLAT END OF THE SHOVEL.
What I liked most about the book was the main character. He is pretty much an average young black man living in London. He likes to read, but in class his attention is liable to wonder. He is an average man trying to make something of himself.
WE'RE THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE THE PEOPLE THAT OTHER PEOPLE DON'T BELIEVE.
I only gave the book three stars. I did not feel the writing maintain the quality it started with. I did listen to the whole thing, but I was ready for it to end. I believe BA has a bright future, but he is not there yet. I do think the book is worth the credit and I am sure many will and do love the book.
KEEP BREATHING IT'S A HABIT YOU DON'T WANT TO BREAK.
The narrator is very good and I believe he made the book better. He does do a lot of heavy breathing, taking in deep inhalations before starting many sentences. I did not notice it till toward the end of the book, but then it did get a little distracting.
I loved the accent, the reader, the look into both modern-day and historical England. Add in strongly defined characters and a new twist on the fantasy world. Follow our likeable protagonist into an adventure of discovery!
I'm not a fantasy fan, but I couldn't put this one down.
This book was amazing, I really enjoyed the crap out of it. I think I re listened to the first hour about 10 times. Ben Aaronovitch kills with his edgy, bloody brilliant British humor. Kobna's reading of the book complimented the humor and drama perfectly, he did an amazing job. This is the perfect combination of writer/narrator since Butcher/Marsters.
The only reason the story got 4/5 is because the story slowed at parts, other then that, this was an overall awesome experience fully deserving 5 stars.