Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny.
Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
©2011 Ben Aaronvitch (P)2012 Tantor
I love this series! It is urban fantasy, but not like all the rest. It's very urban, and there is fantasy, but it's also a large dose of gritty London cop and colorful London culture. The story is very, very British-- the accents and the slang and the settings make me long for a London vacation.
The protagonist is a likable mixed-race London cop who finds himself apprenticed to a magician police detective. I love his scientific approach to his newly discovered magic, as well as his take on racial interactions and the social make-up of London. The narrator is phenomenal... coming up with a full range of British, Scottish, Welsh, Indian, and African voices.
I've gone straight on to the 2nd and 3rd book, and looking forward to the rest!
Really the makings of a good start to something more. I enjoyed the dialog, and the descriptions of London, particularly those done as a stiff police report.
This is Men in Black, minus the aliens, but heavy on the paranormal. It's an enjoyable book, and for $4.95 special what could go wrong. Well, a lot could go wrong, but not enough to make me sorry this time. The story introduces you to a host of interesting characters, most of all Peter and Nightingale. The two have a master/apprentice relationship and their differences makes for good humor.
I did question how quickly the scientist cop, Peter, accepts the paranormal so quickly, but once he treats it more like science it fits a little better. I also felt lost at times in the story since there are two, maybe even three or four, story lines happening or developing at the same time. Lastly, the narration works great sometimes with the characters and other times the narrator places sighs, almost yawns, in places that doesn't call for it. Was he getting tired of reading the script?
I've placed book 2 in my wish list but need to wait a few days before deciding to place in cart.
1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.
Are you tired of emo protagonists? Plots being moved along by stupidity? How about the same ol' humdrum?
I know I am, and that is why this book was such a wonderful surprise and I even almost passed on it.
The short and sweet of it is that you have this extremely relatable main character who just takes everything in stride, just like how I always feel a main character should. None of that "oh this is impossible" or "wooooow everything is so mystical." No, instead you have PC Grant questioning the thermodynamics of magic, his coworkers just shrugging it off and rightfully passing all the buck to Grant (really, who would actually want to deal with a psychotic serial killing ghost?), and him nodding knowingly to a river goddess while staring at her tush.
Seriously this book is clever, funny, and above all unique. The author knows how to subvert tropes and bring up all the random thoughts that pass through a reader's head and answer them, or at least ask them himself.
I recommend this book to anyone that likes urban fantasy, anyone who wants a spin on a mystery book, or anyone that has stayed away from urban fantasy because of the tired plot devices.
Also all the british slang...
Yes, as long as you like ghosts!
It was interesting.
I liked his accent.
It made me laugh a few times.
My only complaint was that the author used too many London slang words, which made it difficult for us Americans to understand. Sometimes they were explained, but more often than not, they weren't. I was frustrated by this at times, and wished I understood more of them!
I'm a huge fan of the Dresden files and found that this book finally fits the hole in my left from having finished them all. It is just the right mixture of modern reality and fairytale, with interesting characters and a bit of snarky sarcasm. It also has a feeling of Neil Gaiman, with the various supernatural characters having more of a gritty, real life appearance than you get from Butchers lords and ladies of Fairy.
The story line in this is a bit hard to follow sometimes, and there were a few moments when I wondered if I had skipped a chapter. A few details get casually dropped in, and I wondered if I had missed them before. Since it's the first in the series, I'm looking forward to seeing how he grows this particular universe.
Reader is excellent, with a comfortable voice to listen to, and nice transitions to different voices and accents for the various characters. Reminds me somewhat of Neil Gaiman as well.
This was ok beginning to a series. It didn't grab me or make me want to find out about the characters in the next book. Meh
I really enjoyed this book. great characters, wonderful dialogue, my only critique in a negative way is that I could do without the Music at the beginning of each chapter
I love a good mystery, especially series, also a long time Stephen King fan. Enjoy reading and listening to multiple books at a time.
It's no novel of the century but it kept my interest enough to listen to all of it and if there are sequels I would probably give them a try. If you like the dresden files, it is in that genre.
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