Body and soul. The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body - a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.
Body and soul - they're also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace - one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard "Lord" Grant - otherwise known as Peter's dear old dad.
©2011 Ben Aaronvitch (P)2012 Tantor
Well - I haven't read the hard copy but I do love that Jazz is used throughout the book - it adds so much to the performance and the "Soul" of the story.
The accents were spot on - love everything about the performance. If they changed readers - I may not listen.
I loved the "coming to consciousness" to the bigger and infinite world of Magic. I am also kinda geeky in that I loved the basis of the Magic in this book is based on Newton.
WARNING: Once you start book 1 -- before you know it -- you are on an addicted path!
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Although I did not enjoy Moon over Soho quite as much as Midnight Riot, I did find it quite entertaining and worth a credit. It certainly makes me hope that Audible will keep bringing us the audio versions as the author continues to add to the adventures of Peter Grant.
After the tragic events at the end of Book 1, Lesley May is indisposed throughout Book 2 and I think that's part of the reason I did not like this book as much. Peter needs the considered advice and more careful approach of Lesley to offset his inclinations to dive into trouble; without her, he does simply dive into trouble and I found his lack of sense a little aggravating. There are some semi-explicit sex scenes in this book that were not in Book 1 that I didn't really like - mostly I just wasn't as taken with the romantic interest as Peter and the author clearly were. (Although, without giving away anything, I will say I LOVED the scene where girl meets mother!) All said, I just wasn't as taken with Peter or the plotlines of Moon Over Soho as with Midnight Riot. But the back story for what happened to Peter's father was pretty great, Holdbrook-Smith is still nice to listen to (and easier to follow now), the book was still entertaining, and the ending gave me high hopes to see more of Lesley again. So, overall, a credit well spent and I'm going for Book 3.
This is not only a terrific and creative series of stories: I can't be sure I'd like the books so much, were they not narrated by Kobna Holbrook-Smith. It's as though the author (Ben Aaronovitch) was channeling the narrator. His fit to the main character/narrator is uncanny. And of course, brilliant.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
This young actor couldn't be better: wonderfully convincing as so many characters, sliding effortlessly from accent to accent and making the most of the author's stylish wit. It just wouldn't be the same without his warm cockney baseline narrative as Peter, the fledgling magician/cop or his plummy professorial tones as Nightingale, his mentor.
Laughed out loud a number of times.
Very witty writing, very human hero and wonderful descriptions of the darker corners of London (not for kids - sort of like Torchwood was to Dr Who, same DNA but meant for a mature audience) make this a fast and furious read, even better than the first of this clever series. Great fun! I'm a fan.
This is the second installment of the Peter Grant series. Peter is an apprentice to Inspector Nightengale of the magic police. It picks up where the first book leaves off, with Lesley on the mend, so Peter is on his own, jumping head on into the fire. When things (speaking of the magical bad people) are obvious to us, Peter is in denial (which becomes a little frustrating at times), as he puts his family and co workers in danger. Still, it's a good story made even better by the narration. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does an excellent job with the voices and capturing the feel of the country. I'll go on to the next installment, hoping to see Peter mature some with his magical skills and acting correctly on his intuition.
Once I opened my mind to the reality that this series is not really like Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and/or the Harry Potter stories (albeit an adult version).... I was able to see the story for what it is: very witty, very nice and (in my humble opinion)... well written. I'd read too many reviews and, unfortunately, that colored my perception. Don't get me wrong...that IS what made me pick up this series in the first place. I never would have given the books a second glance otherwise. Ironic, eh? There are common threads...but only in an overall, generalized sort of way. British humor for one and an apprentice learning magical skills. That's (roughly) about it. This series has a unique identity and that's awesome :) I'm glad I picked up book #2 in a sale. BTW: Book #2 (Moon Over Soho), is a tad different from Book #1 (Midnight Riot)... Have you ever heard the classic line by an actor/actress: I'll do nude but only if it's relevant to the story line...? THAT applies here. There is nudity and sexuality but it is not over done and does not linger for a page-after-page-after-page sort of nonsense ...just to be sensational, etc. There's actually a reason for it. Anyway. This book is very witty, the characters are allowed to grow, police procedures are followed and there is entertainment to be had. Enjoy. I did. That is one thing that this series really does have in common with Terry Pratchett...it makes me laugh a LOT. LOL.
Mystery reader (especially series) and Austen lover
In his second adventure, Peter Grant pursues the killers of jazz musicians (by jazz vampires) and we learn more about Peter's father, a jazz legend. While his wizard training continues, Peter encounters chimeras, specialty vampires, and the Faceless Man (an evil wizard). This book is, if possible, even more fun than the first Peter Grant book.
Aaronovitch continues to create wonderful characters, each of whom has his or her own view of the world and the things that happen to them, often ironic or sarcastic but always either amusing or laugh-out-loud funny! Again Kobna Holdbrook-Smith gives a wonderful performance of the text. From cheeky working-class Peter to Oxford Dons to upper-class wizard Thomas Nightingale, the accents and inflection are perfect (at least to this American ear), and his female characters are as believable as the male characters. In addition, he does a creditable job of singing snatches of 40's and 50's jazz songs.
This series is one of the best discoveries in my reading life to come along in quite some time. I have already read the third of the series, and I pray that there will be many more installments.
This is one of the few audio books where the narrator not only lives up to the potiential of the book but also enhances it. The narrator gives the story more character and shades in the story to give it more depth. The various British terms (knackered meaning dead tired) (transport cafe is a truckstop) and the accent may give Americans a little trouble but otherwise I think everybody will enjoy the story.
The texture of the Jazz scene and the expressions of London life where enjoyable as well.
The first book was good but the second was better and I still waiting to listen to the third.
This sequel starts a bit slow. OK. It drags like a boat anchor around your neck in a stormy sea. Having said that, stick with it because the author eventually hits his stride and the book sings. I should note that the narrator trying to do Leslie's voice might have done an accurate job in the literal sense, however, conversations with her in them are painful to listen to because of the mumbling. Thankfully such conversations were mercifully rare.
Practicing Idealist, Dabbling Realist ;)
A very enjoyable series, with an author gifted in observing and describing the details of our surroundings, of people, and in the weaving of intricate historical and societal threads.
The narrator is superb.
There is humor and heart throughout.
Professionally presented. An exceptional example of how entertaining an audiobook can be.
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