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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Semi retired / worked mostly Nonprofits. Lv Blues into Rock & Roll Lv mysteries (mstly Pol procs) Lv Baseball / Played til 55 - umpd til 63
Well, I'm getting better at understanding English, as opposed to American. But...there are a number of "pop" references that I had to think about or check on. Maybe I'm getting too old, but it was worth it.
The narrator's ability to use different voices remains a virtual wonder, particularly as more characters are introduced into the arc of the story.
After reading this, 2nd in the series, I can't emphasize enough the advise that you read the series, beginning with the first book.
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!
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.
Good, but the first was better. That being said, the ending of this one makes up for that!
The very last scene!
His co-worker's saga is integral to my enjoyment!
I liked this just as much, and maybe a little more than the first book. I liked finding out how Leslie was doing during her recovery. The humor is great and refreshing. The story was good.
Did not read the book
The Spider Series by Jennifer Estep are just as fast paced and fantastical. Love the characters, but like the Ben Aaronovitch series, the narrator simply makes the story.
He is brilliant with character voices but the cadence he applies to each character actually helped me visualize the person speaking. Books are grand but mostly one dimensional. When Kobna Holdbrook-Smith describes the vestigia, I can smell from his descriptions. I can feel textures. I can see expressions just from his speech. What a gifted artist.
When Peter discovered that Simone had ended her life.
I don't even think a movie would be as enjoyable. This combination of author and narrator made the story very personal; as if I was running along side Peter during the entire book.
Loved that exhilaration!
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