My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly valuable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden... and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.
©2011 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited
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"Proper London magic. My perfect book!"
My love for this series knows no bounds. Sorry for the hypebole but this is basically my perfect series of books. It pushes all my buttons: London, the Thames, Mr Punch, Newton. There is literally nothing here that I don't love.
The mythic resonance of London is central to the stories and the system of magic is a great invention. I do enjoy the fact that it's geographically accurate too (sorry, but this is important to me - when Peter is chasing something, I know I can follow his footsteps precisely).
I spend a lot of time mentally casting this - far too much time......
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is the perfect reader. He gets all the accents spot on and has a naturally charming tone which makes Peter Grant inherently loveable (to me anyway)
"Loving the way London was portrayed"
I loved this quirky novel. I lived in London for years and I loved the way the supernaturals WERE London. The mystery was interesting and kept me gripped but by far the characters were the most special thing about the novel. Considering this is a sci-fi novel and they felt like they had realism and depth. It had a feeling that it was similar to Dr. Who but instead of time travel and aliens there is humans with special powers. I look forward reading more in the series.
"Enjoyable and fresh"
I really enjoyed this relaxed but entertaining take on the "modern magic" story, sufficiently self aware to tread carefully away from Harry Potter territory. Its a good enough story to stand out on its own but I was pleased to find more to come.
The plotlines are well worked and the characters really well defined by Kobna Holdbrook Smiths narration.
"A brilliant, funny, enagaging tale"
I loved both the mystery and the sarcasm of this book, and its well paced for an audiobook. The reader too was excellent, both expressive and a pleasant listen.
Please get him to read the authors second book fast, I need to hear it! :)
I loved this book for its unusual theme and pace! Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was the perfect choice for narrator! I will never walk the streets of London again without just wondering if it all might be true!!!
This was reccommended to me by a friend who knows my passion for magic/thrillers and sci-fi fiction.
It is fantastic.
"If you know London well - you will love it."
I wont say too much as I am clearly in the minority on this one!
Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but maybe it was just a bit out-there for me. I found the setting in London and Covent Garden great, but I wonder how non-Londers might find this? (I suspect I would have struggled even more if I did not know the area). Its certainly imaginative, and amusing at times. But overall I can only give it 3 starts as I was not totally absorbed in, or 'believed' the story (some things has no 'reason' behind them at all...and I know this is perhaps silly thing to say given the book is about magic, when anything can happy, but still - this found me rolling my eyes a few times)...but based on the other reviews clearly that is just me!
The narration is odd! Very breathy and 'interesting' phasing used throughout, however credit is due as after you get used to the style the narrator does have an excellent flair for the accents and conveying the character attitudes.
"COMPLETELY AWESOME - BEST AUDIO BOOK EVER"
I cannot begin to describe how truly brilliant this book is. I was completely hooked within 5 minutes, and listened to it all the time, even at my desk trying not to be seen and pretending to work. The narration is superb, Kobna Holdbook Smith is a genius and captures the characters effortlessly. Once I had finished this book I then found Ben Aaronovitch on Twitter and told him how fantastic this book is. I have since finished the other two books which are all truly fantastic. I eagerly await the next one in Summer 2013.
I found myself loving every character and the modern ideas of magic, it was like Harry Potter for adults. I loved the fact it was set in London, being a lover of our great capital made it even better and knowing the areas being discussed. I found myself listening to this into the early hours of the morning being late for work the next day.
Brilliant Audio Book!
"It started so well. I enjoyed the end BUT..."
I took a punt on this and the reviews made me believe it was going to be fantastic. The opening was and I thought I was in for a real treat. Sadly it started to fall a part a bit with some rather lame "magic" training and all seemed a little pointless.
The main story is actually rather good and clever so I am not sorry I read/listened to this. But I don't think I will read any more in the trilogy.
from the very beginning right to the end I was hooked. Its funny and engaging and I really care about the characters. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is perfect. Looking forward to getting all three.
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