The dark is rising....
Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect, Rob Toshack, is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal.
Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law - until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.
As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment, and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.
Paul Cornell has written some of Doctor Who's best-loved episodes for the BBC. He has also written on a number of comic book series for Marvel and DC, including X-Men and Batman and Robin. He has been Hugo Award nominated for his work in TV, comics, and prose, and won the BSFA award for his short fiction. London Falling is his first urban fantasy novel.
©2013 Paul Cornell (P)2014 Audible Studios
"He's gone and written a novel too! I suspect it will be just as good as everything else he's written, and that's not fair at all." (George R R Martin)
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
I was a little hesitant to pick up one more urban noir fantasy set in London having already read Peter Grant, Alex Verus, Felix Castor, and Courts of Feyre - all UNF series set in or around London. However, London is 2000 years old and packed with history so I finally decided the city could probably support one more. Good decision, me! After listening to London Falling, I decided that London actually could support several more UNF series if there are more writers like Paul Cornell.
The Publisher's Summary is quite sufficient to give you a flavor of this tale and get you started, however, I will note an explanation of one thing that confused me at the outset in case it might help someone else. The story begins with two detectives, Costain and Sefton, undercover attempting to bust a mob boss, Rob Toshack. DI James Quill (Costain's and Sefton's boss) has a brief meeting with Costain in a men's room to give him instructions. The very beginning of the book was a bit confusing to me because I didn't quite understand who were the bad guys, who were the police, and how they were interacting. Part of this is because Damian Lynch uses a very authentic accent for the seedier types of London, which nicely sets the tone of the book, but makes for a challenge for American ears. You have to get the rhythm of that accent before you can really understand what is being said and who is saying it. I would encourage you to stay with it, because once you get clear (it only takes about 15 minutes), this gritty, history-soaked tale really takes off.
There are several things in this series that make it unique and bear special mention:
1. I like urban noir fantasy, especially when the dark stories are offset a bit with humor and good characters. London Falling has both - no LOL, but lots of wry, ironic moments and believable, fleshed out characters.
2. Unlike most UNF, there is no one central wizard, mage, or necromancer. If fact, in the beginning, there are no magic-wielders on the protagonist side at all. Each of the four central protagonists has a backstory that draws him/her into the mystery and each has certain talents that are enhanced and informed by one moment that the four share while trying to solve the case. From that point, although Quill is "in charge", the four members of the team are equal and essential to the resolution of the mystery. So, this is a "team" series rather than another "lone wolf" escapade.
3. London Falling is very dark and truly gritty. Unlike several authors I have read recently, Cornell seems to understand that gritty and vulgar are not synonyms. There isn't much coarse language or lewdness in London Falling, but there is a deep creepiness that makes London Falling read more like some horror mysteries than like other UNF novels.
I have continued this series with the next book, The Severed Streets, and there were lots more surprises and another story utilizing the loooooong, crazy history of London. And, once you adjust your ears to Damian Lynch, I think you'll enjoy this narrator, too.
The character development of our four "heroes" was just wonderful. I felt like I really understood what made them tick, even in the bizarre supernatural world that they discovered. In the middle of incredible and incomprehensible events, I cared and cheered for these people.
Somehow this impossible world became plausible. I think it's very, very difficult for an author to maintain any credibility while writing about the supernatural - but this book does it. The plot held water in a way that built suspense and was immensely satisfying at the end.
He has a sort of halting style that was a little distracting at first, but quickly it became just right for the story because it gave me a bit of time to think between phrases. This can be a tough story to follow but the narrator helped make it work. Plus, of course, his accent is brilliant!
Its British-ness was wonderful to hear! I am one of the countless American anglo-philes out there; this book was written for Brits alone so I had to work to understand some of the language that was used. A labor of love!
Can't WAIT to listen to the sequel.
Couldn't stop listening. As a fan of the Dresden Files and Iron Druid and the like this was different in a good way, being more serious and a tad darker.
This is a very good book to listen to however I will say due to the english accent you might find yourself listening to it more than once. It has a Stephen King feel to it so it does hurry to develop the story. But once your into this book I believe you will really love this story.
i have wanted to read this since it was released in the uk. Now i have and love it's dark yet funny tone .
the cat i don't really have a reason
where is the second book
What seems a routine sardonic crime story turns supernatural, with a 400-year-old witch who can make people forget their children. Weird, but well done, with excellent narration.
No where near as fun or action packed as the "Monster Hunters international" stories by Larry Correia or as interesting and funny as Ben Aaronovitch's PC Grant stories.
LF started out VERY Slow. In my opinion, story was boring and hard to follow; all the characters "sounded" the same,!which made the story hard to follow. Will not be listening to anything by Paul Cornell anytime in the near future.
Awesome. Really, just a London cop story with an added creepy, horrible, baby-boiling witch. I loved how these sensible, gritty undercover cops learn to deal with the crazy world they've been thrown into. They approach it with the tools they have and do a great job.
Loved the narrator. He did a great job brining these colorful characters to life.
"A cracking book"
If you liked Rivers of London, London Revenant or the Jack Nightingale books you will like this one, its a new slant on the urban supernatural thriller with elements of a police Procedural and who done it, with realistic flawed characters.
Damian Lynch gives a really good performance.
I will certainly be looking forward to the next book in this series "the Severed Streets"
"What the devil?"
Magical horror squad
Highly unconventional and was kept in suspense by a very unusual tale.
Good pace, but let down by too many similarities between accents of key players so I kept forgetting who was gay and straight. Horror scenes not really scary as they should be.
Not really, needed to have a break between some of the horror scenes.
Fans of West Ham should probably avoid ;-)
"Too much of everything.."
I can only agree to some of other reviews - the story line sounds too familiar and it is quite hard to get in to the story at first. If you are a fan of Ben Aaronovitch and expect something like Rivers of London there might be a disappointment. For my taste there is too much of everything - witch sanctifying children according the football scores, talking cats and time travel, even a hint of free masonry... If with Aaronovitch`s books one actually starts to believe the story and it positively drags you in, then with this story you just do not believe. I had to force to listen until the end, just out of curiosity how it shall end.
The performance though is very impressive.
Was a good listen and I liked the story,. I have listened to Rivers of London and a couple that came after and this seemed very similar - perhaps its a Genre thing. It is a good and well written story and is enjoyable, but it was so close to Rivers of London themes for me I couldn't quite get into it as much as I would have liked.
"A great find."
Yes I'd read it again. I struggled a little to get into the story at the very beginning but am SO glad I stuck with it. I really did enjoy it and intend to go straight back and start again now that I know the characters. If you find yourself in the same situation I urge you to keep going, you won't regret it.
Well read and with lots of character.
You know it's a great book when you find yourself frozen, fork half way to your mouth mid meal, totally transported.
Can't wait for book two.
""I p1$$ on your West Ham.""
Black and funny. Came across this by accident and nearly had an accident because of it. Laughing at the line above whilst out running got me to within inches of planting my face along a path.
Will rounded characters, none built to like unquestioningly.
And plot mixing London and magic is bound to cross over other books but there are piles of originality and inventiveness with a fine example element of darkness here to separate it from Rivers of London and the like.
Now like the rest of the box set /Netflix generation, I want more, now.
"I can't wait for book 2"
I found this quite difficult to get into at first but I'm glad I stuck with it. The tension is on from the first chapter and I listened to the whole thing over a weekend. The book is both a satisfying crime thiller and a thouroughly enjoyable fantasy adventure.
"great stuff, dark and scary"
dark and scary
the real world crashed into the other world in a very believable way....seeing I am an atheist....but it scared me.
I like the ability to use real cop planning to catch an unreal person
mora.....his narrations of her speaking was nightmarish
made me scared
2nd books are never as good, I hope the 2nd one is as good.
"spell of energy and a hell of a read."
enjoyed this story immensely. the characters are too many to start with but once you settle in and get to know who's who it's a fantastic fast delivery of great storyline.
"Good Story, Narration took some getting used to."
The story poses an exciting start to the series and made me want to listen to more. It was intially hard to place each of the characters due to the similar voices and rapidly changing viewpoints.
Overall would recommend, like a darker version of the Ben Aaronovitch PC Grant series.
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