For several years now, I have studiously avoided any and all of the current books involving vampires, ghosts, werewolves, spirits and similar creature..Show More »s in mystery and other genres. I didn't read horror stories, period.
Then I read some member reviews of "Midnight Riot," and thought I'd give it a try, despite the dead, undead and non-human monsters. What a revelation! This book gives the reader a rollicking ride through modern day London in the course of a murder investigation. It is fast-paced, engrossing and hilarious. I laughed out loud repeatedly when listening. In addition, I learned a bit of history about various sites in and around London.
Constable Peter Grant, having just finished his probationary period with the Metropolitan Police, interviews a witness to murder, only to find out that his witness is the ghost of a man who died 120 years before. As a result of his being able to see and converse with the ghost, he is recruited by Inspector Thomas Nightingale to work in a unit (made up of only Nightingale and Peter) whose "beat" is anything non-human, undead or uncanny. Turns out Nightingale is a wizard, and Peter becomes his apprentice. Now, sweep all ideas of Harry Potter out of your mind -- this is not a Hogwarts type of story.
As Peter, Nightingale and Constable Lesley May, a friend of Peter's, work their way through the mystery. they encounter a great deal of violence, a number of River Spirits, ghosts, vampires, and general confusion. Peter Grant is a lovely character, who is smarter than he realizes, and who looks at London and its residents with a jaundiced eye and very ironic comment.
Other reviews give a much more detailed description of the book, and I refer you to those other descriptions. I want to talk about the narrator, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. He is perfect! He gives Peter's character just the right accent and attitude, that of a young mixed race man from a working class background who has a breezy attitude and many a smart remark to make. Then he makes Nightingale a well educated gentleman of at least a century earlier. Male and female voices, London accents, German, Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Caribbean and Japanese voices are all wonderful. KHS brings the book to life beautifully.
In tone, no, but many of the concepts in this story reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones. The details are just a to..Show More »uch too bloody for me to give this a five, but that probably says more about me than about the book. I did enjoy the story a lot, and have bought the sequel. I give full marks to the narrator who goes with apparent ease between Peter's accent (which sounds like the Jasmine Allen Estaters from "The Bill" to me), Dr Walid's Scottish and Nightingale's uppercrust Brit. He also makes a lovely job of the other accents Nigerian and whatever Oxley is... Irish? As far as I can tell,* he's pitch perfect. *I'm Australian, so my knowledge of accents isn't 100%.
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 ho..Show More »pe 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.
I enjoyed this even more than the first in the series, and now I'm hanging out for Book 3. I found the action a little easier to follow (maybe that's ..Show More »because I have got a bit better control over my iPod now... though I can't make it stop replaying the last half hour of any session whenever I switch it on!) and a lot of things from Book One suddenly made sense. Peter is an interesting character with a good deal of tolerance for the "different", though not a lot for the "ethically challenged". Back story for Nightingale, Molly and Richard "Lord" Grant slides seamlessly into the current action. Excellent work, Messers Aaronovitch and Holdbrook-Smith.
The fabulous Lesley May in spite of her terrible tribulations has returned and I was glad to have her back. The spontaneity of Peter's character reall..Show More »y works better with a more thoughtful type character like Lesley as counterweight. There are plots and subplots working in Whispers that had me a bit confused at times - there's a Taiwanese woman introduced briefly that had no connection to anything going on and a few other rabbit trails that the author may intend to pick up later but kind of muddled things for now. But it got sorted out fairly well by the end, the magical system seems to be coming together better with this third book, and the resolution to the murder of James Gallagher was quite good.
The sex scenes and rather icky fiend attacking men's groins that I disliked in Book 2 are gone.and we get our first American character. I was a bit concerned initially that Special Agent Kimberly Reynolds was going to be one of those "ugly Americans" that often turn up in the novels of European authors, but was happily surprised that she was not and her character added some interesting nuance to several scenes.
Aaronovitch has set up a structure that will support a LOT more stories if he wants to keep going (Book 4 due out later this year). There is so much more to learn about Nightingale, Molly, the river gods/goddesses, the interaction of magic and physics, and even Toby. And, of course, I will be watching to see what happens with Lesley now that she is apprenticed to Nightingale and has a huge motive to push the limits of magic.
As another reviewer noted, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith really doesn't do a great American accent (or Canadian either for that matter). However, he does do distinct voices for all characters so that you can easily tell who is talking and I still think he's a perfect voice for the character of Peter.
I am enjoying this series and recommend it. Dresden Files fans are likely to find it familiar fun.
I had been really looking forward to this one for a long time. Just the facft that I read this one so soon after it came out should tell you something..Show More ». This book goes a long way towards moving the over-arching story of the series forward. It is good, but is different than the oteher books. The story is less focused, more of a day in the life with a lot of what appear to unrelated instances tying together at the end. I didn't care for the style as much as the prior books. The thing is there is a twist at the end that makes this one totally worth it. The narrarator is top notch. If you like the others in this series you will like this one though it may take a little bit of getting used to.
Always a pleasure to come across another in the "Folly" series by Ben Aaronovitch. This one combines all the hallmarks of the others starting with Kob..Show More »na Holdbrook-Smiths superb vocal range bringing each of the many characters to life magic, a superbly street wise Peter Grant and an author that knows London inside out. The character of the Nightingale is an invention of pure brilliance and the description of the battle between him and the Russian practitioner is excellent. The twist right at the end catches one unawares. If there was a criticism it might be that the cast is getting very large and occasionally confusing, not everyone in the previous books needs to make an appearance in the current volume. I downloaded the book and in 2 days had finished listening as I found it so entertaining. Hope to see more of the Nightingale's back - story in the next work.
I have to say I really enjoy this series. The excellent urban fantasy/police procedural mix works quite well. This genre appears to be growing fast an..Show More »d while there are a lot of similar series coming out, this series feels like the most realistic of the group. The author also maintains a good balance between having a stand alone story and advancing the meta-plot. This is good as a lot of my favorite authors have been focusing on their overarching story to the detriment of the one you are currently reading. Good to see Mr. Aaronovitch has gotten it right.
The narrarator does his usual excellent job. He is definitely top notch and enhances the story with his reading style. He has a pretty good range and you can definitely tell each character apart from the reading alone.
I really only have two complaints with this novel. First, it starts off really slow. The first quarter of the book is almost devoid of any supernatural elements and advances at a snails pace, hence 4 stars for the story instead of 5. Fortunately it picks up after that and moves the story along quite nicely. My second complaint is minor and most may not agree but I am really getting to hate the music between chapters. If anyone from the publishing company is reading this please either get rid of it or rotate in some different music.
Those small issues aside, this is a great novel once it gets moving. Stick with it and you'll be glad you did. I really look foreward to the next book in this series.