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False Value  By  cover art

False Value

By: Ben Aaronovitch
Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
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Publisher's summary

The eighth book of the best-selling Rivers of London urban fantasy series returns to the adventures of Peter Grant, detective and apprentice wizard, as he solves magical crimes in the city of London.

Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner's brand new London start up - the Serious Cybernetics Company. Drawn into the orbit of Old Street's famous "silicon roundabout", Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is.

Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant's favourite son. Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological - and just as dangerous.

©2019 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"A low-income housing tower gone awry, an old enemy with a bone to pick...and a shocker of an ending - Broken Homes is a delight." (Charlaine Harris, number one New York Times best-selling author)

"The prose is witty, the plot clever, and the characters incredibly likeable." (Time Out)

"This series is a constant joy to read.... I’ve been looking forward all year to find out what happened next, and the book did not disappoint.” (Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library)

What listeners say about False Value

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Brilliant installment to a brilliant series

Another brilliant installment to an already brilliant series. Worth every moment I spent listening to it.

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Another Genius Entry

I have never been let down by a Rivers novel, and the streak continues. Aaronovitch and Holdbrook-Smith are both equally masters of their craft, and combined, make for a rare treat in the Audiobook world.

The interview at the end was also a great intimate touch. The publishers should make it known how to submit a question for the next round.

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A new chapter for Peter

I loved this book. Well crafted with good character development - Aaronovitch gives his characters room to change and change. We seen old friends and meet new. It’s fast paced and delightful. It’s funny and sad and bittersweet. Read it - you won’t regret it.

My only complaint in the interview at the end is useless and shouldn’t have been included with with book. Just fast forward.

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Strongly recommend Audible version with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Includes an interview w Kobna and Ben Aaronovitch.


I’ve always enjoyed Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s brilliant voice-acting, which brings the characters and the book to life. I always preorder both Kindle and Audiobook. I neglected to review this audiobook in February 2020 when I read it, because I was distracted by reports of a new Corona SARS retrovirus spreading in China.

Peter Grant is off on a new adventure, working for a secretive, Silicon Valley tech company that relocated to London. Peter is hired for the Vogon Enforcement Arm—also known as Security—of the Serious Cybernetics Corporation. I enjoyed Ben Aaronovitch’s eyebrow-raising take on geek/human culture in computer labs and cubicles. Also loved the Easter Eggs!

Book #7 “Lies Sleeping” disappointed, so I’m happy the author charts a new direction. Fresh characters are introduced, including American practitioners called “the Librarians.” Yes, it’s eye-roll worthy, because of a TV series with the same name and similar characters. Favorite characters include: Guleed, Abigal, Dr. Walid, Beverley Brook, Professor Postmartin, Molly & Toby, and of course, Nightingale.

There’s action and fun with gunfire, explosions, killer drones, return of the eerie Rose Jars, talking foxes, foot chases, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy references, hyperthaumaturgical degradation, fisticuffs, and combat magicks with Nightingale.

The only distractions to reading enjoyment are provided by oddly interspersed flashbacks—especially at the beginning—which jumps the reader back in time, by one month.

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Another outstanding performance.

Ben adds the perfect amount of background information and distraction to keep you from guessing the plot until he reveals it.

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headline for a review

like all the others, it went way to fast.
Joy often does. never the less, a wonderful adventure.

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Ben + Kobna collaboration's > sum of words in book

after listening to their interview at the end of the book, it was as much as I'd hoped it would be in real life. They do work so well with one another and create out of what the other thougt but didntsay, and the story, charactets, and plot are all the richer for it! I really think it becomes bigger than the both of them and can't wait for the next one and have listened to each at least 3_|4 times. keep working on those American accents, you're getting better. Slowly, but you are getting better looking forward to see how they develop

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