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  1. #16
    Jack Bauer Bastard's Avatar
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    My Moon Over Soho book arrived a couple of days ago, so I finally managed to read Midnight Riot, finished yesterday.

    I liked it quite a bit, though it was a bit different than I was expecting. It's heavy in the procedural aspect, a bit slow with the pace, but very well written and attention to detail, particularly as it regards the city of London and it's history, as well as the police structure.

    I'm not so sure if a British Dresden Files really fits to describe this book, and I can't say in all honesty that if you like the Dresden Files then this would be an automatic read for you. I thought them different enough. Harry is to Urban Fantasy what Jack Bauer is to action tv, and I don't see Peter Grant built in that mold.

    And certainly, the comedy is different.

    But enough of comparisons, I thought it was very well written, and Peter Grant a very likable character, I do hope he gains a bit more of personality as we go further. Main complaint is that it seems that the book at times falters a bit in narrative energy, and the plot gets a distracted a times. I did like how they use magic here though, looking forward to see how the aspect develops. I thought it a bit too dry in the dramatic/emotional department at times, but no biggie for me.

    Started Moon Over Soho this morning, and so far so good. It picks up not long after the end of Midnight Riot/Rivers of London. Any of you started/read Moon Over Soho yet?
    Last edited by Bastard; March 30th, 2011 at 01:22 PM.

  2. #17
    Registered User SLASH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bastard View Post
    Bookdepository books have been taking a while to get here as of late (I just received a book that got shipped on November 24)...
    I was wondering if it was only happening to me . Never received two books that were shipped the end of february. They said they were gonna sent replacements but where can u see that ?
    Hope this isnt't gonna be a standard thing. Any othere good bookshops online ?

  3. #18
    I enjoyed Midnight Riot and I didn't get the sense it had been Americanized. I seem to remember a lot of British idioms and cues like the old guy (real old) in charge of Peter's department reading the Telegraph (the old codger's paper in the UK).

  4. #19
    Jack Bauer Bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLASH View Post
    I was wondering if it was only happening to me . Never received two books that were shipped the end of february. They said they were gonna sent replacements but where can u see that ?
    Hope this isnt't gonna be a standard thing. Any othere good bookshops online ?
    My books have been getting quicker as of late. I think the delay was mainly due to it being holiday season + me ordering a bunch of books at the time. And of course, they're shipping from across the world, so I really can't put too much blame in there being delays. And really, most of the shipping problems are about things they have little control over once they give it to the shipping companies. All companies have problems with shipping in some form or another. At least customer service is great with BD, and they send replacements when adequate without any hassle or offer refunds.

    Lately I've been trying to order from Barnes and Noble since I'm getting good prices with their coupons + shipping in orders of $25 of more.

    I still get good prices from BD particularly with pre-orders on mass paperbacks ($5.99), but other than that they're not providing any longer the vast advantage in pricing they used to have, particularly with hardcovers.

    I enjoyed Midnight Riot and I didn't get the sense it had been Americanized. I seem to remember a lot of British idioms and cues like the old guy (real old) in charge of Peter's department reading the Telegraph (the old codger's paper in the UK).
    Other than the "soccer" problem depicted above, I found it same as you. No problem with the level of Americanization with me.
    Last edited by Bastard; March 30th, 2011 at 03:11 PM.

  5. #20
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Book 2: Moon Over Soho

    Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last government-sanctioned wizard in Britain and the guy who handles all the weird stuff the Met is clueless about, and his apprentice Peter Grant are on a new case. The body of a jazz musician is found with strong evidence that he was killed by magic. Grant, whose father is an influential 'almost made it' jazz musician in his own right, finds himself drawn back into his father's troubled life as he hunts down the murderer in Soho.

    Moon Over Soho is the sequel to the recently-published Rivers of London (called Midnight Riot in the USA for reasons that have never been adequately explained), which made an impressive splash when it was released just three months ago. This series has been described as a British take on The Dresden Files and though there are vague similarities, the main difference between them is cultural: Aaronovitch lives and breathes London, its history and culture, and that comes out in his writing (not just here; anyone who's seen his Doctor Who TV serial Remembrance of the Daleks can see it there as well). London in his books, even this alterno-magical London of river spirits, chimeras and emotional vampires, is as much a character as Grant, Nightingale and the slowly-expanding recurring cast of semi-regulars.

    As with the first novel, this is good stuff. The plot unfolds at a cracking pace, there are intriguing backstory revelations about Nightingale and the history of magic, and the characterisation is very strong. There's some effective moments of true horror, and Aaronovitch doesn't brush the consequences of events in the first book under the table. There's some simmering subplots (like Grant's awkward relationship with the river spirits, most notably Lady Tyburn who is in danger of becoming his nemesis) and the introduction of a presumably recurring villain, no doubt sowing the seeds of a multi-book ongoing storyline. In fact, this series is screaming out for a TV adaptation, so applicable is the structure of a stand-alone main plot with ongoing subplots combined with interesting characters.

    There are some minor negatives: one plot twist - where Grant's judgement takes a jump out the window as he gets involved with a potential suspect - I assumed was the result of Grant being bewitched or put under a spell, but it appears not, so is just inexplicable. One bunch of characters - who have the potential to be a sort of jazz-playing equivalent of the Lone Gunmen from The X-Files - are introduced who appear to be important to the plot, but then don't do much here (I assume they'll be back later on). Nightingale has some key scenes but generally sits a lot of the book out. In this sense the TV correlation is less successful as there's a fair amount of loose ends left flapping around where their establishment doesn't accomplish much in this book (whilst others, like the setting up an ongoing villain, work much better). Still, we don't have too long to wait for the third book: Whispers Under Ground will be out in November this year.

    Moon Over Soho (****) has a more focused plot than the first novel but also feels a little more unresolved, so it evens out. It's still a relentlessly entertaining, fast-moving and enjoyable urban fantasy with intriguing hints of greater depth waiting to be explored. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.

  6. #21
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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    I just posted my review for Moon Over Soho. I liked it - a great follow up. An excerpt from my review is below:

    The plot of Moon Over Soho owes a lot to traditional pulp mysteries. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll just say that much is predictable, but it doesn’t really matter since it’s fun and engaging. I find I’m much less interested in the immediate plot on hand than the background. What is the history of Peter’s boss Nightingale? Peter’s own evolution as a wizard. Just how is magic operating in a modern London? And frankly, Peter is just a fun guy to follow and the ‘real’ London that Aaronovitch creates is addicting. Peter isn’t perfect – he’s a rookie that makes mistakes and doesn’t know all that much. And it’s always a relief to have a character who doesn’t miraculously become an expert in everything – even if Peter does have the occasional miraculous leap.

    In many ways, the conclusion to Moon Over Soho was both hugely disappointing and quite satisfying. The original mystery on hand is resolved, however other introduced issues are not. More resolution would have been great – but I’m also very intrigued by the possibility of an ‘arch-nemesis’ being introduced. And the future of The Folly is going to get quite interesting.

    This is another fun entry in what is fast becoming one of my favorite ongoing urban fantasy series. I may not be able to physically travel to London near as often as I’d like, but at least I get a tour that the tourists don’t when I read about Peter Grant’s London. Thankfully, the wait for the next entry won’t be long because Whispers Under Ground is coming in May, 2012.

  7. #22
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    I finished up Rivers of London yesterday, and really enjoyed it (3 books I enjoyed in a row - unheard of!). At it's simplest level you'd call it "British Dresden Files", and while there are parallels and I'd recommend it to fans of Dresden, I don't at any stage feel it's a knock off, despite the parallels. I see potential here, and will be ordering the follow ups soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bastard
    I'm not so sure if a British Dresden Files really fits to describe this book, and I can't say in all honesty that if you like the Dresden Files then this would be an automatic read for you. I thought them different enough. Harry is to Urban Fantasy what Jack Bauer is to action tv, and I don't see Peter Grant built in that mold.
    Yup, but I think there's enough overlap there for it to count. The procedural aspect is definitely stronger, and (strangely enough) I felt had a lot more in common with Charles Stross' Rule 34 which I read prior. I'll be interested to see where he goes with the characters as the series progresses, particularly Lesley May - I have a feeling the Karin Murphy parallel is over there already.

  8. #23
    Nobody in Particular kcf's Avatar
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    An excerpt of my review of Whispers Underground:

    First – ignore the description on the back cover of the book. It’s one of the worst I’ve ever read – it does not in any way reflect actual events and feelings in the book. Yes, there is an American FBI agent and yes she seems to be a conservative Christian. However, that is a tiny tangent and not really much of an issue at all – in fact, she’s rather likeable and I wish the synopsis had not made me predisposed to disliking her. It’s really unfortunate that the publishers did such a disservice to the book with this synopsis.

    In Whispers Underground Peter is called to investigate the murder of an American art student and the son of a US Senator. The murder takes place in a subway tunnel, which of course leads Peter deep into the Underground, often guided by a particularly untrustworthy informant. The murder plot itself is not terribly interesting and the eventual solution is a bit unconvincing. However, the strength of Aaronovitch’s writing is more in the police procedure and the interlacing of the supernatural with the reality we all think we know as told from the point of view of a well-created and out-right interesting main character. In many ways the murder simply doesn’t matter as the main investigation and a few tangents further real the reality of Aaronovitch’s London.

    Whispers Underground continues in the direction that Aaronovitch has set for the series – it may be focused around a single investigation, but further groundwork is laid for growth of the Folly (the team of ‘supernatural’ investigators), for future confrontation with a particularly nasty bad guy, growth of Peter and Leslie’s (potential?) relationship, and more hints of the wider world of magic.

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