the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Ben Aaronovitch’ Category

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, book 2) by Ben Aaronovich

Published 2011

Where I got it: purchased new

Why I read it: Loved the first book in the series, Midnight Riot

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Picking up shortly after the events of Midnight Riot (Rivers of London if you’re in the UK),  Moon over Soho opens with Thomas Nightingale being on medical leave, Leslie May literally afraid to show her face, and PC Peter Grant investigating dead bodies. Grant gets called in by the Murder Team when something strange is going on. For example, when the dead guy hasn’t got a face anymore, or other body parts are missing, or was burned to a crisp. If it’s strange enough that the regular cops don’t want to deal with it, they call in Grant and Nightingale, because you see, these guys do magic.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Midnight Riot, you really aught to. This is a tight knit series, and if you pick this book up on a lark, I’ll bet you’ll feel a little lost. Besides, Midnight Riot has the freakiest most disturbing Punch and Judy puppet show on the planet. Good stuff, funny, fast paced, scary as hell. go read it. Then read this one.

Moon over Soho starts out with a simple murder. As much as Peter hopes the jazz musician died of a simple heart attack, it’s never that simple, and Aaronovich doesn’t leave guns on the table to not be used later.  Peter immediately picks up vestigia, or magical residue on the body, and this body is screaming a famous jazz tune. It’s not long before another body shows up, this one horribly and disgustingly disfigured. The vestigia and circumstances are too similar to ignore, and this is where the policing part comes in. You’d think Peter interviewing people, and putting puzzle pieces together would get boring, but it doesn’t.  He’s sarcastic and distractable, and life doesn’t stop just because you’re investigating a string of supernatural murders that appear to be caused by jazz vampires.

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Because I just can’t help myself, you know?  Nature abhors a vacuum like my credit at my favorite local bookstore abhors not being spent. Who cares that I just got a half dozen books from the library?  Bookstores are my kryptonite! Even more so after one of the employees let slip they’d just gotten in a ton of vintage SF.

teh new goodies:

 

from bottom to top, we’ve got:

A Feast for Crows, by George R R Martin. I got this out of the library a few years ago, I wish I’d thought to buy it before they changes the cover art to the “new” style. now my Martin covers don’t match!  :(  I can’t decide if I’m going to buy into the hype and purchase Dance with Dragons in hardback, or just get it from the library and wait to purchase until it’s in paperback.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.  I’ve never read any Willis, but I keep hearing really good things about her.

Lord Valentine’s Castle by Robert Silverberg.  Another one I’d gotten from the library a few years ago, it was my first Silverberg.  After I finished it, I remember my husband asking me what I thought of it as this is one of his favorites too, and I expressly remember saying that not only did I want to learn how to juggle, but if we ever had a son, I wanted to name him Valentine.

Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch.  I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Midnight Riot, and I’ve been hearing this 2nd one is just as fun too.

Stalking the Unicorn, by Mike Resnick – it just looked fun. and the acknowledgement pages makes some reference to a friend of Resnick’s who is the “God emperor” of something, which made me chuckle. and that brings us to . . .

The Heaven Makers, by Frank Herbert.  You wouldn’t know it by skimming the review index, but I am a HUGE Frank Herbert fan.  I think I’ve read maybe a dozen books by him, and I know most of his discography by sight. But this is one I have never even heard of! Anyone know anything about this title?

 

 

Midnight Riot  (Rivers of London/UK)  by Ben Aaronovitch

Published in 2011

where I got it: library

why I read it: Rivers of London was all anyone was talking about a few months ago! And it’s the book for my local SF book club.

Not unlike Isaac Newton, Probationary Constable Peter Grant asks too many questions. As I’m having flashbacks of Newton’s obsession with Alchemy in Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, Peter is getting marked down on performance reviews for being too easily distracted.  It’s not that he can’t focus, it’s that he’s interesting in everything. How everything works, why it works, what to change to make it work differently or better. Newton would be proud.

(by the way, go have some fun with some Midnight Riot themed madlibs here.

When Peter finds himself talking to a ghost at a murder scene, he’s either going crazy, or he’s got a touch of the gift for the supernatural.  Shortly after, he’s assigned to a special branch of the Metropolitan Police. So special in fact, that other than Peter there is only one member, an Inspector Nightingale, who eschews modern technology, dresses too formally, and has a tenuous relationship with the rest of the Met, only partly because he happens to be a wizard.   So Peter’s new life begins:  copper by day, magical apprentice by night.

The pop culture jokes are hilarious, I found myself laughing out loud every few pages.  There’s pop culture references, puns galore, and buckets of British slang that had me heading to Wikipedia for the translations (and boy does Austin Powers suddenly make more sense!). Don’t let the unfamiliar slang concern you, there really isn’t that much of it and you can figure it all out contextually.

I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and historical fiction recently, so it was very refreshing to read something that takes place right now.  Didn’t hurt either, that Midnight Riot is the most fun I’ve had in a while!

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About this redhead, etc.

Redhead is a snarky, non-politically correct 30-something who reviews mostly science fiction and fantasy and talks about all sorts of other fun scifi and fantasy geekery. She once wrote a haiku that included the word triskaidekaphobia.

This blog contains adult language and strong opinions. The best way to contact her outside of this blog is twitter, where she is @redhead5318 .

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