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2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

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Ben Aaronovitch

Better train journey than most…

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I have been fan of the ‘Rivers of London’ Series for a long time, and have been a massive advocate for the series. Probably a few too many people I know have been give the first books as Birthday or Christmas presents,  but genuinely I think they are well written, constructed with fluidity and intricately played out.  If I haven’t told you about it, make a cuppa and settle in. In brief “The Times” newspaper said it was what would happen if Harry Potter had grown up and joined the Met.

For PC Peter Grant, the Metropolitan Police isn’t exactly as he was expecting. His Guv’na Nightingale, isn’t a regular Policeman for a start, he’s over a century old and needs an apprentice. Whether its facing Mr Punch, an actual cat-woman or a stampeding unicorn, he is always on hand with the right spell, the right advice and proper impatience. Their adventures in the Thames Valley region with Lady Thames and the faceless man will keep you enthralled until the next book hits the shelves. So dearest reader, if you haven’t already…READ THEM PLEASE!!

I said in ‘Another day: Another book or 2‘ that I was listening to the audiobook of ‘The Hanging Tree’ and I think I might have made a few excuses to take the train/bus this week so I had extra time listening to it. I’m so pleased I made that extra time, that I stopped to listen for a little bit longer. I don’t really know what I was expecting after the last adventure (the one with the stampeding unicorn) but it wasn’t this. I loved it.

I liked seeing familiar faces, Lady Ty and Reynard for a start, more Jazz and history than the last installment too. Obviously Walid, Guleed and Molly made their appropriate contributions to the case.  The character development of Beverley was good and the story being firmly set in London is never a bad thing, I think it’s definatley a strength. Peter finds out why it is never a good idea to owe Lady Ty your life and that there is more to the faceless man than initially thought. There was more physical magic in this book that the last one and definitely more Demi-mons. I like seeing more practitioners and the slight differences between them.

I have always found these books funny, but the inclusion of a few Harry Potter references, the likes of selling magical effects on E-Bay and possibly inappropriate jokes about the Shard were most welcome and cleverly included. The natural sarcasm of some characters is very much appreciated. I like the cultural references, the links to America, the diversity of the characters and how easy they are to enjoy.

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Do I think it’s the best in the series? No but I loved it, but i thought it was better than Broken Homes and Moon over Soho. However, I’m still looking forward to seeing PC Peter Grant make another forma, frustrate another river and taste another of Molly’s creations (although I’m not sure this is a good thing).

Happy Reading!

Another day; Another book or 2…

That’s right readers, I’m on Chapter 6 of Book 4 of the year. I will update you all on Book 3 but as I haven’t finished yet… I can’t. Book 3 is ‘The Hanging Tree’ by Ben Aaronovitch and I am listening to it in the car.

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I have always loved audio books, I used to listen to ‘The Borrowers’ by Mary Norton to help me sleep and they have made many long journeys bearable. I love walking to them as well, I like that the natural pace of voices  is easier to plod along to than a playlist with various speeds, voices and drumbeats. I am on chapter 10 so a full review when it is finished (might be a while, no long journeys planned for a while). I really like Kobna Holdbrook-Smith  who narrates them and despite the fact my partner owns up to the fourth one, I genuinely prefer to listen to this series. I might even read them… but for today I managed Chapters 5-10.
Anyway, Book 4 of the year is ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ by Natasha Pulley. I’m on page 65 and so I like the main players. I like the pace of the plot and the mix of locations. I like that I can read 2/3 pages and stop for a conversation and it still feels right to carry on. I like that the chapters aren’t all POV, and that actually its quite beautiful.

In fact I like it so much, I’m off to read. Really, I just wanted to check in and try and get into the habit of writing to you all.  Happy Reading!

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