Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronavitch. Narrated by Kobna Holdbrock-Smith. Run time was 10 hours. Published by Del Rey Audio, 2012.
*Possible Trigger: baby death
First things first…. WTF with the title change? This book was originally titled Rivers of London. Then for some reason, I guess when it came to the US (?) it got changed to Midnight Riot. Which made no sense… There is a slight riot at the end, but the rivers of london played a heavy, heavy role throughout the entire book… so why change the name?? I don’t get it!
Ok, ok… on to the review… This was my second attempt at reading this book. I read the physical copy, well, most of it, when it first came out… then I put it down and kinda trailed off from it for whatever reason. The second time I went with the audio, and i feel like the narrator made this book much more exciting for me then when I tried to read the physical copy. Kobna’s narration just was spot on for the main character Peter. He had just the right apathetic, dry British wit “this is my life now -__- ” sort of feel. It was really perfectly done. The narrator also did a great job with the other main characters of the book. He did different accents and gender well. I was very happy with this narrator. He really made this book a lot of fun.
The main character, Peter, is such a fun every day guy. He is learning magic but it does not just go great right away. You see him train for one little spell for weeks or months. It’s not just easy peasy now you are a great and mighty wizard sort of thing. He is easy to connect to because he’s just Joe average like the rest of us, even though he is put into outrageous situations. Other characters were fun as well. I really enjoyed the settings and how the characters related to those areas. Very fun take on folklore around London.
I enjoyed 90% of this book. For the most part it is a very fun, quick, urban fantasy novel. If you like wizards and magic and folklore, this could be a fun little book for you to try. But then we get to the ending…. I don’t know what happened. It got very… muddled. I don’t really know how to explain it… it felt all over the place and kind of convoluted. I felt a little confused and sometimes I was like ” Wait, do I need to rewind?” because I felt like I had missed a page or two. I don’t think the ending (or the book) was terrible… just maybe a little bit rough around the edges at the end. I don’t know if this was the authors first book or not, but it kinda felt like that. I still had fun reading Midnight Riot / Rivers of London and I would definitely try book number two in the series.