One of my co-workers recommended Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich, as I had asked for fantasy recommendations. I had started out by saying that while I read GoT and thought it was an okay series, I didn’t want to read any more “medieval” fantasies. I snagged the audiobooks of the five books in the series, and then it happened:
I loved it. I couldn’t stop listening, I had to know who was behind the murders! I will back up a little. Rivers of London (aka Midnight Riot in the US) follows Peter Grant, a police constable in London who also happens to be an apprentice wizard. On top of learning everything he has to about magic, he also has to negotiate peace between the god and goddess of the River Thames. Yes, it sounds crazy, but it works. Aaronovich uses London well, it is certainly a main character.
I very much enjoyed the fact that it takes place in a familiar setting, and that magic and technology come together. (Sorry, J.K., you kind of ignored that other than saying “it causes problems”.) Peter’s voice is fairly sarcastic, and he is more than a little bit of a smart ass. This tone comes in use explaining various details about the Met, as it doesn’t feel too heavy on the exposition. Aaronovitch also lays down the plot well- the reader is introduced to both the main plot of this book, as well as finding hints about longer mysteries in the series. (Think Veronica Mars: one big mystery per season, a mini mystery per episode!)
I have now just begun listening to the fourth in the series, Broken Homes. Right off the bat, I am just as interested as the first three. It appears to take place out of London, so I am waiting to see if that affects it at all. I gave the first and third books five stars, and the second book four stars, so there is quite a high standard established. Given my previous listening pattern, it takes me about 3-4 of listening, so I will know soon enough 🙂 (I have just over an hour of driving a day, and then I listen pretty much all evening while I’m doing different things. Can’t stop!!) And by the time this is published, I might actually be done!
After this series, I’m going to give the Dresden Files (by Jim Butcher) a try. I have been warned that the first two aren’t fantastic, so I plan on reading at least the first four. I do realise that this pretty much ruins my plan to get through my books I already own (though these were already in my e-library).
Have you read any urban fantasy? Do you have any recommendations? Any books to stay away from?