I return! I was too busy being sick to string together enough sentences for any blog entries last week, other than my review of That Ain’t Witchcraftfor Speculative Chic. I really loved that book, and I can’t wait for the next one. It’s going to be a long year. It might be time for an end-to-end reread of the InCryptid series. In the meantime, I’m still working my way through Rivers of London! I have reached the graphic novel portion of the series.
My friend Lane, when she reviewed this series for Speculative Chic, mentioned that she didn’t read the graphic novels, and it felt like there were some weird gaps in continuity. So I treated myself to all of the currently existing graphic novels in the series, and dug up a reading order that included them within the novels’ timeline, and hopped in. This is partially because events that happened in Body Work and Black Mould are referenced in The Hanging Tree, and I wanted to find out what happened, especially given that Sahra Guleed (who is awesome) was involved.
After the last installment of the Rivers of London series, I was chomping at the bit to get to FoxgloveSummer. If you’ve read the book, or my spoilery review, you know why. Unfortunately for me, the massive, twisty not-quite cliffhanger isn’t addressed very thoroughly in this volume. That’s fine; it was still a great read, and I’m still exceedingly satisfied with my reading experience and this series as a whole.
Let me just say right now: you can’t really read and enjoy these books unless you read them in order. Too much either won’t make sense or will have little to no impact upon you as a reader if you aren’t already familiar with what’s going on. Aaronovitch expects you to keep up and unforgivingly gives very little in the way of plot/character rehashing.
A lot of ongoing series have a volume or two that takes our primary protagonist out of their primary setting. The author picks them up and plunks them down somewhere entirely new. This was the first of such books in this series. I’ve found that this type of book can be hit or miss for me. If it occurs in the proper place in the series, it generally works well. If the writer tries to do it too soon, for me, it doesn’t go over well. A series that I love with all of my heart and soul did this in the second volume. That, to me, was entirely too soon. We’d just started getting to know the heroine and knew next to nothing about her world and the way that things worked, then we’re whisked away to what was (at the time) an insignificant place to deal with insignificant things. Now I understand the reasoning behind this alternative setting, but I still think that it could have come a little later in the series and had the same overall impact. Plus, I feel like the book would be better received and enjoyed by new readers to the series. Anyway.
Some spoilers. I don’t ruin too much for you, because I’m a nice person.Continue reading →
Okay, Aaronovitch. You’ve got me. I was already on board with this series, finding Peter to be a likeable and humorous narrator, and quite enjoying the other characters a great deal as well, but this?
This one might have broken me just a bit. I can’t even find an appropriate “mind blown” GIF to insert here, because…just…damn.
I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to discuss this book without going into spoiler territory, so I’ll see what I can do to avoid them until at all necessary. Fear not, I will mark them very clearly so that you know when to stop reading.
So here it is, book 3 of the Peter Grant / Rivers of London series. This is the book that temporarily derailed a friend of mine from the series, so I wasn’t entirely sure how things were going to go for me. This friend and I have similar tastes, so I will admit to being a bit concerned. Nevertheless, I plunged in.
I do have to say that this book was a little better than I had anticipated. Which is a great thing. I’m still a little leery of Aaronovitch and his very male cast of characters. Stephanopoulos being more in the thick of things was a nice move. Further, I am rather fascinated with Lady Ty and what, precisely, she does. What is she responsible for, within her mother’s court? What’s her role?
Second book of the year! I’m always delighted when I start reading an established series. I’m an impatient little snot, and I already have a few series that have me waiting for new installments. When I find something that I enjoy and learn that there are already multiple volumes available? Happiness abounds. What, I’m a simple creature, and it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me genuinely happy.
I started reading the series at the start of 2019 in hopes of something distracting and engaging, while not giving me emotional scarring (*cough* Robin Hobb). So far, I’m enjoying my jaunt through the magical alterna-London with my new pal, Peter Grant. The second volume in a series is often a tricky one to master. The first book draws the audience and sets certain expectations. When you pick up the next in the series, whether you like it or not, you have preconceived notions of what you’re going to be reading. Occasionally, this is a disappointing experience. I almost quit one of my now-favorite series because the second book was such a confusing mess to me at the time (and no, I’m not going to tell you what it is). I gave that series a final shot when the third book appeared, and it ended up saving the day quite heartily.
Here, with the second book in the whatever-this-series is called these days (I’ve seen it listed under at least two different names), I wasn’t terribly worried about what I might find. I had already made the perhaps-foolish decision to invest in the first six or seven volumes during a Book Depository sale, so I was, by god, going to read these books. I’m trying to buy fewer physical books, partially because shelf space is at such a premium for me, and partly because I feel more than a little guilty about the number of unread books that I have hanging around my house already. So, it was with a slight amount of trepidation that I decided to dive into Moon Over Soho. I am pleased to say that it wasn’t disappointing at all.
I don’t remember what drew this series to my attention. Most likely, it was when it popped up on the Hugo ballot a few years ago in the first year of the Best Series award. I was rooting for the October Daye series, personally, and I wasn’t aware that Aaronovitch’s books existed prior to that year. Fast forward from 2017 to a few months ago. I was clicking around on Book Depository (a dangerous pastime, I know) and noticed that the series was part of the sale. I checked the prices against what it would cost to acquire the books digitally (because I am attempting to be more thrifty these days), and discovered that, thanks to the sale and Book Depository’s excellent free shipping policy, I could purchase paperbacks of almost the entire series for a lot cheaper than digitally. I was having one of Those Days when my memory decided to play hide and seek, and looked for the first book in the series under the USA title, Midnight Riot. It wasn’t in stock. I muttered something under my breath, ordered the other books, and decided to wait.
Imagine my embarrassment and slight irritation with myself when I realized that book one was published under a different title in the UK, and thus why I wasn’t able to find it during the first sale. I really prefer that my book editions match when I go for the paper copies (yes, I’m one of those people), so I ordered a copy of the UK version, Rivers of London in late November while indulging in some pity-shopping.