Book Review: Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Rivers of London by Ben AaronovitchTitle: Rivers of London
Series: Peter Grant, Book 1
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: bought
Published: January 10, 2011 by Gollancz

My name is Peter Grant. Until January I was just another probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service, and to everyone else as the Filth. My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - We do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from a man who was dead, but disturbingly voluble, and that brought me to the attention of Chief Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. And that, as they say, is where the story begins.

Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated. I'm dealing with nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden - and that's just routine. There's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious, vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying. Which, I don't mind telling you, would involve a hell of a lot of paperwork.

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Reviewed by: Monica

Why I Read This Book: Honestly, I purchased it for the beautiful  cover. After I read the first few pages, written sort of conspiratorially in the first person, I fell in love.

In a Nutshell: Cadet cop becomes a paranormal sort of cop for the London police force while training to become a wizard.

The Setup: Peter Grant is a normal cop who thinks of things like beer and his hot partner. But his life changes when he interviews a ghost in a recent murder.

What I Liked: I love the writing in this book. It's like you're Peter Grant's best friend and he his recounting his adventures to you over a pint of beer. There is a leisure to the writing that belies the fast pace of the events in the book.

What I Also Liked: The landscape. The entire book is set in and around London. I read this book while on a trip there and I felt amazed because I could relate to the character on another level. He would mention a bus that goes by and I would think "wow, I was on that bus yesterday" and it added a level of realism to the whole thing. I felt like I was in the story watching everything.

In My Opinion: If you are a fan of urban fantasy you need to read this book. It's beautifully written and kept me interested enough to read it while on an short trip across the pond while time was precious. 


Monica’s Rating:
5 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. I get it now...the bit about interviewing a dead guy. Didn't know there was a fantasy element to the story until mention of the wizard. Sounds like an interesting read!

  2. I actually have this book on my ereader! Your review makes me itch to read it! It sounds like you truly enjoyed it Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sounds like my type of book! And I love the sound of the narration, as I love that type of MC. Thanks for the heads up!

    Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...


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