Saturday, August 27, 2011

Missing London

Randomly missing London as I stayed up after sahur this morning to finish reading Midnight Riot (a.k.a. Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch. Reason? The book was set in London, with Covent Garden playing a major role. I could just imagine the scenes that took place there since Covent Garden was a short walk from Uni and a good place to while the time away during breaks. Plus, I could do some grocery shopping at the Tesco Metro. It also provided a pleasant shortcut to Chinatown when I was in search of Asian foodstuff. *sigh* I'm missing my student days D:

Back to the book - I love it. I'm the kind of person who loves trivia, especially if it's presented in an interesting manner (hence my love of the TV show QI). This book definitely fills the criteria. Random trivia is thrown at the reader every other page and it's done in a way that does not detract from the story at all. Quite a few pop culture references also popped up all over the book; the ones regarding Dr. Who stood out the most (which is not surprising considering Ben wrote the script for several episodes LOL).

I like that magic and science are closely linked together in this book. The hero, Peter Grant, even tried conducting experiments regarding magic and science with interesting results. Peter is an interesting hero. He's nerdy, which explains the experiments, and cheeky, which makes him endearing. He also has difficulty focusing on 'proper' policing work, which led him to almost being relegated to desk duty in the first place.

While I have the US version (Midnight Riot) since it was released earlier, I prefer the title Rivers of London because I think the rivers were much more prominent in the story than the rioting. Perhaps the title was changed in the US to avoid it sounding like a historical book on London's river.

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. Synopsis & image from Goodreads

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