Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1)
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Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1)

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  14,985 ratings  ·  2,216 reviews
Paperback, 392 pages
Published August 2011 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2011)
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Patrick

Great book. Urban fantasy. You should read it.

Why? Here's why....

1. It's witty.

2. It's not cliché.

3. It's smart.

4. It's set in London, and written by someone who obviously knows London.

5. The main character has a great voice.

5. The language is great. (See below.)

6. It hasn't been dumbed down for the American audience.

Well… okay. They did change the title in the US from "Rivers of London" to "Midnight Riot." That was a shame.

But they left a lot of good stuff in. I don't think I've ever...more
Nataliya
Rivers of London is a fun mix of so many things that I love in my pleasure reads - the geekiness and the science¹, the dry British humor², and the magical/mythical/phantasmagorical stuff in a big city³. What's not to like?



¹ My whole life, basically. Really.
² Examples - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, even some of China Miéville's stuff.
³ Examples - Harry Dresden books, China Miéville, Neil Gaiman, even Sir Terry.
"Carved above the lintel were the words SCIENTIA POTESTAS EST. Science points east, I
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Midnight Riot is the kind of book that people like me, absolute anglophile and devoted BBC lover, couldn’t help but like. The humor and the texture to the narrative in this book reads delightfully British, but in a fashion that suggests that England isn’t just Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. It’s also Doctor Who, Blake’s Seven, Being Human, Law and Order: UK, and Luther. It’s upper crust and working class. It’s a mix of past and present. Even deeper, it’s the everyday lives of Britons, not all N...more
Megan Baxter
Too. Much. Fun.

But not too much. Just the right amount of fun. Ladies and gentleman, if you're looking for a relatively light read, with overtones of the theatre and English puppetry, and undertones of feuding rivers and power struggles, all sifted through the eyes of a police constable who has just discovered that magic is real, and he's been chosen to police it, then this is the book for you!

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enfo...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Feb 22, 2012 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: urban fantasy lovers, detective fans
Recommended to Carol. [All cynic, all the time] by: FA
I enjoyed this book, so much that I didn't want to review it right away because I was still immersed in Peter Grant's London. It's the urban fantasy take on the detective novel, a police procedural that gives a close-up view of a modern London with undercurrents of magic and magical beings. I love the tone of this book--it's wry and humorous, but doesn't let the humor take over the scene. It's one thing to be ready with a quick line, another entirely to go through one's entire life wisecracking,...more
Catie
I have to admit that a moderate portion of my liking for this book is probably due to the fact that I am one of those Americans who is instantly charmed when faced with a page of British slang and references. I don’t know if it’s in the genetic memory or what, but I pathetically cannot help myself! Guh…it’s like thar speakin’ mah language but diffrint! However, this book isn’t just a compendium of British slang. I found quite a lot more to love within these pages.

Peter Grant is a young constable...more
Nancy
I’m a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series, even though I got tired and stopped reading after #9. After a while the stories became too repetitive and I didn’t see any significant growth in Harry’s character. His smart-ass comments that were amusing in the earlier books started getting annoying towards the end.

In the hopes I would find a fun read similar to the Dresden books, I picked up Midnight Riot. It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t a great one either. Peter Grant was an interesting ch...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
UPDATE 27 June 2013: A TV series is on the way! Maybe 2014!

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: 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...more
new_user
Jul 27, 2011 new_user rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to new_user by: Dr. Who fans
Ben Aaronovitch is funny. Midnight Riot's appeal stems from protagonist Peter Grant's humor:
"Do we have a plan B?"
"Molly can do haemomancy," said Nightingale [...] "It might be possible to find [the suspect] that way."
"Why can’t we do it that way now?" I asked.
"Because the odds are five to one against you surviving the experience," said Nightingale.
"So, yeah," I said. "Probably best not to do it that way now, then."
Aaronovitch delivers on his claims and doesn't make the mistake of claiming t...more
Lois Bujold
Rivers of London (U.S. title: Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovitch, 2011

I received this book as a gift a rather long time ago. It sat in my to-be-read pile for far too long because, I am embarrassed to admit, of its cover, which looked dreary and literary.

I should instead have looked at the first page, which opens:

“It started at one thirty on a cold Tuesday morning in January when Martin Turner, street performer and, in his own words, apprentice gigolo, tripped over a body in front of the West P...more
Michael
I was suitably charmed but not wowed by this urban fantasy set in London. Yet the young hero, Constable Peter Grant captured my affection and respect and I believe from what I hear that the series gets better.

Rather than the flash and pizzazz shown by wizard Harry Dresden waging desperate war against legions of bizarre magical creatures in Butcher’s series, this tale thrives mostly on conventional police procedural efforts that home in on a single powerful ghost. By contrast, I found it easier t...more
Nick
I can never keep the new shelf classifications straight, but this has to be a {moderately} dark urban fantasy. It's dark the way Harry Dresden is dark, not like Felix Castor or John Constantine. Bad things happen, but the world itself is not an absolute bastard which wants you to die with a pitchfork in your eye.

I read it. I enjoyed it muchly. I want more from Ben Aaronovitch, soon, please, because my next read is about free market economics and the false rhetorics of capitalism in the early 21s...more
Lou
Once upon a time there was a Mama River and a Papa River and a Copper called Peter.
Jokes aside there really are these characters in the story.
This story serves up a concoction consisting of the humor of Terry Pratchett, a dice of Neil Gaiman's characters and plot and finally a fixer kind of guy and supernatural goings on from Jim Butcher.
Peter is a copper of mixed race ethnicity his mother was a cleaner, his father was a drug addict and grew up in a council estate. He became a down to earth ki...more
Cora Linn
Jul 02, 2013 Cora Linn rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Lovers of urban fantasy
What is that? Ghosts in London? WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY?! It's like insta-love for me. London + Ghosts just works.

The Peter Grant books are easily my favourite contemporary urban fantasies.

They're chock full of EVERYTHING in a world that's so real and believable.

I love the way modern culture is woven in - especially mentions of Harry Potter (hello, magic!). I love the way that I know this London. Rivers of London takes the landmarks that everyone who has visited London for even a day will know, and m...more
Mike (the Paladin)
5 Silver Stars as opposed to Gold star....see the comments.


Another hard to rate book in that I can't really say I like it as much as my favorite books...but it it deserves more than 4 stars. So...5 stars, but not quite the top of my 5 star rating (?).

This is an urban fantasy, a genre that's become so chock full lately that you can't swing a kobold without hitting a new one. Most are(sadly) of the mediocre vein but every now and then you stumble on (or as in this case are directed by a friend on...more
Amanda
Peter Grant is a Probationary Constable in London who, despite his dreams of being a detective, possesses a propensity for detail and a knack for paperwork that makes him the perfect candidate for the Case Progression Unit (a department that does the endless paperwork on behalf of "real" detectives). Before he's doomed to a pallid indoor office complexion and a life of carpal tunnel syndrome, he receives a breakthrough in a significant case. Only one problem: it's from a ghost. And thus begins P...more
Regina
3.75 stars. Midnight Riot is great start to a series and also is simply a fabulous new series for the urban fantasy world. This book is funny, not silly funny like Three's Company, but dry funny with an amazing delivery. Ben Aaronvitch makes very witty observations about human nature and delivers in such a way that it is funny. At the same time, he sets up an intriguing urban fantasy world, playing on existing mythology and bringing new stuff in. He even makes a few Harry Potter jokes.

The main c...more
Lady Jaye
Story: ★★★½ stars
*½★ extra for standing out in the land of UF
*★ extra for including jollof rice and groundnut soup!!!!
GRAND TOTAL: ★★★★★ fat, very well-deserved stars!

So after a while of reading UF, one begins to get sorta jaded; it all begins to blend and look similar. Mr. Aaronovitch's debut stands out from the bunch.

How does it stand out, you ask? Let me count a couple of ways:

1. It is being narrated by a guy. Which by itself puts it in the minority of UF books.
1a. To make it even more u...more
Jonathan

Rivers of London also known as Midnight Riot was written by Ben Aaronovitch who many familiar with Doctor Who may recognise from his writing of classic episodes. Rivers of London was an entertaining, quirky and somewhat gritty read, kept consistent by its main protagonist. It was not a philosophical masterpiece of literature but it did not set out to create the writing equivalent of The Great Wall of China and then walk across it three times. Rather it set out to produce a fun, airy urban fantas...more
Clouds

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go.


In 1963 Lawrence of Arabia won the best picture...more
Kim
What can I say, I loved it. Maybe because I have just finished reading two rather dark, sometimes depressing, fantasy books but I really enjoyed this light (but gruesome) urban fantasy. It's probably the lightest UF I've read. They all tend to be dark and gritty books just because they're set in a city. Cities aren't all evil and danger. Though there is a bit of killing in this one...

I have to say I really enjoyed the characters. The river gods wee done well, Grant was a great main character, Ni...more
Penny
Peter Grant is awesome! It's not even that he's that awesome actually, but I loved this book!

It's really hard not to compare this to the Dresden Files since they're both urban fantasy murder mystery magic stories and as much as I loved Harry, and I do love Harry, I have to say that if I was forced to choose I'd pick Peter. That said I think anyone who likes the Dresden Files is likely to enjoy this too.

Ben Aaronovitch has a beautiful style and he's become one of my new favourite authors even t...more
Katy
Feb 05, 2013 Katy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of Dresden Files etc.
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon.com Vine
Shelves: vine-book
Please note: I read this book in Jan. of 2011; am just making some fixes to the review here and adding the disclosure that I received a free copy of this book from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: Midnight Riot introduces us to rookie constable Peter Grant. He is learning the ropes in London when, one night, he sees a ghost. From that point, his life will never be the same, because he has come to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale. Nightingale...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
My friends list will be seeing this message a lot over the next days and weeks. Sorry.

I have reviewed this book; the review can be found here, on Booklikes, and here, on my blog. However, I will no longer be posting reviews on Goodreads, due to its recent changes to terms of service and, far worse, the boneheaded and incomprehensible way it is proceeding with the new policy. Deleting content, almost randomly, and without warning (whatever they may have said) is wrong. Failing to provide a sitewi...more
Lightreads
Now this was a breath of fresh air. Which I guess sounds funny if I mention it’s an urban fantasy about a somewhat bumbling cop who takes a witness statement from a ghost and ends up as the apprentice to the last wizard in England. But seriously, this was a breeze of competence and sanity in a welter of bad books.

I think the most important thing is that it’s funny. Not like first person urban fantasy funny, but actually funny. And our protagonist (first person, natch) is great: he’s one of those...more
The Flooze
Dec 18, 2010 The Flooze rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to The Flooze by: NY Comic Con giveaway
**3.75**

Midnight Riot is a promising beginning to Aaronovitch’s series. Following PC Peter Grant of the London Metro Police (a mixed-race hero - hurrah!), the story introduces us to London as UF landscape - filled with magic, gods and ghosts and other implied supernatural creatures. When a streak of inexplicable bloody events occurs, Grant finds himself inadvertently swept up in the investigation and in the oddities surrounding it.

Readers have already likened Grant to my dear Harry Dresden and I...more
F.R.
I remember years ago going for a job interview and the interviewer, on finding out I’d written a novel, raving onto me about how much she loved urban fantasy. She didn’t just reveal this passion the once, but gave over a large part of the meeting – where she was supposed to be interviewing me – to her absolutely endless adoration for urban fantasy. It was a genre (sub-genre?) I didn’t know much about and so I just nodded along and tried to look as enthusiastic as possible. Fortunately that was e...more
Mpauli
I'm a huge Arsenal London Fan. Peter Grant, the protagonist of this book, is also a fellow Gooner -as we call ourselves. Thus 5 stars, end of story.

Hm, you're still here expecting a review that isn't totally based on football club preferences, aren't you?
Well, if you have to be persistent about it I could give it another go.

At the first glance, Rivers of London offers the typical ingredients of Urban Fantasy that you would expect. A big city, in this case London, a detective style plot/protago...more
Amanda
Peter Grant is just a rookie cop in the Metropolitan Police Service when he discovers an aptitude for magic, and is taken on as an apprentice wizard. As he comes to realise the complicated supernatural life that infuses London, he is caught up in a case involving a malicious vengeful spirit. A spirit who is twisting the lives of ordinary Londoners and leaving a trail of nasty deaths in its wake. Peter has to learn the magic trade quickly before he and his colleagues becoming part of the game.

Any...more
Terry Brooks
This month I am going with Ben Aaronovitch and Midnight Riot, the first in a series dealing with the adventures of Constable Peter Grant of London's Metropolitan Police who ends up as the understudy of Detective Inspector Thomas Nightengale, chief and sole member of a crimes unit charged with investigating magic and the paranormal. Persuaded to become a part of this virtually clandestine branch of the force, Peter soon finds himself neck deep in murders by impossible creatures and a war between...more
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Ben Aaronovitch's career started with a bang writing for Doctor Who, subsided in the middle and then, as is traditional, a third act resurgence with the bestselling Rivers of London series.

Born and raised in London he says that he'll leave his home when they prise his city out of his cold dead fingers.
More about Ben Aaronovitch...
Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2) Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3) Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks (Target Doctor Who Library) Transit

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“ I gave the prescribed Metropolitan Police "first greeting".
"Oi!" I said "What do you think you're doing?”
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“Carved above the lintel were the words SCIENTIA POTESTAS EST. Science points east, I wondered? Science is portentous, yes? Science protests too much. Scientific potatoes rule. Had I stumbled on the lair of dangerous plant geneticists?” 47 likes
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