Catie's Reviews > Moon Over Soho

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch
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's review
Sep 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, mystery-thriller-noir, read-in-2011, paranormal, urban-fantasy
Read from September 25 to 28, 2011

3 1/2 stars

Whenever I contemplate continuing a series that I love, there’s always that little bit of anxiety in the back of my mind: will this one live up to the rest? Will I have to abandon yet another series? Well, if any of you out there are worried about this one, be at ease. This installment is lovely and I have no doubt that fans of the first book will enjoy this one just as much.

At the end of Midnight Riot (aka, Rivers of London), Peter had just learned of a rather ferocious new murder. In this installment, he is on the trail of that particularly incisive (har har) killer as well as a black ethically challenged magician and a ravenous jazz vampire. Along the way, we are treated to interesting glimpses of Peter’s parents as well as the mysteriously ancient Thomas Nightingale.

The villains, crimes, and continuing mysteries still feel hazy to me. There's an attempt to force all three mysteries to magically come together and it doesn't quite coalesce. However, in the end, I found it hard to care. I enjoy these stories for their dry and witty humor, for the unique blend of science geekery and magic, and for the completely wonderful MC. If the solution to the mystery feels a little forced, or the villains feel a little flat, I am willing to let that slide because everything else is so enjoyable.

The main character feels so authentically young, and I don’t just mean because he loves his Playstation, and can’t help but act like a complete idiot when it comes to romance. He’s very youthfully idealistic and hopeful, while at the same time bringing a fresh, inventive mind to the stuffy old world of magic. Once again, I loved his ingenuity, clever scientific analyses, and silly nerd jokes.

There’s only one part of this book that I didn’t quite enjoy. I think that you know what I’m talking about, Peter. I see you hanging your head right now, and you should! For shame, Peter. FOR SHAME. Even I could see that she was a complete slag* from fifty paces away, and not even in an ironic, postmodernist way. You’d better make this up to me Leslie.

*A fun word that I picked up recently. Another fun word that I learned from this book: flannel, which seems to be similar to the American baloney. I’ll have to stick with my kinsmen on this one though, because flannel? Not only is it comfortable, durable, and let’s face it, sexy; it’s the perfect winter time fashion statement. Whereas, baloney? Serves no real purpose on Earth.

Also, if any of my fellow ignorant Americans are wondering what a Scouse accent is (like I did) then check out this mini-documentary: scouse accent.

Perfect Musical Pairing

Kate Nash – We Get On

Oh, Peter. When I declared you my fictional boyfriend, I really felt like we could get on. And then I caught you having wild monkey sex with that tramp and now I just don’t know.

What? No…of course that wasn’t me the other night at the folly. Telephoto lens? Seriously, I don’t even know how to work a remote control…much less a sophisticated piece of surveillance equipment.

What, these? These are just some…photos…that I…found…in the gutter…the other day. I came to see you as soon as I found them, obviously. You really need to be more careful. This world is a crazy place…*shaky laugh*

Also seen on The Readventurer.
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Quotes Catie Liked

Ben Aaronovitch
“It’s a truism in policing that witnesses and statements are fine, but nothing beats empirical physical evidence. Actually it isn’t a truism because most policemen think the word ‘empirical’ is something to do with Darth Vader, but it damn well should be.”
Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho

Reading Progress

09/25 page 31
11.0% ""Leslie said that the capacity not to notice a traditional Dutch folk-dancing band walk up behind you was not a survival characteristic in the complex fast-paced world of the modern policing environment. I'd like to point out that I was trying to give directions to a slightly deaf tourist at the time and anyway it was a Swedish dance troupe."" 2 comments
09/26 page 94
33.0% 8 comments
09/28 page 239
83.0% ""For a terrifying moment I thought he was going to hug me, but fortunately we both remembered we were English just in time. Still, it was a close call."" 9 comments
02/18 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Jo (last edited Sep 28, 2011 01:12PM) (new) - added it

Oh yes.

I'm really confused about the word flannel meaning baloney? All I can think of with flannel is like a face cloth.

LOL... love that Scouse documentary. One of my best friend actually says 'Alright, la' and starts every sentence with 'Eeeeeeeh'
I love the Scouse accent. I just love every Northern accent haha.
Mancunian is the best though. ;-)
I'd be a reet shite scouse because I can't roll my 'r's.

Oh and also... slag.... Gavin and Stacey, am I right? Am I right?
I'm so right.

You slaaaaaaag.

Catie I think that you will like this book Jo...also...I am very excited to teach you a new word of "British" slang:

(from Merriam-Websters)

Definition of FLANNEL


a: a soft twilled wool or worsted fabric with a loose texture and a slightly napped surface b: a napped cotton fabric of soft yarns simulating the texture of wool flannel c: a stout cotton fabric usually napped on one side


plural a: flannel underwear b: outer garments of flannel; especially: men's trousers


British: washcloth


British: flattering or evasive talk; also: nonsense, rubbish

Funny, yes? Not as funny as slag though. I've got season two of a certain tv show in my future :)

message 3: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Well, I have never heard of that in my entire life. Or anyone even saying it!

Maybe it's a southern thing?

So how do you use it? Like 'Oh what a load of flannel?!'

Don't forget the Christmas special!

Catie I deleted the book so I can't dig up the sentence that I saw it in, but I believe he says something like, "I fed him some flannel about how I had blah blah blah, then left."

NOW YOU KNOW. I think that I might make it my purpose in life to educate the world about less-used slang terms. Someone's got to save the English language from the frighteningly sophisticated turn it's been taking lately!

message 5: by Jo (last edited Sep 28, 2011 02:09PM) (new) - added it

Jo That's very informative, Catie, thank you.
You could be like some kind of language superhero. Saving the word before it becomes obsolete.
I use loads of slang... but I use it so often I forget that it is slang and then I wonder why people get confused.

Like when I said that I was raunging on the couch to my friend and she looked at me blankly and I was like 'You know... when you fidget and wriggle and don't keep still. That's raunging.'

Again, a blank look.

Catie I bow to your advanced skills. Please be my slang jedi master. I'll just call you Jo-da.

message 7: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Haha, stick with me, kid.

You'll never go wrong.

Jo-da. LOL

(view spoiler)

Catie I'm probably going to have to turn in one of my nerd cards by saying this but...

You're not missing very much.

message 9: by Jo (last edited Sep 28, 2011 02:29PM) (new) - added it

Jo Phew.
Thought you were going to make me hand in ALL of my nerd cards and then walk out of your life.
I've seen enough TV/Films to understand every single SW reference IN THE WORLD though.

I love the word nerd. It's very under appreciated over here, going to remedy that pronto!

Catie Keep on fighting the good fight :)

Crowinator I'm almost done with this and totally agreeing with your review. I can't wait to read the next one. As soon as I'm away from work, I'll check out the Scouse accent thing you posted. I just had to look up what the word meant.

By the way, as a kid I used to eat fried bologna on buttered toast for breakfast and it was awesome. (c:

Catie I'm really looking forward to the next one too. The galley is up on NG, in case you haven't seen it! I really hope there are a lot fewer femme fatales in the next one. Oh, Peter Peter Peter.

I was raised vegan, so that probably explains my position on bologna. :)

message 13: by Ross (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ross Just to comment on this... Flannel is cockney rhyming slag. Soap and flannel, meaning Panel. Which is what the terminally underemployed would have to go up in front of in order to give evidence as to why they were unfit for work. Hence flannel = tall stories, load of old rubbish etc...

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