Chris Davis's Reviews > Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
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Nov 04, 11

bookshelves: fantasy
Read from October 30 to November 04, 2011

I have real mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the writer is funny. Really funny. There are some great one liners in this book reminiscent of Pratchett at his best. In fact, this book actually has a lot in common with the Discworld books. That may not seem like an obvious comparison, but it came to mind a number of times.

Peter Grant's life changes a lot in 6 months. After an encounter with a ghost, he discovers that he is has the gift of magic. In this world though magic takes a hell of a lot of effort and seems to entail studying forgotten languages. Peter's first job is to solve a series of seemingly random and violent crimes that end with someone's face exploding.

There is also a side story involving gods of the river. This is one of the problems of the book for me. Everything related to the rivers made little sense to me. It was poorly explained and never seemed to fit into the main story. In fact, you could have taken that element out of the book and it would be no different.

This book is also short. The book could have been improved by slowly the pace down a bit and expanding on the main murder mystery. At this point I will explain why I think it is like Pratchett. When I read a Discworld novel, I am never overly concerned about the ending--I am just enjoying the characters and the jokes. Some of the Discworld books have nonsense plots but that doesn't make it a bad book. Here the plot is hard to follow and moves about all over the place without much in the way of explanation. That is ok in a Discworld novel, but this was a book set in London--it needed to be a bit more grounded in reality. What I would have preferred would have been a story with all the elements of a detective novel, with a bit of magic thrown in. This book did not seem to know what it was supposed to be.

I may read the next book in the serious, because the books are so short that it is not a big time investment. Plus there will no doubt be more excellent one liners.
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10/31/2011 page 80
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