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The October Man

(Rivers of London #7.5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  4,243 ratings  ·  610 reviews
With this long new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.

If you thought magic was confined to one country—think again.

Trier: famous for wine, Romans and being Germany’s oldest city.

When a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot,
Audible Audio, 5 pages
Published June 13th 2019 by Orion (first published May 31st 2019)
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Rich Lambe I agree it should be read in order - the books have an ongoing narrative so you may find yourself becoming lost if read out of sequence.
Jase Just dropped last week on Audible. New narrator. I was dismayed to see it wasn't narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, but reading now that it's a…moreJust dropped last week on Audible. New narrator. I was dismayed to see it wasn't narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, but reading now that it's a different PoV, I feel better about that. Wouldn't be a Peter Grant audiobook without his voice.(less)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of Aaronovitch
Yes, I know. I hardly believe my rating either.

Listening--as opposed to my usual reading speed--exposes the fact that the first four or so chapters are largely a re-explanation of things we already know from the seven book Peter Grant series. Unfortunately, details aren't quickly summarized, and as far as I can tell, almost everything Peter Grant has learned in the first few books is included. Details on rivers, shields, magic returning, Latin, the history of magic users, political
You should always realize that my ratings for Ben Aaronovitch are relative to his own works; his Peter Grant series is generally five-star in comparison to any other urban fantasy. In this novella, he leaves Grant behind to follow Tobias Winter, a special agent in the special division for magical enforcement in Germany. Winter is relaxing at his parent's house when he gets a call about "possible infraction in Trier," which is official-speak for a potentially magic-related death. He is assigned a ...more
Lois Bujold
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of contemporary fantasy
Ah, that was fun, and just the right size story for its length, a generously portioned novella.

Readers of the Rivers of London series should find lots of familiar tropes in an unfamiliar setting. I very much enjoyed getting to see some of what is going on with the resurgence of magic in other parts of the world, and of course can't help wondering if it will ever intersect with the main series. Also very curious about the Director. New readers should be able to read it as a stand-alone
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!

So this little gem of a novella takes place in the same world as the Rivers of London, but in Germany instead, and features a new main character in a similar role as Peter Grant there in Germany. The mystery/police procedural with magic worked well for this novel, and we got to meet a few new characters that I'd love to see make appearances in the main series novels.

After the end of the
This is probably my favorite novella in the Rivers of London series. Of course, we're NOT in London. This takes place in Germany! The place where all weird things have a place and a procedure attached to it. It's Germany! :)

And we have a lot of fresh faces. And fungi. And fun times with fungi. And a pretty awesome refresher on the magic system as well as some really cool police procedural legwork.

All in all, it's a slam dunk Magic Police procedural across the border, chatting up the local rivers
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
The author has taken his urban fantasies to a new locale. This time the detective who searches for signs of magic at crime scenes is Tobias Winter and he’s in Germany. Unfortunately, he’s not as sharp or amusing as Peter Grant. The river goddess is also a pale imitation of her London counterparts. In truth, I didn’t not see the need to tell basically the same story about vestigia and river gods but just use a different country and character. I also found the plot confusing. One of the characters ...more
lucky little cat
If we had to have a fake (also younger and German) Peter Grant,
Kinda like when Serena would visit Bewitched.

Aaronovitch could at least have named him Dieter so we could remember his name easily.

Too often, new wunderkind Tobi just sounds like Peter transported mysteriously to a German life. There's too much paperwork in policing! Everything has an acronym name! Plus everything has a funny seven-syllable German name that ends in "-er" or "- en," too! (A joke that stopped being funny way too early
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

With Lies Sleeping ending with the final showdown between Peter Grant and his archnemesis the Faceless Man, bringing a seven-book story arc to a close, fans are wondering where the Rivers of London series will be going from here. Rumor is that Peter will be back, but in the meantime, we get to whet our appetites with a spinoff novella called The October Man.

Providing readers with some much-needed breathing space following
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Life is too short to drink bad wine.” – Goethe

“I drank what??” – Socrates

Let me just begin by saying that I’ve been anxiously awaiting any new story from Ben Aaronovitch since 2018 Lies Sleeping. Peter Grant is one of the coolest urban fantasy protagonists practicing these days and Aaronovitch’s world building is maybe THE best, and I’ve read Harry Dresden, Jane Yellowrock and the Iron Druid series. What really sets these apart is his wink and nod minimalism, these are snappy police procedurals


from Gollanz

* * * * *

4.5 stars

Ah, so this is what it's like to follow a magically competent police detective around on a case and not royally messing things up along the way. I get it now. More stories like this please and thank you in advance.
The world of magical policing is not limited to London. In The October Man, Ben Aaronovitch extends this magical universe to Germany while also providing his reading audience with further information on the international and historical scope of this world. Tobias Winter is the young officer in training who responds to an unusual death in Germany’s wine country, in Trier, an old, even ancient city, known to the Romans. And, in keeping with its setting, the victim has died due to a rot peculiar to ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable romp with magical, mythical bad guys and river goddesses! Only this time the story takes place in Germany with new characters. Interestingly the London practitioners, Nightingale and Peter Grant, are mentioned as peers/ possible rivals across the channel. Looks like Aaronovitch is setting up an international network of practitioners for future novels. I missed Peter and Beverly but overall enjoyed the new novella and look forward to the next chapter.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Peter Grant without Peter Grant and set in Germany instead.

It's interesting for the contrast in main character. Tobias Winter is just as dedicated to policing as Peter is and about as competent magically speaking. In many ways you could drop Peter in his spot and the story wouldn't feel any different, but where this falls down is that the London series has had seven books to build up a fascinating cast of characters and background around Peter as well as all his own mannerisms.

With this you get
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novella published from the world of Peter Grant (Rivers of London - depending on whose listing you look at). However this is set in Germany, now it is most certainly from the same world but there are only fleeting references to the main series.

Now the story itself is as usually just as engrossing and fun as ever however how you are being introduced to not only a new group of characters but a different country and most certainly a different way approaching things.

This leads
Milda Page Runner
Excellent! Aaronovitch's prose and especially humour really work for me.

Ah a short story, my eternal struggle with this format continues. To be fair, there wasn't much helping me out in this one though. This felt like a bit of a pointless exercise unless the whole purpose was to set things up for later books.

I avoided the audiobook (which with Kobna absent was a no brainer) and went the old fashioned way (thanks Mr. Library, very kind) but there isn't much to write home about here. The main guy doesn't differ enough from Peter to make it worthwhile, it feels
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this via NetGalley. This did not affect my reviews or rating.

So this was pretty cool. Instead of following Peter or Nightingale (why???) we follow another magic practitioner named Tobias Winter. Tobias is the equivalent to our Peter Grant in England, only Tobias operates in Germany. Tobias is working on a case that seems to involve wine, ghosts, and magic.

Tobias's family seemed very interesting and I wanted to know more about his dad, mother, and the family's
The change of setting - the German's version of The Folly - is quite refreshing. The main character however was bland and dispassionate. Also, I think there are still things (that matter) left unexplained. I am curious about the Witch of the East though, I hope she'll meet Nightingale one day.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My poor brain is still confused from switching between German and English all the time xD
But I liked Tobias and Vanessa, and I liked the setting (my father being from that area, it gave me some nice flashbacks), and I would love to read more of the White Library!
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly enjoyable.

Some random thoughts: the Germans apparently have a better intelligence department than the British, I am relieved that there are no obvious mistakes with the German, less pop culture references (but understandable since B. Aaronovitch does not live here), there seems to be a continuity error (p. 139 last sentence compared to p. 162 lower half, UK hardcover edition).
I am looking forward to a meeting between Tobias and Peter.
This was the first Rivers of London book that was not narrated by the awesome Kobna Holbrook-Smith and that gave me some concern going into it. Turns out that Sam Peter Jackson works out pretty well in this case. Kobna is the 'voice of London' in my mind and this book is set in Trier, Germany so he would not be the best fit. Jackson does a decent German accent throughout and must be able to speak German as his pronunciation was spot on for the German words.

All the action is centered around the
Barb in Maryland
Clever novella that introduces us to the German police group that deals with the uncanny. Tobias Winter is a charming young man sent to the city of Trier to deal with a very unusual death. His liaison with the local police, Vanessa Sommer, is bright, enthusiastic and quickly a fan of magic.
Tobias is not as snarky as Peter Grant--his humor is a bit more subdued, but still entertaining.

The author had a good deal of fun playing with the inter-country rivalry between the British and the German
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed the off spin in the rivers of London series with the book based around Trier and the wine region and different with not having peter grant as the character in the book.
A quick and fun read, this novella in the Rivers of London series takes place entirely in Germany. None of the main cast appear, although they are referred to. Instead, Aaronovitch introduces the German equivalents of Peter Grant et al. The narrator, Tobias Winter, has a similar narrative voice to Grant, but sadly has less interest in tailoring. He investigates a peculiar death, meeting various supernatural beings and learning a great deal about wine in the process. The plot moves forward in ...more
Mary Margaret
I really wanted to love this, but had to force myself to finish it. That takes some doing with a book as brief as this one.

First, as a reboot of the series in another country, it didn’t work for me. The narrator’s voice still sounded to me just like Peter Grant. It takes more than tossing in periodic foreign words to give the flavour of a country. Some writers can do this: Joanna Bourne does it brilliantly, with vocabulary, syntax, and language rhythms, but Trier could have been in Surrey for
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2019-read
Actual rating: 4.00
I may be biased here because I'm German, but I loved this book and I hope Aaronovitch will return to the characters and the KDA soon.

I love the Rivers of London series as a whole, but a large part of that is the characters and initially I wasn't sure I would be able to love a novel set in the same universe with the same premise (magic police) as much with different characters, but Tobi and Vanessa won me over quickly. Add to that a perfectly good criminal plot and enigmatic side characters like
Judy Lesley
I didn't know quite what to expect when I requested this novella through NetGalley, but I enjoy the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch so much I knew I wouldn't be sorry if I was approved for the galley. Coming in at 216 pages this is a long-ish novella but Aaronovitch packs it with a lot of detail about Tobias Winter and the case of magic he's investigating in Trier, Germany. A dead body has been found beside a river bordering a vineyard and the cause of death definitely has magical ...more
Mike Finn
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
"The October Man" is a fresh, fun novella that I hope is the start of a new series of German "Rivers" books.

"The October Man" novella breathes new life into the "Rivers Of London" universe by taking us to Trier in Germany where Tobias Winter, broadly the counterpart of Peter Grant is investigating the death of a man whose corpse has been found covered in a strange fungus. The fungus is strange enough to merit the involvement of the Abteilung KDA in which Tobias is an Investigator and one of only
While I missed Peter, Nightingale, and the shenanigans of the London crew, it was fun to experience a new character who is in a similar position as Peter, but in Germany, and a little behind the curve, as well. I liked the peak at how the other countries are dealing with the whole situation in London. Tobias isn't as fun as Peter, but he's earnest, and seems to be a little nervy about being in Peter's shadow. I liked Vanessa a lot more than him. The mystery was entertaining and went in some ...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.

Other books in the series

Rivers of London (8 books)
  • Rivers of London (Peter Grant, #1)
  • Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)
  • Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3)
  • Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)
  • Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)
  • The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)
  • Lies Sleeping (Peter Grant, #7)
  • False Value (Rivers of London, #8)
“When it’s still—when it’s the cellar of a house, or a ring of mushrooms in a forest or a gun emplacement outside Offenburg—it’s called one of two things. If it remains static and unchanging then we call it a despair. If it seeks to extend its influence then it is a malignancy. Or as the Director puts it—a despair will suck you in, but a malignancy is coming to get you.” 1 likes
“I ended up learning magic because you can’t trust the British to keep to an agreement over the long term.” 1 likes
More quotes…