carol. 's Reviews > Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
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really liked it
bookshelves: multi-culti, urban-fantasy, supernatural-mystery
Read 2 times. Last read May 4, 2016 to May 10, 2016.

Thoughts on the book:
my review.

Thoughts on the audio version:

As many people have noted, Kobna Holbrook Smith is a fabulous reader. Turns out he is an actor and director is well, with a long list of tv credits, which is kind of a bummer because I hope he continues to have time for the Peter Grant series.

Holbrook Smith is clearly a talented voice actor who can understandably convey a range of London accents, from that of an 19th century itenerant to Nightingale's 'posh' early 20th century to current police vernacular. I also found his Danish and Jamaican accents amusing. Ever since an unfortunate experience with the Stephanie Plum audio, I'm particularly impressed when actors are able to voice characters of the opposite sex without making it sound fake. Holbrook Smith is able to give Leslie a decent voicing, but it really shines when (view spoiler) I did feel like quite a few bit characters ended up with a Jamaican-sounding accent, which may or may not reflect London demographics.

Interestingly, I noted that I didn't find the audio version quite as funny as I found the paper version. As an American, I wonder if this is an example of the 'dry' British humor, that the pause or infliction I expect is missing. I certainly found phrases snicker-out-loud funny when my inside voice read it. That said, his reading of the following dialogue made me laugh out loud:

“You don’t think she and Nightingale…?” asked Lesley.
“Ew,” said Beverley. “That’s just wrong.”
“I thought you and her were friends?” I asked.
“Yeah, but she’s like a creature of the night,” said Beverley. “And he’s old.”

I will note that there were two moments in later chapters when it sounded as if the recording was taken up weeks or months later. It was still the same reader, but something about the tone of the recording and the closeness of the voice changed. I did love the jazz introduction between chapters.

Overall, a great audio. I'll definitely continue revisiting the series through audio.
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Quotes carol. Liked

Ben Aaronovitch
“ I gave the prescribed Metropolitan Police "first greeting".
"Oi!" I said "What do you think you're doing?”
Ben Aaronovitch, Midnight Riot


Reading Progress

Finished Reading (Hardcover Edition)
May 4, 2016 – Started Reading
May 4, 2016 – Shelved
May 9, 2016 –
page 171
"A lol moment with the reader: 'you don't think she and Nightingale...?' asked Lesley. 'Ew,' said Beverley. 'That's just wrong.' "I thought you and her were friends?' I asked. 'Yeah, but she's like a creature of the night,' said Beverley. 'And he's old.'\n --- 'old' being worse than being a 'creature of the night,' apparently :)"
May 10, 2016 –
page 323
"2.5 chapters left and Overdrive reclaims the audio book. Talk about untimely interruptions."
May 10, 2016 – Shelved as: multi-culti
May 10, 2016 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
May 10, 2016 – Shelved as: supernatural-mystery
May 10, 2016 – Finished Reading
July 3, 2017 – Shelved (Hardcover Edition)

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

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Naomi Question answered!


Paul Sparks Hmm. I may have to try to get the audiobook from the library too!


carol. I really enjoy the reader, and as an American, I'm loving hearing the different accents.


Naomi I also enjoyed the reader.


message 5: by SP (new) - rated it 4 stars

SP Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, the reader, REALLY impressed me with this one. So much so that I suspect the audiobook might actually be substantially better than the paper version....


Naomi I probably agree with you. Except at the extremely violent parts where I wish I could have skimmed.


carol. That is a downside to audio... although I'm sure I'll give the fast forward a try. :)


carol. SP wrote: "Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, the reader, REALLY impressed me with this one. So much so that I suspect the audiobook might actually be substantially better than the paper version...."

Hard to say. I caught a couple of lines in the audio in passing that I remember were quite funny reading them--I think he emphasized it differently than I had in my head. But the accents for the church ghost, and for Mama Thames was amazing and really brought them to life.


Naomi When it's an American accent I can sometimes go up to 2.5x speed if I'm skimming. But not when it's British.


carol. Ohh, another good idea. Audio is a little less forgiving than my reading of some of the pacing/writing issues. I just listened to the vampire chapter and it felt particularly disjointed, like the publisher wanted a little more material.


Chris Barnett This series is hands down my favourite audio, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is fantastic.


carol. Agree, a great narrator. I'll be continuing on with audio 're-'reads'--since I've already read the paper :)


Naomi I'm on book two. Hurry and catch up so we can discuss!!!


carol. Checking out those punks at Overdrive now...


Naomi Like


message 16: by Fritz (new) - added it

Fritz Freiheit I'm not a huge fan of urban fantasy, but I found the Rivers of London to be one of my favorite series during the past five years or so. To pour more praise on Kobna Holbrook-Smith, I think he was one of the major reasons for my liking the series. I do like the spooky combination of the spirit world and police procedural that Ben Aaronovitch produces. Kudos for the worldbuilding.


carol. I can see why you enjoyed the audio read, Fritz! I too love the mix of police-procedural and supernatural.


message 18: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Sparks Just started listening and have to agree that the narrator is fantastic. And I think I'm enjoying listening to the audio more than when I read the book the first time around. Thanks for inspiring me to listen!


carol. Paul--glad I did, and my word of advice would be to keep going. He actually gets better each book, if you can believe it. I was ready to sit down and become a houseplant by book three just so I could listen to the whole story. I think I talk in a British accent now.


message 20: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Sparks Ha! I sat in the driveway for longer than I needed to because I wanted to keep on listening. I do plan on continuing but haven't decided if I want to read the print books first before I do. Having already read the first book has made it more enjoyable to listen to, as well as easier to follow along.


carol. That is true--I mentioned that for me in my review of Whispers, it definitely helped with a few words. I had read the books long ago, so I had the gist of the plot. I had started listening, then I read up to where I had listened, and went sort of back and forth. Then I just finished the book and then listened. Moon over Soho I had just used the book as a reference.


James Just spent one of my four Audible credits on this. Your reviews sold me already, but the Holbrook-Smith audio sample there roped me in quick. Love his voice already. My news feed has been abuzz w/ Aaronovitch, and I'm itching to see soon why that is.


carol. Look forward to your thoughts, James. I'm not an audio 'reader,' but my experience with Kobna's reading has me willing to venture out of my patch ( a little British joke there). Btw, the latest book is delish.


Orient Great review, Carol :))))


carol. Thanks, Orient. We loves our Peter :)


Monica Interestingly, I noted that I didn't find the audio version quite as funny as I found the paper version.

Almost done...probably by Thursday. To be honest, I've found the audio amusing. That's from someone who has not read the text, I do find that I'm spending time trying to understand context. Those are the times that I wish I had the accompanying text. Having never been to London, listening to the travelogue (which I think is fabulous) but really have no map or names and locations; there is a little bit of geographic displacement. I do think Kobna is great with the various characters.


Monica A part that made me laugh were his references to Harry Potter, specifically when Peter talks to Nightengale about being a wizard and Peter says "A wizard like Harry Potter?" and Nightengale says basically "No Harry Potter is a fictional character" Lol


carol. This audio was the weakest of the series. Kobna definitely comes to know and embody Peter. In later books, I don't even hear "Kobna the actor voicing Nightingale" or "Kobna the actor voicing Punch," I just hear the characters.

Agree with you on the travelogue. Basically, my technique is (look away, detail readers) to ignore place names, which sometimes bites me in the butt, as it is important here. Which is why it took me a couple of reads to figure things out spatially, and culturally.


Margaret Shall I be cruel and mention that I have seen Kobna perform on stage? He was Laertes in the 2015 Barbican Hamlet to Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet.


carol. O. M. G.
That must have been an amazing performance.


Margaret It was. The dueling scene that leads to the deaths of most of the cast, was brilliant.

Have you ever seen the tribute that was done fort he National Theatre's 50th anniversary. Kobna and Benedict did a scene from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead which is fantastic. I think it's on YouTube.


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