sage's Reviews > Rivers of London

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
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's review
Jul 02, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: crime, fiction, queer-interest, mystery, sff, did-i-have-comments

** spoiler alert ** So much fun!

Yayes: mixed race protagonist, whose mother and extended family is from Sierra Leone. Other POC major characters, with big extended family. Protagonist is a huge geek and Doctor Who fan. I got most of the pop culture references, but some of the local-to-London cultural stuff was beyond me. Really good sense of setting, fantastic observations about class differences.

Boos: I got impatient with some of Protagonist's distractedness (it is, at least, part of his character development, but there was soo much of it). And I got really annoyed at Lesley (Peter's cute blonde semi-gf, former partner) getting fridged. She survives, sure, but the book ends with her in the hospital with her face turned to pulp, awaiting reconstructive surgery, while Peter goes off to save the day -- with the assistance of other female characters. I'm partly tempted to read Lesley getting fridged AS META on the fridging of protagonist's would-be girlfriends, since god knows it happens enough AND since it's followed by a scene where Peter interviews a rapist hospitalized from having his dick bitten off by another character's vagina dentata. (The lack of sympathy is glorious.) I mean, there's some very smart gender commentary happening here, and I want it to be ragingly apparent to every reader that Lesley's been fridged as a commentary on the trope -- but I fear it isn't.

(I have no idea what the second book is about, but right now I'm hoping Lesley comes back, recovered and kicking ass, and there's no more of this victimizing a love interest so the hero can look good narrative bullshit.)

Anyway, this was very smart, very fun, just harrowing enough, and it totally held my attention. I'm going to go read the follow-up now.

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