Patrick's Reviews > Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
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Apr 14, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-would-blurb


Great book. Urban fantasy. You should read it.

Why? Here's why....

1. It's witty.

2. It's not cliché.

3. It's smart.

4. It's set in London, and written by someone who obviously knows London.

5. The main character has a great voice.

5. The language is great. (See below.)

6. It hasn't been dumbed down for the American audience.

Well… okay. They did change the title in the US from "Rivers of London" to "Midnight Riot." That was a shame.

But they left a lot of good stuff in. I don't think I've ever read anything else published in the US that has as much legitimate British slang in it. It was lovely.

7. The author is obviously a proper geek. It's rare that someone references Tolkien, Newton, and The Last Airbender all in one book.

If you don't know anything at all about London, Brittish slang, or culture other than the last three decades of American history, this book might stretch you a little bit. You might occationally have to absorb some information, learn a new word or two, and figure things out from context clues.

If you have a problem with that? Well, I guess you can go back to watching Entourage and re-reading Twilight. Or you could jump into a dry well and kill yourself. It's a horse apiece, really.

For the rest of you who realize that one of the main joys of reading (if not life itself) is learning and broadening your experience of the world… well… this book is for you. Congrats. You win.

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Reading Progress

April 14, 2013 – Shelved
April 14, 2013 – Shelved as: books-i-would-blurb
Started Reading
April 15, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-45 of 45) (45 new)

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda Tschappat Sounds like my kind of book. It astounds me when people proofread my WIP and they tell me they don't like books that make them look up words in the dictionary. Really??? That's half the fun. Why can't entertainment be educational, too? Thanks for the recommendation, Patrick!


Deep I agree about the London part; so many new "urban" fantasies have little of the city and more of vampires and werewolves and "shifters" and what-have-you. I loved how London is pretty much one of the characters here! The third book in the series is a bit of a let-down, but I found the first two thoroughly gripping.


Stephen Downie These are awesome books, glad you liked the first one too.


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

Kai Günster Definitely awesome Urban Fantasy. Aaronovitch just seems to know the relevant stuff about everything, from London's history to police procedures and paperwork. Book #2 and #3 are just as awesome. And I don't know if anyone is into audiobooks, but the reading by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is brilliant, he has exactly the voice and accent Peter Grant should have. @Pat: can't you get Ben on a Storyboard? The man's not only great at urbfan novels, he wrote two scripts for Doctor bloody Who. He must have something interesting to say.


message 5: by Jon (new)

Jon Awesome. If it's as good as your suggestion for "Ready Player One" then I'm in.


Frank I really love these books. And it is not to difficult to figure out the slang from the context clues.


Kathy These are simply fun books to read that have a main character with a great voice that even makes you laugh at times. What's not to like? I'm looking forward to the next book..not too far away thankfully.


message 8: by Allan (new)

Allan Fisher Great review. However, I don't think I could read Twilight the first time never mind re-read it lol...


shadesofmaybe not to forget about the Doctor Who references


Ophelia You should check Benedict Jacka's books (Alex Verus series) if you like Rivers of London :)


message 11: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne Between your review and the synopsis of this book and the next few in the series it looks like this series is a British version of The Dresden Files. Since I've lived in London and have in laws there, maybe I'll find it entertaining. Especially if it is a bit more clever than Butcher's and not quite so juvenile.


Jasmine added to my shelf, thanks for the "forceful" recommendation :D


message 13: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven I win :-)


Aaron Zuckerman Loved this book, and the series only gets better.


message 15: by Toshi (new) - added it

Toshi I wish there was a way to like your review simply for the second and third to last paragraphs. Well played Rothfuss. Well played.


Eivind I agree with you Patrick. It is a great series. I would recommend "A Madness of Angels" by Kate Griffin if you want to read something similar.


Nicole Hinton Excellent series. Picked up Rivers of London on a whim a couple weeks ago and couldn't put it down.


message 18: by Heather (new) - added it

Heather how can i not read this book after that review?


Raymond Goodwin Thanks for the review. Bought it. Read it. Loved it.


message 20: by Melisa (new) - added it

Melisa Thank you for the review!


message 21: by Milena (new) - added it

Milena You got me at the "Tolkien, Newton and Last Air Bender" part.


message 22: by Jonny (new)

Jonny but you seem to give every book 5 stars


Isaac Pat, you summed up my exact feelings about this book. I didn't even know you'd reviewed it until I went to give a similar review as your own(though mine wouldn't have been as well put).


LauraP Dear Mr. Patrick, we seem to have a very interesting virtual relationship: you review, I read. Simple as that. You were right on the spot every time. Keep going. I'll follow.


Mrssupervisorrat This book was recommended to me by my boss. But this review really makes me want to read it. :-)


Sandra Great review. Picking this up now.


book reader great book…!!enjoyed reading it.


Samantha Rivers of London sounds like a coffee table book. Midnight Riot has a certain ring to it. Liked the book...will be reading the rest in the series. The title tho, changing it was smart marketing. I have to admit, I don't know if I would have sank $$ into "Rivers of London".


message 29: by Mara (new)

Mara I was actually interested in this book and still might pick it up even after your quite insulting review. Twilight is a young adult novel and as all young adult novels are feed into the desires of young adults which have not seen much of the world yet or learned that life exists outside of their current crush and being grounded. I deeply resent the fact that you would consider books for Americans "dumbed down" just because it doesn't have British slang in it.


Bryan Waters Mara, I wasn't going to say anything. I really tried to just let this go, but alas, it appears I cannot. The Harry Potter books were also YA, but they didn't pander, demean, or trivialize their audience. Twilight, in my humble opinion, is poorly written, and full of obvious and harmful cliches about women. If you enjoyed it for what it is (a bit of popcorn for the brain) than more power to you. Your other point, I think misses what Pat was saying. Often book rights are sold to other countries they under go a translation for their new market. If the book were going to, say, Mexico. That would be pretty important. However since the UK speaks English, and We speak English, there shouldn't be much in the way of translation. However often this is still the case. Publishers think that we as readers would not understand or be put off by British slang. So, what Pat is saying is, this did not happen in this case.


message 31: by Kate (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate Well put, Bryan.


message 32: by Cory (new) - added it

Cory I don't see why you feel the need to put down American books. Books should be enjoyed regardless of what country they come from. It says something about you, when you turn a review into an opportunity to mock a group of people...


message 33: by David (new)

David Why you hating on Entourage?


message 34: by John (new) - added it

John I protest your reference to Entourage to prove your point. I like Entourage and I like to learn new things. I'm a human being. I can like both.


Amyiw It was a perfectly fun review until the part of jumping down a dry well to kill oneself, why couldn't you just use the book's, jump off a bridge into the river Thames, and allude to what happens next?


message 36: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna I have been looking on here for Rivers of London, I read this one and thought it was the first book but was getting a little confused! Thanks for clearing that up.


Elizabeth An awesome review. I agree completely.


♠️♥️Amy♦️♣️ Reasons I should read this book. 1. Patrick Rothfuss said I should.


message 39: by Helen (new) - added it

Helen Based upon your review I'm starting it this evening. Cheers muchly.


message 40: by Emma (new) - rated it 4 stars

Emma King I have never been to London or know the slang etc. Has taken me a while to get through the book as I've done a bit of googling.


Helmor12 So much fun to read !


message 42: by Bogdan (new) - added it

Bogdan This review just made my day!


message 43: by Tina (new) - added it

Tina If Rothfuss likes it, I will give it a try. The two books in the Kingkiller Chronicles are two of my favorite books ever. Not worried about when the last book will come out; I'm patient for perfection. : )


message 44: by Matt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matt I also appreciate booked littered with pop culture references. When Peter's Star Wars joke fell flat was the best. "'She was spontaneously created by the midichlorians,' I said. Both women gave me blank looks." As someone who is known to make obscure references, I definitely could relate (not that Star Wars is obscure).
It is nice that the book isn't Americanized. I had no issue with the slang, even ones I hadn't specifically heard prior made sense in context. What's the point in reading if it only exposes you to your own culture and point of view? The geography was lost a little on me, but the same could be said for books set in other cities.


message 45: by Deziree (new) - added it

Deziree You sir are amazing. I love your reviews because you dont sugar coat a thing and the sass is perfection. Thank you for review and the rec!


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