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Book review: Rivers of London 
13th-Aug-2011 05:14 pm
LondonEyevatar
In the '80s Ben Aaronovitch wrote some Doctor Who episodes for Sylvester McCoy's Doctor; nowadays he's writing his own series of supernatural comedy-thriller novels, starting with Rivers of London in which Police Constable Peter Grant finds out he has some trace of magical power and is packed straight off to the Met's supernatural division, The Folly - thereby becoming its second member. The fact that he now has to embark on ten years' magical training was obviously excuse enough for the publisher to make this the umpteenth novel to get tagged as "Harry Potter for grown-ups," but at least Aaronovitch has seen them coming and thrown in a couple of snarky Hogwarts-related gags along the way. I liked how, once the magical world is revealed, everyone pretty quickly turns out to know about it, almost making an in-joke about the cliches of fantasy writing by bypassing the large amount of disbelief that usually takes up a big chunk of the first volume in any series. With grisly magical murders on the streets of London this is similar to Mike Carey's Felix Castor books, although not quite as dark in tone. It's not, yet, as good as the Castor series but now that Carey's series has reached an end I think this'll make a perfectly good substitute.
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