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17 November 2012 @ 01:12 pm
The Moon over Soho  
The Moon over Soho is the second in Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" series. I enjoyed the first book a lot though I complained about the rather extended denouement. The Moon over Soho is much more satisfactorily put together in that regard and considerably less gory since the magical enemy this time around is mysteriously giving people heart attacks rather than bludgeoning their heads in. I think it is probably the more accomplished novel of the two, though it lacks the verve and surprise of the first where Aaronovitch is having a lot of fun setting up his world. D. C. Peter Grant is a likeable, yet flawed character, though one is sometimes a little surprised that some random supernatural creature hasn't eaten him for breakfast by now. Mind you, a lot of the people in the novel are clearly equally surprised about this! Unlike the Rivers of London, the novel is also busy setting up a recurring villain for the series. I was impressed with the way this was done without too obviously compromising the book's ability to stand on its own.

This time Peter does get to add improbably wish-fulfillment sex to the improbable wish-fulfillment mansion and the improbable wish-fulfillment vintage jaguar. These seem to be staples of at least a subsection of the urban crime fantasy genre (or at least what little of it I've read) but I still find it odd in a set of books which are otherwise striving to be fairly down-to-earth about their world.

I'd say these look set fair to be a good solid series of genre books, assuming you like the detective novel meets the supernatural basic set up. It's got a number of strong supporting characters, some intriguing hints at back story, a nice mash-up of British myth and history with modern multi-cultural London, and (mansion and jag notwithstanding) enough of an implicit crisis in the magical establishment to make sure the stakes are always high and the protagonist's position is not too secure and cosy.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/81040.html.
 
 
 
a_cubeda_cubed on November 18th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
You might also like to try Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus novels: Fated, Cursed and Taken, so far. Also supernatural urban fantasy set in London. More grittily realistic and less wish-fulfillment going on.
louisedennislouisedennis on November 18th, 2012 11:41 am (UTC)
I shall put them on the ever-growing Amazon wish list.