Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
My Rating: 5/5
My Favourite Quote: “I find it helpful to quote the wisdom of my father, who once told me, “Who knows why the fuck anything happens?”
I picked this book up at a second-hand bookstore, I had never heard of it but I was drawn in by the really interesting cover. I also saw the sub-heading “What would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the fuzz”, I wouldn’t personally use that as a description but it really does draw your attention. As it is this is a book about a London constable investigating a murder and during this investigation falling into the world of the supernatural.
I’ll be quite quick about my opinion, I really loved this book. It’s fun, it’s so very witty, and very magical. This book was one of the most fun reading experiences I’ve had in quite a while. It reminds me a bit of Neil Gaiman’s writing but that might just be that it’s British humour, either way it’s great!
I really enjoyed the portrayal of the main character Peter Grant. He is just so very likable. I just really enjoyed how he interacts with the ridiculous world he finds himself in. When he first encounters a ghost and realises that is what he is talking to, he doesn’t freak out, he pretty calmly continues to question him. While some people might find that reaction unbelievable, I sort of read it as, Peter is the sort of character that when confronted with absolute insanity, is to shrug and assume he’s crazy but continue on doing his police work—which I think is such a fun reaction. In addition to being a bit more interesting to read.
The whole setting of this book is awesome. It is a honestly really compelling crime book but with such interesting additions of magic mixed in. The descriptions of magic in this book are so wonderful, they seem to really fit into the world. There are some historical touches thrown in and I really loved the way that magic was situated in British history and its connection with science in this alternate history of the world. In my opinion this makes for a compelling and interesting magical lore.
This book is rather fast paced and compelling throughout. In addition, this book is actually very creepy in some areas, I admit at one point I got up to turn on some lights, lest an evil ghost be lurking in my room.
This book is an example of why I love magical stories, it adds magical elements into the real world so well!
As an added note, a wonderful commenter on my bookstagram informed me that this is the first in a series and I am so excited to get my hands the next in the series!
I think I would honestly recommend this book to anyone. If you love books about magic or are a fan of spooky books I think you’d love this book!
If you have read this book I’d love to hear your thoughts about it!