Book Review: Rivers of London/Capsule Outfit #21Posted: November 11, 2014
Since the quality of my posts has been going down in the last week, here’s something a bit more interesting: a book review.
So, “Rivers of London”, by Ben Aaronovitch. It is marketed in the US as “Midnight Riot”, probably because many readers, like myself, totally thought was a non-fiction book about, well, the rivers of London. It’s not (I would still read it if it was though.) It is actually a novel, the first of a series, that is best described as Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Potter meets Neverwhere, which of course is all the things I like. The book, sadly, doesn’t quite live up to that. Before we get to it, though, a quick summary: Peter Grant, a London police constable, is responding to a gruesome murder when he gains some valuable information from a witness that happens to be a ghost. This causes him to be assigned to Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who specializes in supernatural crimes, and thus begins Peter’s journey into the world of magic and the uncanny.
That sounds so promising, doesn’t it? For me, however, the biggest problem with the book is the world-building. I was never quite sure how this supernatural world works, how Nightingale’s special unit works, how the murderer works, how anything works. To be fair, it is not as bad as “I have no idea what’s going on”, but rather, I feel like the world could be much bigger and richer than what is presented in the book. Think of the first Harry Potter book: it doesn’t tell us every thing about this world but we definitely get the scope of it, whereas here all the supernatural elements just seem to be contained within this particular murder case, so it is a bit… limited.
Still, it does have good parts. Like I said, the concept sounds awesome; Peter is biracial (POC are always welcome); his personal subplots are standard (unrequited crush on a co-worker, a junkie dad) but relatable and never overpower the main plot; and there are some really cool incarnations of the gods and goddesses of London. So, overall, despite my problem with it, I might still check out the rest of the series (there are three more.)
As for the outfit, I don’t recall any particular outfit described in the book, but I figured – trench coat and Chelsea boots, what can be more London than that, right? I also added a red scarf to mimic the book cover.
Sweater: H&M, Jeans & Coat: Mango, Boots: Din Sko, Scarf: Icing