Can you believe Week 2 is already over? For this week I have read ‘Rivers of London’ by Ben Aaronovitch, which is the first book in his PC Grant series. Here are my thoughts.
Rivers of London is the story of Peter Grant. Peter has big dreams for his future at the Metropolitan Police. His superior although has other plans for him and is about to assign him to the Case Progression Unit. But this changes when a dead body is found in Covent Garden and Peter gets to talk to an eyewitness. Who is a ghost?
“I think becoming a wizard is about discovering what’s real and what isn’t.”
This was the second time I read this book. I had read it in german before, but thought it was okayish. Back then I thought maybe if I read it in english I would like it better. Well .. I did understand the story better, that’s for sure. But what didn’t change is my reason why I only found it okayish in the first place: PC Peter Grant.
Anyway, let’s talk about why I liked it first, shall we? If you’re following my blog for a while you may have noticed that I really like London. If not .. I love London! If you’ve been to London before you probably have visited most of the major locations. When I was reading this book (for the first and second time) I could see everything perfectly in front of my eyes.
Another thing I really liked was the magic and everything magic-related. Reading Nightingale was real joy. The Folly (the HQ of everything magical in London if you want) is by itself already magical. It is huge, has several different libraries, a breakfast room, a dinner room, and so many rooms. But about the magic. What I liked about the magical system in Rivers of London was the connection to science. Peter doesn’t just accept the magic as it is, he questions it. He runs several experiments throughout the book and is able to give a reasonable explanation how certain things work. But sometimes even Nightingale is clueless.
Okay, enough about that, and let’s talk about what I disliked. What really put me off was the way woman were portrayed in this book. One of the first woman we meet in this book is Lesley. She is a PC, just like Peter and – let’s be honest – the better Police Officer. Yet she gets put into the CPU while Peter gets into a secret and very exclusive MET department. HE gets to do all the cool stuff, while SHE is doing the boring paperwork.
But that’s not all. It seemed to me that most woman are either there to arouse Peter or to be ridiculed. Just an example: “The voice belonged to a plump round-faced woman of the sort that develops a good personality because the alternative is suicide.”
To sum it up .. I don’t know what to think about this book. It really has the potential to be good. And I would have loved the book if it wasn’t for the portrayal of women.
Week 1 – Northern Lights Week 2 – Rivers of London
Week 3 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Week 4 – Monster Hunter Alpha