Category: Fantasy

The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell

Posted March 27, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

The Severed Streets by Paul CornellTitle: The Severed Streets (Goodreads)
Author: Paul Cornell
Series: Shadow Police #2
Published: Tor, 2014
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Library Book

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Detective Inspector James Quill is a member of the Shadow Police, a squad dedicated to solving supernatural crimes. When an invisible murderer kills a high profile cabinet minister in an unusual way, the Shadow Police are called to solve it. Things take a turn when the lead detective from the squad goes missing. Things start to fall apart; can Quill solve this mystery and bring the team back together?

I was really enjoying the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch lately and I thought I would look for more urban fantasy novels that centred around a detective, when I remembered London Falling. I loved this book which was the first in the Shadow Police series; it was dark gritty and blended police procedural with urban fantasy really well. I read it a while ago and thought it was time to try book two, The Severed Streets. Unfortunately this book did not hold up and suffered the same fate as Happy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams (book two in the Bobby Dollar series).

While London Falling went for a dark and gritty, noir feel to it, The Severed Streets seemed to go in a different direction. It felt too gimmicky and I felt like Paul Cornell was offered a book deal based on this series but had already run out of ideas. First of all, the book is set in London, so it obviously had to reference the 1800s Whitechapel murders. Jack the Ripper has been done to death, especially in urban fantasy; I was immediately reminded of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. Also this book has Neil Gaiman as a character and I never enjoy it when they use living people as characters. It is a little hit and miss when a book includes a famous person who is deceased but when it comes to living people, it is normally always a miss.

I feel so angry about this book but mainly because I went in thinking it would be like London Falling. I would have been better off not reading this book and just letting the first novel remain a standalone. Take out Jack the Ripper and Neil Gaiman or replace these characters, and it might have been a decent book. However, for me, it was just a gimmick that did not work. I will not be continuing with the Shadow Police and I have to start my search for a new dark, gritty urban fantasy series to enjoy.

Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch

Posted March 6, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 2 Comments

Broken Homes by Ben AaronovitchTitle: Broken Homes (Goodreads)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Peter Grant #4
Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Published: Orion, 2013
Pages: 324
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Audiobook

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Peter Grant has gotten himself an arch-nemesis; a twisted magician known as the Faceless Man is reeking having on London’s underground. On the case of a suspected serial killer named Robert Weil, Peter Grant has discovered a deeper conspiracy involving his nemesis and weirdly enough a neo-brutalist housing estate. Will Peter finally stop the Faceless Man? Can he work out just how he feels about his partner Lesley Mai? Or can he make it through one case without destroying a major landmark?

As most people know, I am a fan of the Peter Grant series and Broken Homes (the fourth book) did not disappoint. Ben Aaronovitch has created a great world that mixes police work, urban fantasy and humour together perfectly. So much so, that as soon as I finished Whispers Under Ground, which is book three, I picked up Broken Homes.

The best thing about this series is the overarching story that unfolds. This does mean you have to read the books in order but it is something that I found was missing in many crime series and The Dresden Files. I enjoy watching the characters grow and discovering new details about this world. So much so that I was ready to pick up book five, which is called Foxglove Summer right away. I haven’t done that but I suspect it will happen soon.

In every book there is something that is revealed about the world or characters that really helps cement my love for the series and the world that has been created. This time there was more around Inspector Nightingale’s back story including the elite wizardry school he attended when he was young; which means plenty of Harry Potter jokes to be told.

I have talked a lot about this series, since I have reviewed every book but one thing I find hard about reviewing a series, especially a crime one, is how to avoid spoilers. There is so much to love about these books and I highly recommend them but I cannot say much about them. This does make it difficult to recommend them or convince people to read them but know that I enjoyed Whispers Under Ground so much that Foxglove Summer will probably be read very soon. Then I will have to wait til November for The Hanging Tree (book six) to be released.

Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

Posted February 25, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 4 Comments

Whispers Under Ground by Ben AaronovitchTitle: Whispers Under Ground (Goodreads)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Peter Grant #3
Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Published: Orion, 2012
Pages: 303
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Audiobook

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When a body is found stabbed to death at the far end of Baker Street tube station, it seems like an ordinary murder. The victim is an exchange student at Central St. Martins named James Gallagher and his father is an American senator. The Folly have been called in to assist with the investigation and it is quickly discovers that there is a supernatural component to this crime. This case leads Peter Grant into the secret underground that lies underneath the streets of London.

Peter Grant is back in the third book in the series, still a sorcerer’s apprentice to Inspector Nightingale. The Folly, which is the police department that specialises in the supernatural has grown to three, as Lesley May officially joins the team. Yet again this is a natural progression in the series, Peter doesn’t know many spells and still struggles with his form but he has grown as a police officer, a wizard and a person. What I enjoyed about Whispers Under Ground is the character Dr Abdul Haqq Walid is explored in greater detail. He is a world renowned gastroenterologist and cryptopathologist who works with the Folly and is investigating how magic effects the world. This allows Ben Aaronovitch to build his world a bit more and explores the effects of magic.

While this is an urban fantasy series, it follows the tropes found in a police procedural and Peter Grant never just relies on his magical abilities but rather sticks to his strengths, which he learned from his training. There is a lot of investigational work within the series and sometimes I worry that the police procedural elements will over power the urban fantasy or humour, however Aaronovitch gets the balance right.

If you have not read the series, I would highly recommend it mainly because of the character development, in particular Peter Grant and Nightingale. Peter Grant is a biracial character (his mother is from Sierra Leone and I am pretty sure his father is white) and his heritage and life play a big part in shaping him. This also allows Ben Aaronovitch to play a little with racism but I feel like he handles the whole subject well. Inspector Nightingale is a prim and proper Englishman and the last officially sanctioned English Wizard, having gone to a now defunct private school for wizardry allows for plenty of Harry Potter jokes.

This is a fun series that I am completely immersed in; when I finished Whispers Under Ground I didn’t want to leave the world. I started Broken Homes (which is book four) straight away, which is unusual for me but I needed to know what happened next. For fans of urban fantasy, police procedurals and British humour, I highly recommend the Peter Grant series, I do not think you will be disappointed.

Among Others by Jo Walton

Posted February 3, 2015 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 4 Comments

Among Others by Jo WaltonTitle: Among Others (Goodreads)
Author: Jo Walton
Published: Tor, 2011
Pages: 304
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Library Book

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After tragically losing her sister, Mori has to learn to deal with this great loss. She fled to her estranged father who then put her into a well-respected all-girls boarding school. Mori is left alone trying to deal with grief, a new school and her own teenage angst. Among Others is written in a series of diary entries exploring Mori’s coming of age.

While I found it extremely difficult to give a plot overview of this book, it might be easier to just say this is a book about book with a fantasy element to it. The tragic loss of a twin sister would be a difficult subject to write about and Jo Walton has combined some auto-biographical elements within the novel. Mori feels lost and she turns to books to bring her comfort and escapism, she is a fan of science fiction novels and slowly she begins to find the therapeutic value to reading.

Being set in 1979 allows the book to explore the older science fiction novels that I love without going into some of the modern stuff. What I loved about sci-fi novels of the 60s and 70s is there were strong psychological and sociological themes throughout the narratives. I found great joy when books like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Man in the High Castle and Slaughterhouse-Five were mentioned. There was something about reading a fantasy novel about reading science fiction that really tickled my fancy.

The fantasy elements were only a very small fragment of the book and I began to question if this really was a fantasy novel. I would call this book magical realism but the mention of fairies, elves, etc. probably does make it a fantasy novel. These fantastical elements played an interesting part in the book, and I began to question that this world actually existed. However for Mori, it existed and it was her way to hold onto her sister and deal with her death. She treated this world almost like a secret that was for her only and it allowed her to deal with her loss. When she held on to this world too tightly she feels whole again but she also can see how damaging it will become.

This was a fascinating look at grief and since it was a book about the joys of books and reading, I was hooked. It was a bit of a slow burn but I enjoyed the slow pacing and journey. About half way through, I felt myself losing a little interest but then Mori joined a book club and I was right back in. Among Others is a quiet and tender book about life, loss and most importantly books which makes it well worth reading.

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Posted October 30, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

The Anubis Gates by Tim PowersTitle: The Anubis Gates (Goodreads)
Author: Tim Powers
Published: Ace, 1983
Pages: 387
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Paperback

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When millionaire J. Cochran Darrow finds The Anubis Gates that will make time travel possible, he quickly assembles a team to go back to 1801. He hires Professor Brendan Doyle to give advice about the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Soon a band of misfits are assembled and they are off on an early 19th century London adventure and throughout time.

If you think the plot sounds a little weird, then you are not the only one. I spent a lot of time wondering about the logic behind the locations and people within The Anubis Gates. This was the steampunk pick for the Literary Exploration book club and true to the group’s purpose; this book really challenged my reading choices.  It was an interesting experience, I had no idea what to expect next and there was no way to predict anything.

The cast of characters was strange; I expected to like the book because Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Lord Byron were featured. Unfortunately they didn’t get enough development and that might be for the best but I was interested in finding out what Tim Powers would do with them. This book also featured an Egyptian wizard, werewolf, crazy clown and so much more.

What I found to be the biggest problem with this novel was the fact that Tim Powers took so many of his good ideas and tried to force it all into one novel. There was a lot going on and it was all over the place. There never was enough time to develop scenes or characters and it just felt like everything was condensed to make room for all his ideas. The concept was great, wacky and fun but the execution did not work for me.

Tim Powers is a well-respected fantasy author; his book On Stranger Tides (1987) was the inspiration behind the Monkey Island video games and also turned into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. The Anubis Gates is often considered one of the pioneer sin the steampunk genre (though I am not sure I would class it as steampunk) and also won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1983. Powers seems like an author that you either love or hate. However from my experience, 1980’s science fiction and fantasy are all a bit odd and unusual.

This is such an unusual novel, which makes it extremely difficult to explain and review. I wanted to enjoy this book but for the most part I found myself skimming the pages. There are great concepts and ideas going on in this but the author didn’t want to explore them instead attempting for a fast moving adventure. For me that just made things difficult. I am fascinated by people who love this book, I’d love to know the reasoning. If you love science fiction or fantasy novels, this might work for you; unfortunately it didn’t for me.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Posted August 28, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

Wicked by Gregory MaguireTitle: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Goodreads)
Author: Gregory Maguire
Series: The Wicked Years #1
Artist: Douglas Smith
Published: Harper Collins, 1995
Pages: 538
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Paperback

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We all know the story of The Wizard of Oz; if we haven’t read the 1900’s classic written by L. Frank Baum we probably saw the 1930’s film starring Judy Garland. What if was to tell you that the Wizard is not as sympathetic as he wants you to believe? In fact, the Wizard could be considered a classic example of a nutcase dictator. It is all about perspective; some may see the Wizard as great and powerful but in the eyes of Elphaba he is just an old fool.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire tells the untold story from the perspective of Elphaba (known to some as the Wicked Witch of the West) and is the basis of the award winning Musical. It is important to first state that unlike L. Frank Baum’s series of books, this is not directed at children. This is social and political commentary, full of sex and violence; it just so happens to use the world of Oz as its basis. As a nod to the world created, the Wicked Witch of the West was named using the initials of L. Frank Baum; Elphaba (L-F-B).

This novel works like an origin story for Elphaba, which gives the world a whole different perspective. In The Wizard of Oz everyone uses names like The Wicked Witch of the West and gossip about how evil she is but we never really hear the other side of the story. As a reader we tend to take what is written at face value; if someone is said to be evil we accept this fact without any consideration. Wicked also plays on the female archetype that seems to associate intelligent and age with witch-like characteristics.

What I enjoy about Wicked is the way the reader gets to explore these concepts of good and evil. I am reminded of Frankenstein with the approach to this topic. Elphaba is different, born with green skin and sharp teeth; a monster that society tries hard to reject. From her parents, to the world around her, we get to explore the harsh nature of society towards something outside the norm. Elphaba herself believes she is soulless and evil but I seem to view this as a projection of the ideas imposed on her by society.

We follow the life of Elphaba through this novel and this allows Gregory Maguire to give a critique of our society from the perspective of someone that is considered evil. Are people born evil, do they choose to be evil or are they pushed into evil by society? These are just some of the questions we have to ask ourselves when reading Wicked; the whole fate verse free will play heavily within the novel. There is also a critique on guilty verse blame, family life, religion and gender role that come across within Wicked as well.

My wife has been telling me I need to read this novel for a while now and for some reason I kept putting it off. Not because I don’t trust my wife’s opinion; she said it had a Frankenstein vibe to it but I kept getting distracted by other books. I finally picked this book up because I didn’t want to see the Broadway musical before reading the book. I am glad I was pushed into reading Wicked; it is definitely my type of novel. I wonder what the next book in the series is like.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Posted April 29, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book of the Month, Fantasy / 4 Comments

The Magicians by Lev GrossmanTitle: The Magicians (Goodreads)
Author: Lev Grossman
Series: The Magicians #1
Published: Thorndike Press, 2009
Pages: 691
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Library Book

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Quentin Coldwater is about to graduate high school; his future is catching up with him.  Suddenly an offer to a very exclusive private college has become a real possibility, but this is no ordinary university, this is a school of magic. Not only will Quentin have the normal college experience of sex, love, booze and friendship, he will also discover his magical abilities. Not just a coming-of-age novel, Quentin will also discover that the world of Fillory from a children’s fantasy series he obsesses over is very real.

Lev Grossman’s The Magicians on the surface reads like a cliché fantasy novel but there is something deeper here. If you think of The Magicians as a homage to series like Harry Potter, The Golden Compass and Narnia, you can focus on the coming-of-age element of the novel. I found similarities to The Neverending Story but if I looked deeper I would say this is more of a magical version of The Catcher in the Rye. Quentin Coldwater follows the Holden Caulfield archetype, full of angst, self-loathing and all the normal teenage boy awkwardness, almost to the point where he could be considered an antihero.

Quentin not only has to work through his new found magical abilities, this only takes a side plot to what is really happening in The Magicians. The novel depicts and often amplifies the prototypical teenage boy experience, the depression, angst and emotional carelessness. The idea of magic being a gift turns out to be more a curse for Quentin. Unlike Harry Potter this novel looks at the magic being a curse, choosing Brakebills to get an education was possibly a downfall in his adolescent life, or at least that would be how Quentin will view it.

This is not an escapist novel; in many cases The Magicians is anti-fantasy. Viewing magic as a curse was an interesting way to view life and the fantasy genre. While it does this in a very interesting way, the homage to children’s fantasy novels was a bit over the top, while trying to avoid being a cliché; it ended up falling face first into the formulaic. I would have liked to explore the ideas of education and growing up with a gift/curse more than the actual fantasy elements but that might have risked alienating the target audience.

The Magicians is not without its flaws; in fact this novel could have been so much better if it took a more focused approach. The coming of age elements were interesting, the homage and Fillory parts of the novel were annoying and I think it would have worked out better without them. If the next books in the series continue to explore magic as a curse, I will gladly read it but I’m not interested in the Fillory story arch.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Posted March 23, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow WilsonTitle: Alif the Unseen (Goodreads)
Author: G. Willow Wilson
Narrator: Sanjiv Jhaveri
Published: Allen & Unwin, 2012
Pages: 433
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Paperback

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Alif is the online persona of a grey hat working in the United Arab Emirates, taken from the first letter in the Arabic alphabet. Alif is a 23 year old Arab/Indian, working in internet security who fell in love with an Arab aristocratic woman he met online. Their relationship is doomed from the start; her family would never accept someone outside her social class, let alone an Indian. Her father has already arranged a more suitable suitor for her; a mysterious and powerful man who is known online as ‘the Hand’, the states leading internet censor. In an attempt to get the girl, Alif has made a powerful enemy, one that forces him to go underground into the world of Jinn’s (genies), ghouls, demons and all the others that remain unseen.

Debut author G. Willow Wilson set out to write a book that can bring her three loves together. A love of comic books and all things geeky, as well as her love of literary fiction and that of her Muslim heritage. The result is Alif the Unseen, a rich blend of cyberpunk and urban fantasy that explores the Arabic culture as well as looks as many social-political issues. Personally I think Wilson set out to expose the bias that the online community has no social consciousness, and educate the world on Muslim culture as well as explore the societal impact of hackivism.

I picked up this novel because G. Willow Wilson is the writer behind the new Ms. Marvel; the fourth character to take on this superhero and is the first Muslim character to have their own Marvel series. After reading the first issue, I wanted to check out Alif the Unseen. I knew it was a cyberpunk/urban fantasy blend but now I expected a strong Arabic or Muslim presence. I didn’t except a literary approach to this genre, but I was pleasantly surprised, Wilson has a lot to say on the Middle East social-politically speaking but also she educates the reader on a culture that is possibly unfamiliar to them.

G. Willow Wilson also takes on Middle Eastern folklore and myths and blends these fables with a religious element. Take jinn for example, we know them as genies but Islamic belief divides sentient beings into three categories. These are Malayka (angels), Nas or Banu Adam (human) and Jinn (the hidden ones). Angels are genderless and have no free will, but humans and Jinn’s are gendered and have free will, this is why Islamics believe Satan was a Jinn and not an angel, as it is impossible for an angel to disobey the will of God. Also playing a role in the story is the hamsa (or the hand of Fatima) which is like a good luck charm in Islamic culture. In the Judeo-Christian world this is often called the hand of Mary or Miriam.

I also want to talk about hackivism. In this novel Alif lives in a heavily censored world; the government believes in having a tight control on what is on the internet. Alif is a grey hat; this is a hacker that doesn’t work for a cooperation of the government.  The term comes from the old western metaphor where the good guys wore white hats and the villains had black hats. A grey hat would be someone whose activities and practices fell in a grey area. For Alif, it was a matter of free speech (and possibly money). He provided security for enemies of the Arad stats, militant Islamists and even pornographers. Sites that the government wants to shut down often turned to Alif or another grey hat for internet security.

I can probably go on and talk more about the range of topics that are going on in Alif the Unseen, but I fear I don’t have the knowledge of Middle Eastern folklore or culture, Islam and hackivism. One of the things I enjoy most about reading is the ability to explore different cultures and learn about the world. Alif the Unseen took me into the rich world of the United Arab Emirates and looked at many social issues, in particular class and religion. I’m not much of a fantasy reader but I do seem to prefer urban fantasy, add in the cyberpunk and literary elements and I’m happy. Alif the Unseen will entertain and educate all its readers; most people will just read it for the entertainment but I hope they take a little understanding with them.

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris

Posted March 22, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 2 Comments

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. HarrisTitle: The Gospel of Loki (Goodreads)
Author: Joanne Harris
Narrator: Allan Corduner
Published: Hachette, 2014
Pages: 302
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

If you’ve been on the internet (especially Tumblr) in the last few years, chances are that you would know who Loki is. Popularised by Marvel Comics and the recent Thor movies Loki is originally found in Norse mythology. Joanne Harris, best known for novels like Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange, tries her hand at fantasy under the name Joanne M. Harris. The Gospel of Loki follows the story of the trickster god, Loki, from his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos to become a Norse god.

“Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.”

Told from the perspective of Loki, The Gospel of Loki starts off in a playful tone as you can see by the above text. This tone continues throughout the novel, keeping a light and entertaining look at the ultimate trickster. Joanne Harris picked a challenging topic to tackle for her first attempt in Fantasy. Trying to get the balance between the Norse mythology and the popular conceptions as told by Marvel would be problematic. I don’t pretend to know much about the mythology and possibly less about the Marvel comics but I think Harris captured the character really well. We can debate whether Marvel follows the mythology or not but what I got in this novel was the mischievous, unreliable, jokester that I expect from Loki.

To play devil’s advocate, I must point to the title of this novel, The Gospel of Loki. The word gospel suggests that this is the unquestionable truth of Loki’s life, a first-hand account of what happened. Loki is an unreliable character and since he is often known as a lying, manipulative, demon-born anti-hero, the only source of truth (or as close as allowed) can only come in first person. My problem would be the modern tone of the whole novel; the mythology was formed hundreds of years ago, so I expected the language to be different. I expected the writing to feel dated, something Fantasy does really well but this novel felt like it was set in current times.

Overall this is an entertaining novel that explores the mythology of Loki in an interesting way. While each chapter seems to be a little story that interconnects with the overall plot, it also gives glimpses into Loki’s character. You get an in-depth look into Loki, learning about his story and life lessons. With such detail into the primary character, it’s a little sad to see that all the other characters were so flat, especially his adoptive brother Thor. Then again, Loki is so narcissistic that going into details about everyone else would feel a fake.

I’m of two minds with this novel, on one hand I think Harris did a great job in giving me a brief (but unofficial) look into the life of Loki. Everything I’ve read of hers I’ve liked and for a fantasy novel, The Gospel of Loki worked really well. Then again, this was a fantasy novel and I often struggle with them, but I think this was far too modern which stopped the story from ringing true. I have to wonder what someone with a detailed knowledge of Loki, the Norse god or Marvel super villain thinks of this book.

Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Posted November 24, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

Moon over Soho by Ben AaronovitchTitle: Moon over Soho (Goodreads)
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Peter Grant #2
Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Published: Orion, 2011
Pages: 396
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Constable Peter Grant is back and this time he suspects sorcery in Soho. Jazz musicians in the area are dying; brains scans show they have been magically drained. When the girlfriend of one of the victim’s ends up in bed with Peter, complications are ensured. DCI Nightingale is still recovering so it is up to Peter Grant to handle this one alone.

One of the things I loved about the first book in this series, Rivers of London, was the fact that Peter Grant was a new police officer and new to wizardry. Moon over Soho is a natural progression from that; except that Peter Grant has improved in leaps and bounds. There are still mistakes being made but he is starting to come into his own element, it is like watching him grow as a character.

I’m not sure why the humour has been scaled back in this series but the urban fantasy style seems to be well established and I’m excited to read book three. The series is starting to give Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files a run for his money. While not as dark, the London setting and humour in all its nuance makes for a fantastic read. Ben Aaronovitch’s series may in some parts feel very similar to other urban fantasy novels; I’m impressed with the way he stands apart from the others.

I want to say it is the real English flavour that makes this series enjoyable; I love that style of crime and comedy. This could be because more urban fantasy novels are set in an American or fantastical setting. The uniqueness of the style makes this feel fresh, and then you get all those tropes from urban English novels thrown in as well, like slang.

When it comes to plot, the novel is pretty standard in relation to urban fantasy. I think the characters, the setting and humour is what makes this novel and series interesting. I was in a reading slump when I worked my way through this book. I tried it as a way to break the slump; I was able to read and enjoy the novel but never got out of my slump.

Unfortunately I’m still in a slump, but reading this novel was fun and entertaining. I’m almost tempted in reading book three just to work my way out of the slump. I will talk more about slumps later but reading books like this might do the trick in breaking my reading problems. Peter Grant is a fun character and the series is really enjoyable, I can’t wait to read more.