[Book Review] Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

rivers of london

Rivers of London follows Peter Grant, a police officer and apprentice wizard as he tracks down a ghost who compels people to kill.

Rivers of London has been on my ‘to be read’ for quite a long time, so I’d been anticipating reading it for a long time in the back of my head. Theoretically, it is a good book, but for me, it fell a little bit short.

The writing style of the novel is great. It’s not too complex, and is easy to read. I found the characters to be a little two dimensional. The plot of the novel just felt like it happened, and it left me feeling vaguely like I was waiting for something a little more complicated to happen.

Peter Grant was okay,  Nightingale was okay, Lesley was okay. The most interesting characters of the novel were Mama Thames and Father Thames, and I’m sure they probably get explored better in later novels, but I don’t really feel a burning desire to continue the series.

Overall, Rivers of London wasn’t for me. It certainly holds appeal for those of us wanting to explore the magical underground of London, and I commend Aaronovitch’s end goal, he’s clearly writing with a series in mind. Unfortunately, the series wasn’t for me.

I’m not one for bad reviews, and this book certainly wasn’t bad, it was good in it’s own way. It just wasn’t the book for me.

[Book Discussion] Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman details the lives of two sisters as they grow up, from living with their aunts to finding their own lives.

Personally, I enjoyed the novel, it was light and entertaining. It wasn’t entirely what I expected it to be from the description, but was enjoyable.

I liked how the novel played with the ideas of love, betrayal and magic. The novel was really ambiguous in its use of ‘magic’. I felt like I was constantly questioning whether their magic was real, or whether it was just truly bad luck that kept bringing all these misfortunes on these women.

The writing style of the novel was fairly simplistic for the most part, but there was certain parts that stood out. It was written like a storyteller, you were getting all the information from some omniscient narrator who always knew just a little more than the reader and the characters in the novel. Perhaps in a more metaphorical sense, this was the magic speaking.

Hoffman knows how to write about love, or perhaps, knows how to make use of the feelings of love, as this is perhaps the biggest theme of the novel. Love centred everything, love between sisters, love between family and finally love between partners. Hoffman described the frustrations of love between family, and the scorching love between partners. At first it was sightly off putting, but in the end, I did kind of enjoy the overdramatic descriptions of love, particularly between Gillian and Ben Frye.

Overall, I would recommend it to someone, but perhaps only for someone looking for something within a certain genre.

What did you think of Practical Magic? Let me know!