Nothing to see here, unless you are a proper copper…

Amongst Our Weapons (Rivers of London, #9)
by Ben Aaronovitch (Author), Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Narrator)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Proper police procedural, puns and pop culture references, stellar audiobook narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. 

The Sons of Weyland make another appearance. The mystery plot is decent, but left me pretty lukewarm. It developed in a great direction towards the end. The history excursion was very informative, entertaining and quite heartbreaking.

Great action scenes. I also love the architectural excursions.

Peter‘s homelife is the most entertaining part, with Beverly heavily pregnant and foxes running amok around his home and extended family. Love the foxes and the diggy thing. And I wish Peter‘s mum had a catering service. All we need then would be a teleporter. Bonus points for mentions of Star Trek.

I am looking forward to what Peter is going to set in motion regarding the procedures for weird bollocks, training, collaborations with other agencies and countries… Come to think of it, the team work and development of all the additional characters besides Nightingale and Peter is one of the nicest elements. Seawoll is really growing on me.

“I saw nothing suspicious—which is unusual. A copper can usually find something suspicious if they look hard enough.” 


I just had a look at all the novellas and short stories that I haven‘t read—which is most of them—and I picked up a copy of this:

What Abigail Did That Summer (Kindle Edition) — Abigail and foxes!

Tales from the Folly (Kindle Edition) — short story collection, including:
The Home Crowd Advantage
The Domestic
The Cockpit
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Granny
King of The Rats
A Rare Book of Cunning Device — I listened to this as an Audible freebie
A Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Favourite Uncle
Vanessa Sommer’s Other Christmas List
Three Rivers, Two Husbands and a Baby
Moments One-Three

Continuing the new year with…

Amongst Our Weapons (Rivers of London #9)
by Ben Aaronovitch

Expected publication: April 7th 2022 by Orion

I pre-ordered this as a kindle, but I will listen to the audio. Hm, what was I thinking? Anyway, plenty of time to cancel the print version. My love affair with Rivers of London started with an almost DNF and a break of several years. It just didn‘t work for me the first time around. The second time was a huge hit and part of the success was the audio narration of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who brought Peter Grant to life beautifully. I loved him so much that I picked up another audiobook because of him, not because of the author or the book (it was very good though).

So, book no. 9, Amongst Our Weapons, comes out on the 7th of April. I will read it, however—I think I could do without it. The previous book, False Value (Rivers of London, #8), was the first one in the series that ended up with three stars from me only. And I could have done without that as well, probably. Maybe it‘s time for this series to come to an end, while the going is good. But I am willing to be proven wrong.

August Wrap-up

Here is my August 2020:

Buddy reads:
– Limit, TBR challenge, carry-over, not terribly keen to continue. Put it back on my bookshelf for now. Sorry!
– The Traitor Baru Cormorant, Zombie, ebook, ★★★★☆, fantasy, betrayal, scheming, revenge, politics.
– Hell’s Aquarium, ebook, ★★★¼☆, Shark Week, Lost World at the bottom of the sea. Very bloody, pulp fiction at its best. The writing is not quite as great, but ok-ish.
– Sharkantula: Shark. Tarantula. Sharkantula., ebook, ★☆☆☆☆, Shark Week. Oh boy, not good. Don‘t bother. DNF at 48%.

Solo reads:
– A Stone Sat Still, ebook, ★★★★★, cute picture book for ages 3-5.
– The Furthest Station, audio, ★★★★☆, in-between novella with Peter and the crew. Goodness with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
– 50 Klassiker: Deutsche Schriftsteller von Grimmelshausen bis Grass, paper, library, ★★★☆☆, essays about 50 important male (eye-roll), German authors.
– Leberkäsjunkie, audio, library, ★½ ☆☆☆, cosy mystery, DNF around 40%, mildly funny, caricature of Bavarian smalltown life.

Comics, aka my guilty pleasure:
– Secret Invasion, ebook, ★★★★★, alien invasion in the Marvelverse. Colourful fun.
– BLAME! Vol. 3, ebook, ★★★☆☆, more fighting and silicone life.
– Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction, ebook, ★★☆☆☆, blocky and flat artwork, too much narration, unexciting plot. Not for me. 

Limit by Frank Schätzing Leberkäsjunkie (Franz Eberhofer, #7) by Rita Falk The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1) by Seth Dickinson Hell's Aquarium (Meg #4) by Steve Alten 50 Klassiker Deutsche Schriftsteller von Grimmelshausen bis Grass by Joachim Scholl Sharkantula (B-Movie Novels #1) by Essel Pratt The Furthest Station (Peter Grant, #5.5) by Ben Aaronovitch BLAME! Vol. 3 by Tsutomu Nihei Hellboy Volume 1 Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis 

Ghosts in the machine

The Furthest Station (Peter Grant, #5.5)
by Ben Aaronovitch (Goodreads Author),  Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Narrator) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Furthest Station (Peter Grant, #5.5)
by Ben Aaronovitch (Goodreads Author),  Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Narrator) 

Ghosts on the Metropolitan Line. I wasn‘t all that interested in this novella, I mainly got it to listen to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Kobna delivered, but so did Ben Aaronovitch and Peter Grant. 

There was humour, there was non-plussed Peter and creepy Molly, curious Abigail and suave Nigthingale. The story was good, if not terribly exciting or overly suspenseful. I had a few laughs and enjoyed the ride.

A meandering river…

False Value (Rivers of London, #8)False Value by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loved all the pop culture references, as usual. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams features heavily. There is also Terminator, Tolkien, James Bond and a few others.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does an excellent job again as a narrator, although in my opinion his American accents are crap. Sorry! 🙂

This book pointed me in the direction of apparently legendary movie set designer Kent Adam. Thanks for that, great stuff!
https://thespaces.com/5-of-legendary-…

Possibly my favourite character, although she didn‘t have much page-time: Foxglove. She made me laugh. And FYI, Peter pictures himself as Colin Salmon.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_S…

Could his mum please bring me tupperware with left-overs twice a week as well? That would be fab!

So, that leaves me with the story. I liked the alternating timeline in the beginning, it was a nice puzzle. There are some good scenes, I had a few laughs, the drones were a pretty nifty design. But in total the story was not very exciting. The bad guy was not really a bad guy, the climax was almost non-existent. Meh. The plot sort of meanders along, picking up a clue here or there. I think maybe Aaronovich got lost a little in irrelevant details and the pursuit of funny moments. Even in the second half of the book I had problems keeping the characters straight. I had to listen to the last hour twice, because I feel asleep during my first listening. Asleep! In the last hour! Yeah, so, this was not it.

PS: No, I don‘t miss the Faceless Man or Lesley. That story arch dragged on entirely too long anyway.

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#StayHome24in48 #StayHome #WirBleibenZuhause

Fox hunt

Rivers of London Volume 5: Cry FoxRivers of London Volume 5: Cry Fox by Ben Aaronovitch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Unexpectedly good. Good story, good artwork, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Well, the story was ok-ish, really. The plot idea was actually a little lame. The telling of it was good though. Very good characterizations. Nicely done evil guys, too. I enjoyed the short stories at the end.

And my favourite part of the (nice, but standard) artwork was Abigail.

I might read more of this graphic novel spin-off of the Peter Grant novels, if I found them cheaply.

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My 2018

2018 on Goodreads

2018 on Goodreads by Various

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I read a lot of short stories and novellas this year. I used to say anything under 300 pages is not worth reading, when I was still a booksnob. Apparently I changed my mind!

All Systems Red and all of it‘s sequels were part of that shorts & novellas adventure.

Other favourites were for example The Lady Astronaut of Mars and Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience, plus all of the short story and novella nominees for the 2018 Hugo Awards.

I also read a lot of online magazins, like Clarkesworld and Lightspeed Magazine. But also Tor.com provided a ton of material.

Comics also became a large part of my reading enjoyment, partly to blame on comiXology and their devilish sales. My favourite comic series, all caught up to the latest issue:
Saga, Vol. 1 and Lazarus, Vol. 1: Family

And we had the end of an era with the final Kate Daniels novel, Magic Triumphs! Luckily Ilona Andrews is working hard on writing other fun stuff, for example Iron and Magic.

I still listen to audiobooks, but I am pretty ambivalent to the experience. If I have the time, I rather read than listen. I keep missing too many nuances, when listening. And I can’t sit motionless and listen, it just makes me sleepy. Listening so far has always been a substitute, when I couldn‘t sit and read. Maybe I need to pick up long walks as a hobby…

One of my favourite audiobooks in 2018 was Blue Remembered Earth. Not because of Alastair Reynolds—I specifically picked this book, because it is narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. A god amongst audiobook narrators! Ok, the book was good as well…

I found Kobna through listening to the most fun series I read in 2018: Peter Grant and Rivers of London. Hail to London‘s most entertaining wizard! Harry Potter in a police procedural for grown-ups and a lot of fun. Plus I get to go back to my beloved London, where I lived for four years and that is still sorely missed.

I am starting the year 2019 with reading the first volume of the accompanying comic, Rivers of London – Body Work #1.

My most conflicting relationship with an author in 2018 was with Dan Simmons. Ilium netted five stars for it‘s sheer inventiveness, although I struggled with the minutiae of the writing. The sequel, Olympos, ended up as a DNF, because the crazy amount of details and neverending bla-bla-bla of not getting on with the plot superseded the inventiveness. Strike three was The Abominable. I had fun with the mountain climbing descriptions, but the story did not do much for me, was incorrectly labelled as horror and just dragged insufferably. Done, thanks!

My love of all things underwater brought me to the very good Starfish and Into the Drowning Deep, but also to the incredibly pulpy Meg. Embarassingly bad, politically incorrect, sexist, but fun. I even read the sequel… The movie wasn‘t much better, but had Jason Statham in it. Your argument is invalid.

And although I still (mostly) continued my Urban Fantasy hiatus, Vigil proved to be a highly entertaining break from said hiatus and was a fun tour of Brisbane.

Other favourites:
Summerland Nemesis Games The Book of Etta Dichronauts Unholy Land Burn Bright The Calculating Stars Shifting Dreams

I had an excellent reading year and I hope I will discover many more fun books in 2019!

+++
Some potentially boring statistics, aka my tally for 2018:

January – 2105 pgs
February – 1652 pgs
March – 2730 pgs
April – 1250 pgs
May – 3111 pgs
June – 2693 pgs
July – 2940 pgs
August – 2480 pgs
September – 2080 pgs
October – 1761 pgs
November – 1537 pgs
December – 2378 pgs

My page count is allover the place! The lowest month was April with 1250 pages, the highest May with 3111.

Daily average: 73 pages
Weekly average: 514 pages
Monthly average: 2.226 pages
Total page count: 26.717 pages


According to My Year in Books according to Goodreads I read over 32.000 pages. Not sure where that figure comes from, I am guessing some of it is from DNFs. That‘s only 9 books though, so… shrugs



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Peter Grant again…

Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work

Rivers of London Vol. 1: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“A perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter“

I read the complete series and one of the novellas/short stories and wanted to see, how and what the comic adds to it.

Ok, so I pictured Guleed shorter and lighter, more Middle Eastern looking. And Stephanopoulos thinner and less well dressed. And with dark hair? Peter I picture looking like John Boyega, because I find him pretty cute. Too young for me, but whatever… So, I am pleased that the comic isn‘t that far off on that front. I never had a pretty clear picture of Beverly. I pictured Molly older looking? Undecided about The Nightingale. Anyway, so much for looks.

The plot kinda jumps in after the first few books, doesn‘t it? It‘s fun meeting all those familiar characters in the flesh, so to speak… Good artwork, I like the colouring. The plot not Earth shattering, but solid… I am pleasantly surprised, I hadn’t expected it to be this good.

The additional one-pagers at the end of my edition that are pretty cute and a little funny.

Well worth reading it. I will be reading the next one at some point. I got Volume 5 for free, so I might read that next, as the various volumes seem to be standalone. The numbering of the issues and collected volumes here on goodreads is a little confusing.



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The end. A weird one.

Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London, #7)

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Halfway through the book I was still trying to find a cohesive plot. No red line in this one, more like the odd breadcrumb of something familiar… the breadcrumbs made up a story eventually and there were lots of entertaining bits and chuckles. I loved Foxglove. But the final battle was a bit WTF, the resolution was a teeny bit lame and the ending left me with a „Wait, what? That was it?“

So, was that really it? The end of the series? Hm.

Not sure how to rate this. 4 stars, because the overall series was great and lots of fun, I guess. Kobna-Smith did another great job of narrating this. Weird ending.




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