Magic and London mixed together - this was certainly different with some amazing ideas and most definitely one of the most original books I have read recently. I would certainly pick another of his novels again.
To obtain this book, mix together equal parts of the first M.I.B. movie and Dr. Who; while mixing, pour over a very small measure of Harry Potter syrup, just enough to cover the undesired sci-fi flavour with the more peppery magical one. Sprinkle over a generous pinch of your favourite Neil Gaiman spices. Pour it all into a London-shaped bowl and let cool. Here you go!
Goofy culinary metaphors (I can't really cook, bear with me) aside... it is a good novel, well written, well paced, HIGHLY entertaining. It is a giant mash-up of any fandom a YA audience may possibly like, which means you are BOUND to find something you like about the story. It has some flaws (read below), but they’re not such a big deal, and all considered I really feel like recommending the novel to anyone willing to spend a couple hours of action and entertainment when BBC’s “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” seasons are over.
The flaws: it could use a little improvement in characterization, and the background investigation that should serve as a central plot isn’t that compelling – which is maybe a BIG flaw, considering that this is supposed to be a urban-fantasy mystery novel. What I mean is, readers won’t probably go on reading because they grow engrossed in the investigation work and want to know who the murderer is/how the detective will nick him, but more out of the sheer pleasure of reading something funny and witty and with just the right amount of real world references and nerdy puns to make them feel like they’re actually “part of it”.
Another thing I didn’t like about the investigation, but this is totally personal, is the whole “Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr Punch” breaking the fourth wall of the stage and slithering into real life. The point is, Neil Gaiman already did it in a homonymous graphic novel. Of course, Aaronovitch has no interest in using the tale of Mr Punch as a metaphor of childhood and the traumas and darknesses and nightmares that we bring within us as we grow up (which plays such a central part in many of Gaiman’s works), but still I couldn’t help but thinking: “Allright, well, but you see, NEIL has already done this, and since that’s Neil Gaiman we’re talking about, he did it ten times better than anyone else could ever dream of…so please quit it, will you?” – which spoiled the reading experience a little bit.
A really interesting idea, well executed and well presented. Covent Garden will never be the same again!
Finished this one in a single weekend trip to London. We were staying in Covent Garden and had the opportunity to visit some of the creepy crime scenes. This really brought the book to life. Weekend was topped off when we stumbled across a Punch and Judy show in Russel Square Gardens. I freaked a bit.
The book is a page turner with a good plot. It reminded me of Jim Butcher; not just because of the wizarding crime theme. But also because of the way the author writes his female characters. Very 'Man from Uncle', I like it but I know my wife will grumble about it. I was a bit worried about the two plots running side by side but it did work. I did think the main plot was strong enough to stand up on its own though. Someone told me that the author has written for Dr Who and you can really imagine this story making a great episode.
In summary it was very enjoyable. I can't wait for Moon over Soho!...Continua
Amazing and witty, full of interesting and lively characters.
Gives a whole different flavour to some London places. I could not look at them with the same eyes anymore.
The Rivers are extremely funny.