PrintE-mail Written by Tony Jones

Review: Broken Homes / Author: Ben Aaronovitch / Publisher: Gollancz / Release Date: Out Now

With Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch gives us the fourth Rivers of London book featuring PC Peter Grant, a policeman specialising in magic and the supernatural. At some point in any large series (we predict a total of 7 books) the author is generally very familiar with their creation and sometimes the level of innovation drops before picking up for the end of the series (we're looking at you, Harry Potter). Would this be the title that was merely good rather than great?

At an early stage of the book we are treated to a fair on the South Bank of the Thames. This gives Ben Aaronovitch a chance to drop in many of the characters and themes from the first three books including the River gods, his family, jazz and the many (and varied) characters that inhabit this London so close to our own. At this stage the story is like a favourite jacket – we are comfortable with it, like wearing it but have become used the where the pockets are and what shirt to wear with it.

The story then emerges from an apparently haphazard landscape of deaths and murders as we are introduced to the world of early 20th century architecture and a tower block near the Elephant and Castle. As Peter and Lesley investigate they also continue to learn about magic at the Folly under the supervision of Nightingale and throughout the book Peter’s magical skills continue to improve, albeit slowly.

Of course the real enemy is the Faceless Man and we are treated to a confrontation between him and Peter and a plot twist that will surprise most readers and lifts this book up a notch in my estimation and makes me keen for the next instalment.

Being slightly picky, at times the text seemed to need a bit more editing (and the author has asked people to provide edits via twitter) and almost turns into a text book with the volume of material it imparts with regards architectural best practice. The bottom line is that if you’ve read the first three books you have probably already bought this; if the urban fantasy world of Peter Grant is new to you then go out, get the first book (Rivers of London) and dive in.

Suggested Articles:
Gwendolyn Bloom is a teenage schoolgirl who, ever since her mother was murdered, has spent her life
From the author of the Revelation Space series comes a tale of interstellar war from the perspective
This Young Monster explores the world of some of modern culture's most beloved monsters, taking a lo
In case you hadn’t realised, it’s 70 years since the death of HG Wells, which means (in the UK a
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code

Other articles in Book Reviews

THE SONG RISING 21 February 2017

PSEUDOTOOTH 21 February 2017

THE CRUELTY 20 February 2017

SLOW BULLETS 18 February 2017

THE NINTH RAIN 14 February 2017

THIS YOUNG MONSTER 14 February 2017

THE TIME MACHINE 13 February 2017

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 12 February 2017

HEARTLESS 10 February 2017

WINTER OF THE GODS 09 February 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!