Friday 19 April 2013

Lady Scoundrels' review Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovich

Lady Scoundrels are back, and on Friday :) Today we review:

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich

If you have to sum this novel up in no more than three words what would you say?
Ram: And don’t you dare to use “Harry” and “Potter.” (<- My contribution) i.e. Not Harry Potter.
Blod: Lol, I would never think it. This was nothing like that weird little kid
Ana: It was exactly like that weird little kid but slightly older and in a uniform ;p.
Blod: Behave ;)
Ana: Let me rephrase it: Little Adult Wizard. Satisfied?

Do you think it is a good idea to mix magic and contemporary technology/science?
Ram: Of course it is. I want to see authors trying to work out where the limits go. What was magic to people from a few centuries ago is technology for us, what’s magic to us...
Blod: Yes I do.
Ana: Magic is indeed like a more advanced technology. Just smarter ;p.

There are some Latin quotes in this novel and magicians’ spells are also spoken in that language. Did it disturb you? Why, in your opinion, literary magicians love Latin so much?
Blod: Nope, why would it?  But yes why use Latin. I mean come one, was there no magic before that?
Ana: It seems like Latin was magical per se whereas it is just another dead language. Why not Greek or Hebrew? It bothers me a bit and it makes me laugh sometimes too.
Ram: It didn’t bother me, but I sort of wish they didn’t use it either. I generally dislike all spells that are not spoken in the language that the characters use. I dislike all spells spoken out loud.

Rivers of London (the UK) vs Midnight Riot (the US)- why do you think  the US editor felt the need to change the original title?
Blod: Oh this bothered me, the US title is just so much more US. And the cover does not fit the feel at all.
Ana: Midnight Riot left me with one big ‘WTF’ in my head. It is rather condescending to think that the American readers can’t deal with the original title i.e. understand it properly.
Ram: I just think that when Americans start changing things they never change them for the better. 
Ana: Different not always means better, unfortunately.
Blod: Just think about when they tried to make a British show American, does not work

Who is your favourite character? What do you think of the dynamics between Peter, Lesley and Beverly?
Ram: I didn’t like the triangle set-up but I liked the characters individually. 
Blod: Yes what was up with the triangle that wasn’t a triangle. That felt a bit male. But anyway, I liked them all, but if I have to choose...Nightingale, I wanna know more
Ram: I fear the triangle will be picked up later again in the series, but I haven’t had time to find out. I’ve only read the first chapter of book two. Nightingale, I want to know more but not too much.
Ana: I skipped book two (bad Ana, I know, very very bad) and progressed to the third part but I don’t want to spoil anybody. I didn’t like Beverly, I tolerate Peter and I am fond of Lesley, especially after her little accident which made her...more interesting. The fact that the author didn’t jettison her after that appearance-changing accident is a huge advantage in my view.
Ram: I know...

Would you like to continue the series (there are two more books available and the third is being written)? Why/why not?
Blod: Oh ..must  I answer? Ok then, the answer is no. Sure it was good, just not good enough.
Ram: Yes I would and I am.
Ana: I understand ‘not good enough’ but I am curious and you know what curiosity makes me do...different strange things. So yes, I will read on. However I might skip the second part - I’ve already started the third :p

Which scenes unsettled you the most and why? 
Blod: Nothing unsettled me. Horrible really. But I have been watching the tv show Utopia, ‘nuff said.
Ram: Personally, I wasn’t disturbed but I noticed a couple of things I’d warn my friends about, things I’d put in my review for those who want to know to avoid. Like <spoiler>the baby incident and mutilated corpses.</spoiler>
Ana: I suppose the possession was the ugliest moment but no, it wasn’t ugly enough to make me uncomfortable. I’ve seen and read much worse. Babies...well, I am not a fan of them and the one in the book was just a prop, like that child from the Punch and Judy show. That’s why there are no specific warnings in my review.

Who would you recommend this book to and why?
Blod: I would recommend it, because it felt different, it was well written and there is just something about the Brits. To all UF fans who want more.
Ana: I would recommend it to Harry Dresden fans and people who like London because there’s plenty of London in this series.
Ram: To anyone who asks, really.
Ana: Look, she will be proposing soon ;p.

Note to discussioners: Don’t try to impose word limits. It won’t work.
Note to readers: Until we meet again.


  1. Hm... it doesn't sound like you all enjoyed it that much but yet recommend it. Interesting. :)

  2. It seems Blod, you are always the disagreeing voice in this. I am often wondering why they change covers and titles in the US are we that bad over here?

    1. Hihi, I know, I am so weird. Maybe I know it will be discussed and I get all critical. But then this whole thing is about pushing boundaries and this would not otherwise been a book I would have picked up.

      The US book looked so different and did not fit the story at all

  3. The cover doesn't really appeal to me but it sounds interesting.

    I'm American but I hate when we remake British television. It's NEVER an improvement. Thankfully we have BBCA to watch the originals.

    1. Yeah, I remember wen you tried to remake the humour show Little Britain, big big fail.

  4. I love your new format ladies! But still, not a book I want to read. Dislike the cover a lot.

    1. The cover is better than the US though, that one looks all action filled and does not fit the mood

    2. Thanks Aurian! The covers could have been better indeed!

  5. I agree with Blodeuedd that this first book was good but not exceptional. However this series is one of those which grows on a reader such that after the third book (did not skip book 2) I am now a fan of this series and looking forward to reading the next Peter Grant book! :)

    1. It gets Ana and Ram did read on, but then they liked it more

  6. thanks for the interview! I didn't know they could change a name between the US and the UK version.

    1. I have seen it happen before and it's damn confusing

  7. Haha, such an awesome discussion, gals! I admit i enjoy the series more than you, but I adore that peculiar quirkiness and British humour that Ben does. :)

  8. I'm with Blod on this one, I liked the book, but I'm not planing to continue with the series.



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