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2017 Reading Challenge

Jill Elizabeth has read 2 books toward her goal of 150 books.
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Book Review: The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch

“What, like officially?”
“Officially secret,” I said because discretion is supposed to be, if not our middle name, at least a nickname we occasionally answer to when we remember.

I just LOVE this series! There are so many excellent elements – clever dialogue and turns of phrase, unique characters, original plots… There are, admittedly, always a few points where I find myself suddenly, randomly, lost – not usually in the plot, although that does happen on occasion, but mostly in the language (thank god for the internet, because British slang is not the easiest thing to follow OR figure out) – but things always seem to come together relatively quickly, and even the meandering bits are always entertaining…

In this latest installment, Peter once again finds himself in over his head with ghosts, but through his own efforts (supplemented handily by Nightengale, Abigail, and a few key others) manages to pull himself over and through the problem and into a cleverly managed and utterly satisfying conclusion. This one is numbered 5.7 in the series; it felt rather like an in-between book. There was no mention of the ongoing issues with Punch or Lesley. And, more surprising given the series title (Rivers of London), there was hardly any River element. Beverly barely plays a role, Lady Tyburn is nary to be found, there is no Mama/Father Thames drama to be seen – and the introduction of it came very late (and rather tangentially) to the story. If it had been shorter, I would have assumed this to be a short story for an independent collection; it reads as part of, but not essential to, the series. I didn’t mind that, I was just surprised by it.

When you’re four, forever and ever can mean yesterday. But amongst my other policing skills I’ve acquired a proficiency in straw-clutching that verges on the savant.

Still, any day with Peter Grant is a good day in my book – he is the draw for me in this series. He’s Everyman but not really – the Everyman that every man would like to be: clever, fun, a willing participant in a world that forced him into its walls. He flies by the seat of his pants more than he’d like to admit, and is often lost – but through the good graces of his friends and his own not inconsiderable strengths – always found again eventually. He’s a great character, and Aaronovitch puts him into unique and challenging situations that stretch the boundaries of his world over and over again, yet he always manages to finagle his way in and out of trouble with aplomb and a nice curry. May we all be so lucky…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.

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