2022 Reading Challenge

2022 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 260 books.

Book Review: What Abigail Did That Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

I love love love this series – whether it’s being narrated by Peter or Abigail or a seemingly random German dude, it’s absolutely fabulous! Aaronovitch’s ability to shift point of view like he’s taking a hat on and off is astonishing to me. He writes each character’s voice in such a distinctive and clear manner – there must be 75 people living inside that man’s head, and each one is captivating and compelling and has tales to tell… This time ’round, we focus on Abigail – and she’s a delight. She’s spunky and sassy and not afraid of anything. And when you pair her with her talking foxes, the result is brilliant.

I really loved the story here. It started a little slow for me, taking me a minute to fall into Abigail’s cadences. Once I did, we were off to the races… There are missing kids – who aren’t always missing; brief glimpses of the Rivers; and Nightingale, although no Peter (he’s off on a mysterious unexplained mission, which tells me we’ll see a book about him this year too, hooray!). The mystery was, as always, a wonderful blend of magic, myth, surprise, and history. The storytelling and pacing were spot on (again, as always).

I enjoyed the footnotes in the first half/two-thirds of the book – Abigail’s argot is not my own, and it helped to get a simultaneous translation. Frankly, I wish Aaronovitch did this for Peter sometimes also, as I don’t always catch the references to hipster lingo or London trends/food. It seemed like these stopped though, and there were a few spots in the last bits where I really wish I’d had that sneak-peek behind the language.

I really hope this indicates a new parallel track for the series, with novels in both Abigail AND Peter’s voices, as both are unique and exquisitely presented. With the ending on this one, and Abigail’s new “job” (can’t say more, spoiler), it certainly seems that way – which is wonderful! I’d be tickled pink to see twice as many Rivers books!!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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