In the fifth of his bestselling series Ben Aaronovitch takes Peter Grant out of whatever comfort zone he might have found and takes him out of London - to a small village in Herefordshire where the local police are reluctant to admit that there might be a supernatural element to the disappearance of some local children. But while you can take the London copper out of London you can't take the London out of the copper.
Travelling west with Beverley Brook Peter soon finds himself caught up in a deep mystery and having to tackle local cops and local gods. And what's more all the shops are closed by 4pm...
Sales for Broken Homes in trade leapt by 50% over Whispers Under Ground, confirming that Ben Aaronovitch is an author with an unrivalled eye for a bestselling story.
©2014 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group
I love this series, and have read them
as soon as they've been released. Generally I prefer reading over audiobooks because I like hearing the characters voices in my head the way I imagine them, if that makes sense. But not with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Not only is his range incredible, his female characters are as compelling as his male ones, and his various accents are completely convincing - but the really wonderful thing is that he brings the characters to life better than my imagination does. I felt like I properly got to know some of the characters for the first time after listening to this recording. The Ben & Kobna combo, doesn't get better than that.
"I'm walking but I'm reading!"
After listening to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's fabulous narration on this book, I somehow was compelled to buy the first four audiobooks in the series and listen to them, even though I had bought, read and really enjoyed them in paperback. The audiobook versions are just so much better. I listened to Foxglove Summer twice. Highly recommended. Holdbrook-Smith is one of the best narrators I have come across.
Some series get repetitive and same same as the books go on, but not this one. A fresh story with new characters and a bit more background development on some of the ones we know. Looking forward to listening to the next one!
Excellent. Well written and great characters. All the books in this series have been really good. The narrator does a brilliant job on bringing everyone to life.
Love Books and listen while working out and on the way to and from work
This is as good as not better then book 2. Great story with great narration. Can't wait for the next book.
I feel this volume is setting us up for something good in the next book, but this story was less intreiging than the others, not set in london, with no Nightingale and no Leslie May. Im looking forward to the next book and a return to the previous high standards of what is a fabulous series.
As usual, and probably my favourite part of this audio series, the narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is pitch perfect. I don't want to give any of the story away but long awaited events happen and you can feel the dominoes being set up for something exciting in the next installment. The real question is... how long will we have to wait for it?
If you are new to the Peter Grant series, start at the beginning. You won't regret it.
I hang out for the Peter Grant Series. Excellent, gripping stories, supplemented by the narration from Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who's voice is so smooth it makes this heterosexual man sigh each time I hear him speak the first few words of any novel.
Kobna H-S does a great job with the narration, maintaining various accents consistently. I have read all the others and enjoyed them, but this is the first I have heard on Audio. Now I have to buy the first four on audio. He allowed me to visualise the characters in a way I had not managed when reading. It is not often I would say the audiobook was better than the real book, but I would this time.
The books are excellent, with a fascinating view on some real history/geography, especially around the rivers of London. I also like that the characters are so believable, even the fantasy ones. The 'hero' is very likeable, with a sense of humour I can relate to. He takes both jobs (wizard and policeman) seriously, but manages to gently poke fun at them too. The author must have some good advisors on police procedure because it all sounds very plausible. I have nothing negative to say.
"Another must read"
Masterly crafted and read.
A difficult to put down book, but short but another in the series to look forward to!
The best series that I can't get enough of. Kobna is a fantastic narrator. I need to listen to the next one!!
"Slow start but fabulous narrator."
Eagerly awaited this sequel. Bit disappointed by slow start to story but Holbook-Smith could make the telephone directory sound riveting. As far as the characters go, I missed Nightingale and Leslie but delighted to see (hear) more of Beverley Brook and pleased they finally hooked up. Felt the carnivorous unicorns not adequately explained nor was the Fairy Queen's purpose in taking Peter hostage. But love aaronovitch's style and syntax and hope we will hear more of Leslie et al in the next novel.
"Excellent Book in an Excellent Series"
Apart from a cracking story Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's reading is superb.
The tone of his voice is so good, his pace is just right.
I've enjoyed all the Rivers of London series, excellent story coupled with superb narration. My only criticism is that even at well over 10 hours it's too short, I went through this in such a short time.
"You can take a city wizard to the country but..."
An excellent addition to the Rivers of London series. Peter's been sent to the heartlands, and there are missing children to find.
I will keep this spoiler free for the previous books, in case you're reading in advance, but I will add that this isn't a series easily understood out of order. Of course if you have read the others and are venturing to audiobook for the first time I will add her that Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is an amazing narrator, who really brings every character to life. In this book there's a ninety-year old man that he just gets perfectly.
Peter Grant is without his London and we get to see how far he has come on from the clueless architecture-loving policeman who was thrown into the maelstrom that is the supernatural world. Character growth and change, especially in the protagonist, can be hard to get right in long novel-series but this book really gives Peter the room he needs.
The mix of police-procedural, well-researched fantasy, jazz(pop)-culture humour and notes-on-architecture-of-the-British-Isles still gels brilliantly five books later. In fact, I've learnt a lot over the last few years from cornicing to police computer systems and now I know more about the inner workings of the forestry commission than I ever thought I would. I love how naturally this information flows into what is, at its heart, a plot driven novel about a hunt to find the missing children before their time is up.
I adore these books: the sense of humour is spot on, I love the characters, and I feel invested in their crazy but yet realistic lives. Obviously some books in the series are going to be slightly more amazing than others and Broken Homes was a high-point for me. There were a lot of questions raised in Broken Homes that haven't been answered yet so Foxglove Summer didn't feel quite as important to the main story arc. It did clear up some questions from books 1-3 and add a few extra layers to the mystery.
Bring on book number six - this is my brain on magic.
This will not be the greatest of the series (for one thing it is Just. Too. Short!) but has it's own levels of satisfaction if you spend time looking deeper. The Folly's past comes up and Peter finaly finds out what did happen at Ettersburg from one of the few who survived coming back. Beverly gets him sorted emotionally (Poor tree) and he invents an electronic substitute for Nightingale's cadwalloper, before being given 2 Staff, British Army, Battle, Wisard (for the use of): vintage!
The referances to Prachet's book and LotR films add a smile.
Aside from Peter it has to be The Vintage, Veteran exWisard. And the carnivorous unicorns.
Is there a voice or accent he can't do? He paces the narative to the passage and if he wrongly voices a line it has yet to jump out at me.
Peter and the tree.
If Aaronovich is not at least 1/3 of the way into book 6... So many hints! A year?!
"You can take the boy out of London...."
Been waiting impatiently for this one since the end of Broken Homes. It takes a while for anything magical to happen but I so enjoy Peter Grant's company that I don't mind that too much. It doesn't really advance the faceless man thread but Peter does get to try out some new theories and Beverley Brook turns up to "help" him so it'll be interesting to see where that goes. I'm pretty sure that lots of seemingly random bits in this will add to the overarching story. I do want Peter back in London, however, somehow the countryside just isn't right for him.
Sadly, hardly any Nightingale but some intriguing texts from Leslie.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is excellent, as ever. He just "is" Peter Grant so it's hard to imagine him sounding any different.
As ever, read them in order; these are not standalone books. If you are the kind of person who reads books out of order and then complains about it not making sense then there's really nothing to be done for you.
Anyway, what happens next?
"Good, Bad and Ugly"
Reading this book is only time well spent if you have read the others in this brilliant series. Unfortunately the book doesn't really work as a stand alone experience as it's a little dull.
I love this author and the Peter Grant books are probably my favourite in the urban fantasy genre. I can't wait for the next instalment as although Foxglove Summer failed to entertain it did drop in a few gems for the overall chronicle.
A mediocre addition to a wonderful series. The literary equivalent to the album filler track. Certainly not to be read if you haven't read the River of London but worth a read for fans of the series. Hopefully this will be a spring board for exciting things to come and not the norm for the rest of the chronicle.
"Well narrated but slow story"
A beautifully narrated book as always but the story was lacking compared to previous installments
"Things are coming to a head."
The whole "faceless man" villain storyline is speeding at high pace to a conclusion. There's so much going on in this book, I felt slightly overwhelmed by the sudden acceleration in the ongoing story. As with the first book, I had to take a moment here or there to digest what was happening before continuing but I am invested in this series and I feel that it will all be worth it with the next book...or at least I hope so. As a loyal fan I feel I deserve a spectacular ending!
"My favourite of the series so far"
This has been my favorite of the series so far. The supernatural part being more subtle the mystery behind Leslie and of course the relationship progression with Beverley. I love the way the author really captures Beverley character as a Black London girl. He really gets that right.
I will wait in anticipation for the next book.
"Not the best in the series but still entertaining"
Unicorns aren't warm and fuzzy.
Yes, I love all his books.
Beverley is still the funniest and most interesting.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a brilliant narrator and really fleshes out the characters, holding your attention when i'd have perhaps go a bit bored if I was reading the text.
"Another Excellent Story"
I am a huge fan of this series. It is so imaginative and combines magic and mythical creatures into the London based stories without getting all leather and silver about it. This is the fifth book and is the first one to take our hero out of London, although not too far and with familiar faces referenced and involved at various points. Two young girls are missing and Peter sets off to decide if it is a Falcon case or not.
Most missing children stories have an obvious point point at which the story concludes but, without wishing to include any spoilers, Ben Aaronovitch doesn't go in for obvious. In fact I'm still reeling from the ending of the previous book, the implications of which are picked up during this one.
My only doubt is whether this would work as a stand-alone read/listen or whether you need to have started at the beginning. However, thinking back I feel there was enough background explanation to make it work - but not so much that it would feel to someone who had read them all like they were impatient for Peter to get on with it. And that speaks to the Author's skill at storytelling as well.
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