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Foxglove Summer

Rivers of London, Book 5
Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Series: Rivers of London Series, Book 5
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
5 out of 5 stars (424 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the fifth of his best-selling 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....

Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.

©2014 Ben Aaronovitch (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group

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Fabulous narration brings the book to life

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jan
  • 31-08-2015

Back to his best

This is as good as not better then book 2. Great story with great narration. Can't wait for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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Can Kobna Holdbrook-Smith please read all the books?

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.

1 person found this helpful

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Best narrator ever making these great books outstanding

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is the most outstanding narrator - literally a master of voicing hundreds of characters - and accents! And dialects!- beautifully. To me, he is truly the voice/s of London in this series, making these already great stories, absolutely superb listening.

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A narrator with talent

I must rank as the least likely happy reviewer. Give me an early Gerald Seymour, a Nelson de Mille, or Barry Eisler and I'll be happy. And here I am on my 6th Rivers book in a row and loving my otherwise awful commute! Fantasy stories, no less! I have my faves, but each takes us down a different path, each has enough to feel familiar, but without feeling formulaic yet. But for me the narration is what tips the balance. PC Grant has become a character with life, and the narrator's talent is a big chunk of why I'm enjoying these so much. It's not just an authentic voice, as much as it feels to me that he really has his head around the author's intent, and then breathes on it and it goes from 2D to 3D in an instant. My only caution is to recommend listening in order. I think important to the whole series is Grant's evolution. Do it, give Rivers a go! I sincerely believe that you won't be disappointed. This, by the way, is the only review I've bothered to write atcany length

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Beverly is brilliant

Love love loved this book. Great plot, which moved around at a cracking pace. kept me listening all the time. Straight onto the next. Thanks all.

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Foxglove summer

Best one so far in this series ! Ben Aaronovitch is an amazing story writer ,and Kobana Holdbrook-Smith is a fantastic story teller !

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Wish I could give 6 stars for the performance!

Another delight in this series. Special mention must go to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith for bringing every character to life and displaying a truly remarkable range of accents. Furthermore, he uniquely conveys the wonderful dry wit of Aaronovitch's stories. I couldn't recommened the series highly enough!!

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A Real Page turner

Twisted plot, memorable characters, evocative scenery.The voices described the personalities to a T! The relationships were tantalisingly close .....

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Country life

Another fantastic story from Ben and brilliantly read by Kobna.
A chance to get out of London was what Nightingale wants for Peter to help him get over the last case he was on. He becomes caught up in a local disappearance and is there to deal with the ‘weird’ stuff. Beverly returns in a big way and they finally sort out their relationship. There are many angles in this story and mini stories within those.
I was surprised to see a different side of unicorns.
I really enjoy this series and recommended would recommend it to anyone interested in urban fantasy.

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  • Mikkel
  • 08-10-2018

I'm happy.

A good story but sadly I begin to see the end of this great series of books.
Hopefully the author will write more.

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  • E. Richens
  • 28-07-2017

perfect narration

I don't think I would love this series as much as I do if I read it instead of having it read to me by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. His accents are sometimes a little dodgy but it doesn't matter because his voices make each character so distinct that I can clearly picture them.
Or maybe I would. This is a smart and funny series.

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  • Denis
  • 11-12-2016

Another must read

Masterly crafted and read.
A difficult to put down book, but short but another in the series to look forward to!

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  • Barney
  • 05-03-2015

Always pleased

The best series that I can't get enough of. Kobna is a fantastic narrator. I need to listen to the next one!!

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  • K. A. De Mare
  • 31-12-2014

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.

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  • Sarah
  • 17-11-2014

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.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Dogma
  • 19-11-2014

Excellent Book in an Excellent Series

Would you listen to Foxglove Summer again? Why?

Apart from a cracking story Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's reading is superb.

What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The tone of his voice is so good, his pace is just right.

Any additional comments?

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.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 24-11-2014

Good, Bad and Ugly

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ben Aaronovitch again?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Creative Butterfly
  • 02-01-2015

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Beccameriel
  • 26-11-2014

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?

15 people found this helpful

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  • MR
  • 24-07-2015

Well narrated but slow story

A beautifully narrated book as always but the story was lacking compared to previous installments

6 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria Hulland
  • 28-06-2015

Things are coming to a head.

What made the experience of listening to Foxglove Summer the most enjoyable?

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!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-11-2014

Too. Short.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Aside from Peter it has to be The Vintage, Veteran exWisard. And the carnivorous unicorns.

What about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance did you like?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Peter and the tree.

Any additional comments?

If Aaronovich is not at least 1/3 of the way into book 6... So many hints! A year?!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Adam.W
  • 11-12-2014

Not the best in the series but still entertaining

If you could sum up Foxglove Summer in three words, what would they be?

Unicorns aren't warm and fuzzy.

Would you be willing to try another book from Ben Aaronovitch? Why or why not?

Yes, I love all his books.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Which character – as performed by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith – was your favourite?

Beverley is still the funniest and most interesting.

Any additional comments?

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Ms Lixie
  • 18-11-2014

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.

9 people found this helpful