Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Moon Over Soho: By Ben Aaronovitch




The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.


Midnight Riot was the best new urban fantasy book I read this summer. So when Moon Over Soho came out so quickly after the release of Midnight Riot, I was ecstatic and fearful. Excited because I wanted to read more in this great series, but fearful because of the hardship in creating a second book in a series.

It’s often easy to lose the momentum of a series after a fantastic debut. Authors have to steer the series into a long term story arc while at the same time keep up the events from the previous book and create a new short term problem for the protagonist to deal with.

Aaronovitch does all of this, and more with ease in Moon Over Soho.

Moon Over Soho does have the familiar feel in its mystery element that any multibook series will have after reading one or two books in the series, but it deals with it very unique and interesting ways. These new turns will both entertain and surprise readers, but most importantly it will keep the story fresh and exciting.

Like Midnight Riot I loved the protagonist of the series. I felt he was relatable and interesting. But the characters we really get to see more of in this book is Nightingale. We get a taste of what life was like before he was the only practitioner in London, and are introduced into a fantastic world of mystery and magic.

All in all Moon Over Soho is a fantastic book. It’s fast paced, the characters are fascinating and well developed, the magic interesting and complex, and it’s just plain well written. And it’s because of all of these things that Moon Over Soho, like Midnight Riot, is a fantastic book that I will enthusiastically recommend to anyone looking for a book you just can’t put down.

9.5 out of 10


Publisher: Del Rey

Published: March 1, 2011

Price: $7.99

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