Moon over Soho

In a delightful coincidence, Ben Aaronovitch turned up in Sheffield to do a reading just after I finished Rivers of London.  So I went.  He looked nothing like I expected, and had a kind of rambling style full of tangents, in-jokes, and bizarre interludes on nemeses of various stripes (including the producers of Doctor Who and China Miéville), but it was an enjoyable talk, which, at various points, was very very good.

One thing I found interesting, though it may be a standard creative writing cliché, went: “What’s the most interesting thing about Inspector Frost?”, followed after a few suggestions from the audience by, “He’s an inspector”.  The point being that you need only as much characterisation as makes sense within the story and as is necessary to drive the story forward.

Anyway, we bought a copy of Moon over Soho.  I’ll get this out of the way — it’s not as good as Rivers of London.  It’s still pretty good though.  The shenanigans here are two-fold.  There’s an evil magician making bad things happen (there’s a brief, and fairly exciting, battle at the end, but mostly this evil counterpart is set up for the next book, and possibly a full trilogy).  Mostly, though, there are jazz musicians mysteriously dying left, right and centre.  That’ll be the jazz vampires then…

The last book had the lure of new things, and there’s just not as many new ideas in this one.  All the plot elements are fine, but they emerge almost too comfortably from what was described in the first book.  I really liked the rather ingenious use of anthropomorphic personification in the first one, which also did a fantastic job of grounding the story in London (as I mentioned it’s a very very London novel), and there’s nothing that’s quite as fresh and exciting here…

I’ll still read the next one though.  He’s setting up extended arcs nicely, and I’m fairly curious to see what happens (even if I feel I won’t be particularly surprised).

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One Response to Moon over Soho

  1. Redhead says:

    I bought this a while ago, but haven’t picked it up yet. Not as awesome as the first one is totally OK by me. . . I just need to find time to read it!

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