More magic in London: Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree

The Hanging Tree is the sixth in the Peter Grant Rivers of London series – about a wizard’s apprentice in a special department of London’s Metropolitan Police, dedicated to sorting out the ‘weird bollocks’ that the regular Met don’t wish to have anything to do with. I think the best way to update other fans, … Continue reading More magic in London: Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree

London calling: Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels

I feel I’ve come rather late to the fair with Kate Griffin’s sorcerers-in-London series, since the first one came out in 2009. I was looking stupidly at A Madness of Angels in a bookshop last autumn, wondering why it wasn’t ringing bells – surely I’d read all the magical-London novels in print? – and was … Continue reading London calling: Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

This is a lightly edited version of the first Really Like This Book podcast script about the very well-known Harry Potter novels. I’ve been observing the rise of Harry Potter studies in my professional life, having graded research papers by students, and sometimes these novels inspire excellent essays. There is a lot to say about these … Continue reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

British magic: Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London: Body Work

In my teenage years I collected Elfquest, and Grendel, and suffered with all my friends when issue 121 of the X-Men mysteriously failed to arrive in Britain in that dark, dark month just before my O-Grades. When I was a student I worked on Saturdays at Aberdeen’s science fiction bookshop, and read the week’s new comics when … Continue reading British magic: Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London: Body Work

Policing the supernatural, with Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series

If you like the idea of a policeman who uses magic, give Ben Aaronovitch's series a try. If you loved Lindsey Davis's Falco, the Marlowe-channelling detective from Ancient Rome, but want something a bit more contemporary, Peter Grant is your man. If you like the idea of a series that references Harry Potter characters as … Continue reading Policing the supernatural, with Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant series