Friday, May 31, 2013

Artful Readers Club May - Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

It's reading club time again, and I have a glowing review for you this time around as I loved this month's book!

I've actually had this one - and its sequel Moon Over Soho - on my bedside table for well over a year, waiting to be read.  I'm glad I finally got around to it :)

The blurb on the cover would have you believe that this is a kind of "Harry Potter for grown ups", but it really isn't.  Yes, there's a trainee wizard in the mix, but other than that, there's very little similarity.

It's much funnier, for a start, and much more gritty and real - which is impressive for a book chock full of magical creatures and gods.  Sometimes you almost forget about all the spooks and spells as you enjoy the solid police procedural elements of the story.

The characters are likeable, the intertwining stories are entertaining, it's very well written, and it really is just plain fun.  What more could you ask for?

And one of the things I loved most about the book is that it feels almost like a love letter to London in parts, and I love London too, it's where I grew up, and even though I have now moved away, we go back to visit often.  So I enjoyed reading such fond words about my old stomping grounds :)

For my artwork, I have chosen to illustrate my favourite minor character from the books, Molly, the maid servant of indeterminate age and species......  here's her introduction from the opening stages of the story:

"How many people live here?" I asked.
"Just the two of us.  And Molly" said Nightingale.
Toby suddenly crouched down at my feet and growled, a proper rat-in-the-kitchen growl that was all business.  I looked over and saw a woman gliding towards us across the polished marble.  She was slender and dressed like an Edwardian maid, complete with a starched white bib apron over a full black skirt and white cotton blouse.  Her face didn't fit her outfit, being too long and sharp-boned with black, almond-shaped eyes.
Despite her mob cap she wore her hair loose, a black curtain that fell to her waist.  She instantly gave me the creeps, and not just because I've seen too many Japanese horror films.
"This is Molly," said Nightingale.  "She does for us".
"Does what?"
"Whatever needs doing" said Nightingale.
Molly lowered her eyes and did an awkward little dip that might have been a curtsey or a bow.  When Toby growled again Molly snarled back, showing disturbingly sharp teeth.
"Molly" said Nightingale sharply.
Molly demurely covered her mouth with her hand, turned and went gliding back the way she came.  Toby gave a little self-satisfied snort that didn't fool anyone but himself.
"And she is....?" I asked.
"Indispensable" said Nightingale.

And here's my painting of her:

Everything on here is acrylic paints - the background and the city skyline were monoprinted using a gelli-plate, the Thames was drawn on with a Molotow paint pen, and Miss Molly from the Folly was painted freehand, loosely based on that spooky girl from the Ring movie....

I've just realised she was supposed to be wearing a white blouse.  Oh well, close enough :)

Next month I will be reading The Toyminator by Robert Rankin, which I have just realised is a sequel and I haven't read the first book yet.  Oops.  Maybe I should get the first book and read that instead.....would that be allowed in the rules, Darcy?


Sue said...

I have this book on my Kindle.....sounds like I should get around to reading it:) Great inspired art piece...Molly sounds fascinating:)

SusieJ said...

Now this sounds like a really good read...I'll be putting it on my Wish List.
Love the art work...great gelli print and suitably spooky girl!
Hugs xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Funny, spooky, a police procedural, and an easy read. What more could you ask for in a fun book review? Well, great art, too. Very impressive skyline and background. But Molly (or Molly like) is the icing on the cake.

I totally enjoyed your review of this book. I could tell you liked the book, too. It showed in your review.

Joanna said...

I've seen this book around, picked it up, put it down, picked it up again, put it down again.... you get my drift. I think the next time I see it (in a charity shop, which is where I get most of my books) I'll pick it up and buy it! It sounds very interesting and very different!

Love your artwork - Molly looks VERY creepy (she reminds me of the girl in The Ring!)!


abby j said...

I'm DEFINITELY adding this to my Kindle...sounds wonderful!! And your artwork of Molly...Fabulous!!

Magaly Guerrero said...

The book cover is very attractive, and your review makes me curious. Sadly, it's not available on Kindle in the US :-(

Love the art. A lot. She looks...a bit creepy and very determined to do something. I can't help wondering what that might be...

Šolanje na domu-Waldorf said...

Oh my gosh! Fabulous painting! And a great review. Sounds like a great book. :)

Sarah said...

Magaly - the book is called Running Riot in the US so perhaps you can find it under that name? (the American cover isn't as nice though, IMO)

Sarah said...

sorry, not Running Riot - Midnight Riot

Carmen Wing said...

It sounds so good. Like Jo I keep seeing this and have seen some good reviews. I love your art - it reminded me of the poster art for The Ring before you said it so - job done a good 'un there methinhks :D

Definitely going to pick this up next time I see it!

Julie Lee said...

This book sounds great. I love your art work, it's full of character and really well done. x

Janet said...

Sounds to be an interesting book made even better by your brilliant picture of Molly and the London skyline. Fabulous work.

Janet xx

Jen said...

Great art work and a good book review. The short extract is intriguing.
Jen x

Jez said...

Your artwork is as interesting as your review. I enjoy both and you really seem to have captured her look. Not a book for me, but I like seeing what other people read and enjoy.

Unknown said...

Molly scares me, the ring! I didn't like that, cracking bones ew! So I am terrified to read this now lol Very good writing from the bit you put in, great description. I pictured her just like this pointy sharp teeth ODD very odd Dxx

donnalouiserodgers said...

twas a treat to meet you dahlink, and I wouldn't worry Darcy breaks rules too, and is very very tolerant... dxxx

Darcy Marshall said...

Fab review, this one is def going on my list. Love the artwork, very impressed at your Molly, she would make a great poster.

Yes you can change your book choice, go for it.

Maz said...

Oooh, I borrowed this book from my mam but haven't read it yet :) Love your artwork, she is definitely Ring-like! x

Gina said...

Now that sounds like a "must read" kind of a book!! Totally surreal and wonderfully different :D Awesome artwork too, and I think she would probably prefer the black blouse :D XXX

San @ Made in Hem said...

Oh, Molly is kind of scary but you did a beautiful job! I love her! ♥
I think I have found another book to add to my ever-growing list here... :)

Shirley said...

Great to read your review and glad you enjoyed your book this month. Your artwork is amazing, so much detail to look at. X