hestia8: (Default)
I found the Google docs I mentioned when I posted about my fic! Well done me.

Having finally posted a Rivers of London fic (which took forever to write), I thought I would talk a bit about a) the bits of London I used in the fic and b) London-based UF/horror book series I love.

I’ve been meaning to do a post or seven about Rivers of London for ages but never quite managed it because I could never quite get to a stage where I was able to be objective about the books (I think writing this fic finally did it for me because it was such a slog).

The books, by Ben Aaronovitch, focus on PC Peter Grant, a mixed race copper from North London (it shows) who accidentally finds out about magic and starts training to become a wizard under the tutelage of the only wizard police officer left in the UK (DCI Thomas Nightingale).

The mythology of the books is that after WW2 magic faded away, more or less, leaving just Nightingale (who is a lot older than he looks) and a few scattered practitioners, but it is gradually starting to come back.

Peter is an entertaining narrator, easily-distracted but funny and quick with a pop-culture reference. The supporting characters are usually intriguing with a big chunk of mystery in their backgrounds.

The main draw for me is that the author is really really good at portraying London, even if there is a bias towards everything North of the river (says someone just as biased towards SE London). The city in the books is very close to the city I know, and the way Peter feels and thinks about the city is pretty close to the way I feel about it (and London trivia spotters will have a great time reading the books and thinking ‘well yes but I already knew about Leinster Gardens’ etc etc).

There are currently five books in the series (I have yet to read the fifth), and apparently the fifth book takes Peter out of London, not that I know why you’d want to /only half joking.

The ROL series is not quite my favourite London-based urban fantasy series, however. That would be the Matthew Swift series of books by Kate Griffin. In this series, most of the sorcerers in London were killed two years before the series starts, and Matthew Swift (a sorcerer, which is apparently a bit different to a wizard) starts the series being brought back to life by the blue electric angels who live in the telephone lines.

Everything in Kate Griffin’s London has some sort of magic to it, from the magic of routine and rules (such as escaping from something chasing you by going through the ticket machines on the tube when it doesn’t have a valid ticket) to pulling power from the streetlights and everything upwards.

(where dryads in Rivers of London still live inside trees, in the Matthew Swift series they have moved to lampposts)

cut for brief spoilers )
The reason I ended up liking Griffin’s series more is probably that she really covers all of London, having Matthew venture out over the sprawling suburbs instead of mostly sticking to the central boroughs. 

There are currently six books featuring Matthew, four where he is the central character and two in the Magicals Anonymous spin-off series, which focus on Sharon Li, a woman who finds out she’s a shaman who can become one with the city, and the group of people/supernatural beings who come to meetings after she puts a post up on Facebook.

Most recently I’ve read London Falling by Paul Cornell, which I think is due to become a series. I meant to write a review but never got round to it so I might as well do one here.

I didn’t like the book when I first started it - I had been saving it for months and had been expecting an instant love the same as I’d felt for ROL/Matthew Swift. I persevered, however, and by the end of the book I was really enjoying myself.

The characters in London Falling (three police officers and a data person) initially don’t get on with each other, which was one of the reasons I didn’t get on with it - I don’t expect everything to be sunshine and rainbows in my UF books, obviously, but I couldn’t work out why they seemed so reluctant to work together. By the end, though, the characters had been developed well enough that this didn’t bother me any more.

The characters in LF were all prickly and complicated in different ways, which I really liked. They only find out about/get involved with magic by accident and I thought that the ways they each dealt with this were interesting. ROL only really has to deal with Peter finding out about magic (and anyone else we hear about through him) so Cornell had quite a bit more work to do.

The plot of the book was nicely creepy, and the villian did some pretty horrific things - I think possibly this book is a bit closer to the horror end of things rather than urban fantasy (actually I’m not sure where the division would be). Sometimes the other series are a bit meandering without being particularly scary or creepy, but this book had some properly tense moments. I am looking forward to reading others in the series.

As a glancing final mention, there is of course the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey which predate all of these, but it’s been ages since I read them so all I can say is that I enjoyed those too and I’ve been meaning to do a reread (iirc they were also more down the horror end of the spectrum).

I’m sure there are others (lucky me, there’s always someone writing something magical set in London) so do let me know if I’ve missed anything.
hestia8: (Default)
 I have some entires planned around this fic (when I work out which Google Drive I've got them saved in, ahem) but for now, holy crap I have posted a thing:

Regret, or 14000 words of Rivers of London/Luther crossover casefic


I have been working on this fic for about two years (including a huuuuuge rewrite) and am so fucking glad to be done with it. 

Also I've been putting off reading Foxglove Summer until I finished this so I can now go read that yay!
hestia8: (Default)
I have somehow fallen into writing a Rivers of London series/Luther crossover (yes on top of all the other wips, yes the list is still stupidly long, yes I am an idiot I know).

I imagine the audience for this fic is fairly tiny given the sizes of both fandoms, but if anyone out there is a) familiar with both canons and b) wouldn't mind some fic discussion, do let me know in the comments :) 

(hopefully will be posting some general meta/rambling about the Rivers of London series when I've read the third book)

Hoping to post some other fics soon - at the weekend maybe? One fic is getting pretty damn close to being posted without a title, and there's another I need to fix but that can be posted pretty quickly after that. I might also be doing a fic amnesty thing at some point, as even I have to admit some of these things aren't going anywhere and I'm trying to concentrate on getting some long fics done.

Oh, and while I'm here, I've got a pair of fics bookending Spooks series 9 (first one takes place in between s8 and 9, second immediately after s9 finishes). They've had a beta and I've made some changes but they could do with another read through to make sure things make sense - anyone interested? TIA :D 

ETA: BOOKENDING. ENDING. NOT BOOKMARKING. FFS. (took me 3 days to notice, though)

June 2017


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