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Publisher's Summary

Body and soul. 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.

©2011 Ben Aaronvitch (P)2012 Tantor

What listeners say about Moon Over Soho

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this Book - Total Imersion

Would you consider the audio edition of Moon Over Soho to be better than the print version?

Well - I haven't read the hard copy but I do love that Jazz is used throughout the book - it adds so much to the performance and the "Soul" of the story.

What about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance did you like?

The accents were spot on - love everything about the performance. If they changed readers - I may not listen.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I loved the "coming to consciousness" to the bigger and infinite world of Magic. I am also kinda geeky in that I loved the basis of the Magic in this book is based on Newton.

Any additional comments?

WARNING: Once you start book 1 -- before you know it -- you are on an addicted path!

16 people found this helpful

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Another amazing Peter Grant story

This is not only a terrific and creative series of stories: I can't be sure I'd like the books so much, were they not narrated by Kobna Holbrook-Smith. It's as though the author (Ben Aaronovitch) was channeling the narrator. His fit to the main character/narrator is uncanny. And of course, brilliant.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very Entertaining

Although I did not enjoy Moon over Soho quite as much as Midnight Riot, I did find it quite entertaining and worth a credit. It certainly makes me hope that Audible will keep bringing us the audio versions as the author continues to add to the adventures of Peter Grant.

After the tragic events at the end of Book 1, Lesley May is indisposed throughout Book 2 and I think that's part of the reason I did not like this book as much. Peter needs the considered advice and more careful approach of Lesley to offset his inclinations to dive into trouble; without her, he does simply dive into trouble and I found his lack of sense a little aggravating. There are some semi-explicit sex scenes in this book that were not in Book 1 that I didn't really like - mostly I just wasn't as taken with the romantic interest as Peter and the author clearly were. (Although, without giving away anything, I will say I LOVED the scene where girl meets mother!) All said, I just wasn't as taken with Peter or the plotlines of Moon Over Soho as with Midnight Riot. But the back story for what happened to Peter's father was pretty great, Holdbrook-Smith is still nice to listen to (and easier to follow now), the book was still entertaining, and the ending gave me high hopes to see more of Lesley again. So, overall, a credit well spent and I'm going for Book 3.

24 people found this helpful

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Getting better

I liked this much better than the first book. Great story; the humor was laugh-out-loud funny at time; narration was perfect. In fact, the narration, rather the production, was vastly improved. All the sniffling and swallowing noises from book 1 have been removed. Major improvement.

5 people found this helpful

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Very smart, funny and entertaining

What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This young actor couldn't be better: wonderfully convincing as so many characters, sliding effortlessly from accent to accent and making the most of the author's stylish wit. It just wouldn't be the same without his warm cockney baseline narrative as Peter, the fledgling magician/cop or his plummy professorial tones as Nightingale, his mentor.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed out loud a number of times.

Any additional comments?

Very witty writing, very human hero and wonderful descriptions of the darker corners of London (not for kids - sort of like Torchwood was to Dr Who, same DNA but meant for a mature audience) make this a fast and furious read, even better than the first of this clever series. Great fun! I'm a fan.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A new kind of vampire

This is the second installment of the Peter Grant series. Peter is an apprentice to Inspector Nightengale of the magic police. It picks up where the first book leaves off, with Lesley on the mend, so Peter is on his own, jumping head on into the fire. When things (speaking of the magical bad people) are obvious to us, Peter is in denial (which becomes a little frustrating at times), as he puts his family and co workers in danger. Still, it's a good story made even better by the narration. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does an excellent job with the voices and capturing the feel of the country. I'll go on to the next installment, hoping to see Peter mature some with his magical skills and acting correctly on his intuition.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good story overall.

Overall, the story was pretty good and felt a little more organized and congruous than the story in book 1. Two complaints: First one is that the narrator --although pretty good overall-- was completely unintelligible when voicing Lesley. Second complaint is that the sex scenes felt out of place and completely pointless. I have no problem with a little eroticism in literature when done right, but these weren't really tastefully written and played out like Aaronovitch's fantasies rather than something that actually contributed to the story. They were also nearly every chapter. Once was enough. Twice would have been tolerable if you want to beat a dead horse. But it happened like 6 or 7 times and sometimes within 10 minutes of each other. Keep it in your pants, Ben! I'll check out book 3 but we'll see if I keep going from there.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Series just gets better and better

Any additional comments?

I really love this series. Aaronovitch continues to build upon the momentum and characters introduced in the first book of the series (Rivers of London/Midnight Riot). Unlike too many fantasy novels, he does not make magic a panacea - there are plenty of real world consequences in this slightly magical London, and characters can be hurt (devastatingly so) without easy remedies. Leslie is still dealing with the aftermath of her encounter with a vengeful spirit in the first book and those ramifications are both physical and psychological. Nightingale is still recovering from a gunshot wound, and nothing can rush that recovery or his lingering vulnerability. Peter Grant, in turn, has to deal with Leslie's disfigurement and Nightingale's diminishment, as well as his own increasing vantage point on magic and its drawbacks (from dark magicians to magical creatures tortured or run amok). Grant has to come to grips with the ramifications of magic and the ethics of those involved. All of these details give the book more depth and allow the mystery (jazz vampires and a rampant woman of mystery with vagina dentata) and police procedure play out as stakes grow. The book is left in a cliff hanger with what appears to be a potential nemesis. I look forward to the next entry.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

NOT Pratchett. NOT Potter. Different. Excellent.

Once I opened my mind to the reality that this series is not really like Terry Pratchett's Discworld series and/or the Harry Potter stories (albeit an adult version).... I was able to see the story for what it is: very witty, very nice and (in my humble opinion)... well written. I'd read too many reviews and, unfortunately, that colored my perception. Don't get me wrong...that IS what made me pick up this series in the first place. I never would have given the books a second glance otherwise. Ironic, eh? There are common threads...but only in an overall, generalized sort of way. British humor for one and an apprentice learning magical skills. That's (roughly) about it. This series has a unique identity and that's awesome :) I'm glad I picked up book #2 in a sale. BTW: Book #2 (Moon Over Soho), is a tad different from Book #1 (Midnight Riot)... Have you ever heard the classic line by an actor/actress: I'll do nude but only if it's relevant to the story line...? THAT applies here. There is nudity and sexuality but it is not over done and does not linger for a page-after-page-after-page sort of nonsense ...just to be sensational, etc. There's actually a reason for it. Anyway. This book is very witty, the characters are allowed to grow, police procedures are followed and there is entertainment to be had. Enjoy. I did. That is one thing that this series really does have in common with Terry Pratchett...it makes me laugh a LOT. LOL.

10 people found this helpful

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Wish I could give the performance 10 stars

The story is entertaining, but what really makes this book, like the one before it, is Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. There's nothing like a perfect match of story and narrator, and this is definitely one of those cases. I don't know how Holdbrook-Smith makes everything seem so effortless, but it's a real pleasure. Combine that with just enough urban fantasy and a lot of humor and clever writing, and you have a winner. I rarely feel compelled to listen to the next book in a series right away, but I'm back to buy #3 immediately after finishing this one.

2 people found this helpful