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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

The Hanging Tree / Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree - Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree was the Tyburn gallows which stood where Marble Arch stands today. Oxford Street was the last trip of the condemned. Some things don't change. The place has a bloody and haunted legacy and now blood has returned to the empty Mayfair mansions of the world's super-rich. And blood mixed with magic is a job for Peter Grant.


I must admit that I just enjoy hanging out in Peter Grant’s London. I enjoy each and every one of these novels and the graphic novels in varying degrees, all positive. I adore the diverse set of characters—and I don’t get the feeling that Aaronovitch is actively trying to have “diversity” of cultures, languages, or skin colours. My conclusion is that this is how London is now and he’s just reflecting his city. I’m loving how much Guleed is figuring in this installment and I’m glad to see the River goddesses back in full force. I love both Peter’s Sierra Leonean Mama and his Caucasian jazz-man father.

Not only does Aaronovitch create a diverse police force, but he is gradually assembling quite the range of supernatural people/creatures for Peter et al. to cope with too. Nightingale has been playing his cards pretty close to the vest, not letting Peter know what else might be lurking out there until he has to share. Probably a good way not to send your apprentice screaming away into the scenery.

Peter is acknowledged as a “cheeky bugger” and his internal dialog gives a lot of humour to the series. I love his assessments of police work and those folks that his work brings him into contact with. I love that Aaronovitch gives us these asides, guiding what we think without just clubbing us over the head with his opinions. Plus, I adore Peter's experimenting with his magical powers, testing exactly what distances from electronics are safe, for example.

I’m now caught up to date and the next volume awaits me at the library. Life is good.